YouTube has been one of the great winners during the COVID-19 pandemic as Canadians have been spending more time using free streaming services.
According to Statistics Canada, almost half of Canadians (46 per cent) have increased their use of free streaming video services such as YouTube. Young Canadians aged 15 to 34 led the way with almost 70 per cent of them reporting increased use of online video streaming services. Canadians also reported increased use of free online information services and online educational services since the onset of the pandemic.
Looking more broadly, just over 41 per cent of respondents told Statistics Canada that they had been spending more time on social media and messaging services since the onset of the pandemic, while three per cent spent less time.
Young Canadians aged 15 to 34 (57 per cent) were most likely to have increased their use of social media and messaging services, while seniors aged 65 and older (18 per cent) were the least likely to have done so, according to Statistics Canada.
The increased time that Canadians have been spending online also has an economic dimension.
More than four out of 10 Canadians (44 per cent) told surveyors they had spent more on computers, laptops and tablets since the start of the pandemic. Spending on smartphones (40 per cent) and online video streaming services (42 per cent) also went up.
“These results are also reflected in recent retail sales figures, which show that retail e-commerce sales were up by almost two-thirds year over year in July,” it reads.
The increased time that Canadians spent online also has a security dimension, as just over four in 10 Canadians (42 per cent) experienced at least one type of cyber-security incident since the beginning of the pandemic, including phishing attacks, malware, fraud and hacked accounts.
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