Good news for Netflix: Canadians like you

Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), which most days now seems to be operating under a cloud of gloominess (see Amazon-Epix, HBO Nordic) can take solace in the fact that Canadians like the service--they really do.

A report issued by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) indicated that not only are Canadians watching more online TV, they're doing it because they have access to Netflix. And, of course, a high-speed data connection that keeps getting faster.

"Canadians are enthusiastic consumers of creative content, whether it is offered on television, radio or through digital platforms. The fact that they are spending more time watching or listening to programming is good news for Canadian creators," CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blaise said in a news release.

It's also good news for Netflix, which saw its Canadian subscriber base grow from six percent of Internet TV viewers to 10 percent by fall 2011, with the highest market penetration in western Canada, where 15 percent of Alberta residents signed up for service. Because Netflix is not bilingual, though, results were a bit lower in French areas, with only four percent of Quebecers signed up for service.

Still, Netflix is leading the way in a country where 78 percent of households have an Internet subscription and typical users watch 2.8 hours of Internet TV per week--up from 2.4 hours in 2010, the report said.

"Four percent of Canadians report only watching television programming online, while four percent watched programming on a smartphone and three percent on a tablet," the news release said. "Additionally, 22 percent of anglophones and 17 percent of francophones streamed the signal of an AM or FM station over the Internet."

On a weekly basis, Canadians watched 28.5 hours of TV in 2011 compared to 28 hours in 2010. They also listened to more radio (17.7 hours compared to 17.6 hours the previous year).

Also good news for Netflix--in a side order type of way--is that Canadians continue to move to faster Internet speeds and 54 percent of households in 2011 had access to 5 Mbps or more.

For more:
- see this news release
- and this report

Related articles:
Epix licenses movies to Amazon
eDataSource: Netflix sub numbers off in July
Analyst sees better times ahead for Netflix stock