Hey there USA, we are focusing this month’s issue on the changing realities of OTT, cord cutting, broadcasters and video in Canada. Did you know – Amazon Prime Video didn’t launch in Canada until April 2017. This is a full 11-years after Amazon Unbox (now Prime) launched in the US. It isn’t that we are slow. It is that all our internet was slow. In fact, Canada was 19th in the world for Internet speeds in 2017. Today, we are now 4th and with that the growth of OTT and video streaming has begun to explode. We don’t have to wait for that dial-up noise to watch a show.
Here are five things you need to know:
1. Amazon launches Prime Video Channels for Canada – HayU, STARZ, Nickelodeon and STACKTV, a solution from local Canadian broadcaster CORUS Entertainment will not be a part of a package from Amazon for Prime customers. It is interesting to see CORUS piggyback and be a trojan horse into customers TV sets instead of trying to market and sell it as a separate solution.
2. CTV “Super” Hub details are coming... end of 2019 – The CTV (Bell Media) started with rebranding of specialty channels to Sci-Fi, Drama, Comedy and Life and adding new AVOD platforms in Movies and Vault. In the meantime, they are still working on a digital super-hub for subscribers that will be a “state of the art” user experience”
3. Comcast X1 is the Backbone of Video Streaming in Canada – Two large partners for Comcast are Shaw Communications, Videotron (Quebec) and Rogers who are licensing the X1 and Flex platform for Canada. This is helping Amazon and others have easier way to enter the market and homes in Canada and support the growth of IPTV.
4. The Delay of Hulu Due to Disney Acquiring Fox – A slow burn has been in place as Hulu is not available in Canada. Rumours (yes with a “u”) continue to think that the OTT media service will come to Canada at the end of 2019.
5. Apple TV+ is Coming to Canada This Fall – Until the launch of Apple TV+, Canadians are still using Apple TV that now has CBS All Access and Smithsonian available. With this will come new programming for Canadians but there is no idea what will be on it as Bell Media owns the rights to HBO Canada, Showtime and Starz through their service Crave.
To help with your education on Canada…
Anyone who grew up in the 90s was plagued with strange PSAs. Here is one of our favourites – FYI - critical thinking is important to Canadians, we question what is real.