For the first time ever weekly Internet usage of online Canadians has surpassed the number of hours spent watching television, according to a new report by Ipsos Reid.
Over all online Canadians are now spending more than 18 hours a week online, compared to 16.9 hours watching television. Internet usage is up from 14.9 hours last year. The number of hours watching television also increased in the last year, rising from 15.8 hours.
Men are spending significantly more time online than women (20 hours compared to 16). There is just a small gap between age groups with 18-34 year olds spending an average of 20 hours a week online, compared to 18 hours for those over 35.
"In previous years we've seen significant differences between the generations and the amount of time they spend online," notes study author Mark Laver.
"The data indicates that not only are people of all ages spending more and more time online, but it also points to a shift in how online Canadians are consuming media and where they are spending their free time."
"Today, online Canadians are finding a myriad of entertainment options available to them within the walls of their homes. While some entertainment content has simply shifted from television to online, the Internet is also providing new content to Canadians."
Canadian adults over the age of 55 are significantly more likely to be watching more television each week (20 hours compared to 15 hours for those aged 35-54 and 13 hours for those aged 18-34).
"Our look at online television and media in the Inter@ctive Reid Report shows that Canadians are consuming more and more content online than they were previously watching on television or content that they simply did not have access to," said Laver.
"Not only has the recession likely acted as a disrupting factor, but the Internet is poised to take the next step in our lives as it delivers more and more entertainment content to Canadians in their homes and on the go."