Broadcaster Magazine

CMF Reveals Results from New Audience Study

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  • A new study, entitled Understand and Engage with Audiences  has recently been released.  The study, commissioned by Telefilm Canada in partnership with the Canada Media Fund, Creative BC, the Ontario Media Development Corporation and the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles, was conducted by Nielsen, a global consumer insight company. Among its key findings, the report identifies two groups of Canadian viewers—“Curious” and “Belonging”—as primary targets to promote homegrown content and who together represent 50 per cent of content viewers in the country.

    Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, Canada Media Fund added: “In an era of abundance and constantly-evolving consumer habits, it’s essential for the industry, whether its producers, distributors or funders, to better understand today’s audiences,” stated Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, Canada Media Fund added. “By identifying what motivates audiences, how they can be engaged and what they value in the content they consume, the study’s findings will allow us to better position Canadian content in today’s borderless, digital world.”

    “Providing market intelligence allows us to help the industry make better decisions,” added Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “The study contains valuable information about the viewing habits and preferences of Canadian consumers of audiovisual products. For example, in identifying two key audience segments, “Curious” and “Belonging”, and highlighting the genres of films they prefer, the study will help Canadian content producers and promoters better target their audiences. I’m also pleased that, as the study found, almost three quarters of Canadians surveyed believe that Telefilm plays an important role in Canadian film. This is a vote of confidence in publicly funded support for creative talent in Canada.”
    Study highlights

    • When producing and promoting Canadian content, producers and funding organizations should engage primarily with two segments of Canadian content viewers, identified as “Curious”— highly committed movie buffs who love all sorts of movies, blockbusters as well as smaller-scale, bringing excitement and novelty—and “Belonging”—viewers who watch to expand their horizons and who consider movies an opportunity for growth and learning.
    • Film and television viewing remain a key part of the Canadian lifestyle: 53 per cent of Canadians watch TV shows at least once a day, and 50 per cent watch movies at least once a week.
    • Canadians are consuming more and more content, across all mediums. Compared to last year, viewers said they watched 13 per cent more TV shows, 3 per cent more movies, 15 per cent more non-traditional videos (such as YouTube, Web series and shorts), and 2 per cent more documentaries.

    Valuable insights for the industry

    Based on its findings, the study offers insight into what content producers should consider when producing or promoting to the “Curious” and “Belonging” viewer segments. For example, they should:

    • Ensure that Canadian films and productions are distributed to streaming sites;
    • Consider marketing trailers and shorter videos to sites like YouTube;
    • Ensure trailers for Canadian feature films are readily available online;
    • Find ways to improve film distribution of Canadian films in larger multiplexes or improve the ways in which they are promoted there;
    • Consider fostering relationships with, or subsidizing, small theatres to continue to present cinema to their niche audiences;
    • Consider new ways to curate content, such as posting different lists of Canadian productions in different categories on sites consumers frequent (like IMDB).

    Prem Gill, CEO, Creative BC also added: “We know that audiences are consuming more content than ever before. By using this data to understand our viewers, funders and industry can collaboratively and strategically allocate resources toward sustainable growth.”

    Karen Thorne-Stone, President and CEO, OMDC added: “The Ontario Media Development Corporation is keenly interested in research which informs us about connecting content with audiences. Canadian filmmakers are creating compelling, high-quality film and television products and these findings will help producers and distributors from Ontario and across Canada target their marketing and outreach to effectively reach key audience segments in a very noisy digital marketplace.”

    Monique Simard, President and Chief Executive Officer, SODEC further added: “Times are without a doubt changing, and if we wish to keep pace with these major transformations and continue to achieve our mission of supporting and fostering the development of cultural organizations, we need to better understand the consumption patterns that characterize our audiences. This information is crucial and also valuable to the industry, for it allows us to better identify our required actions.”

    Understand and Engage with Audiences was based on a two-part study conducted by Nielsen. In the first part of the study, Nielsen conducted an online survey, between May 27 and June 10, 2024, of 3,010 Canadian residents, English and French, aged 15 or over. Based on the results of this survey, Nielsen identified five movie-watcher segments. In the second part of the study, Nielsen held focus groups with two of these segments, “Curious” and “Belonging”—together representing 50 per cent of content viewers in Canada. The focus groups, which involved a total of 59 participants, were held in Toronto and Vancouver (in English) and Montreal and Quebec City (in French) from September 20 to 28, 2024.