Vividata uncovers media, Canadians’ habits during pandemic


Vividata, ( Canada’s leading media and consumer research firm released their latest survey results, which uncovers media and purchasing habits of Canadians amidst the pandemic.

In field October 2019 to September 2020, Vividata’s Survey of the Canadian Consumer (SCC) is the most comprehensive single source cross-media, product, attitudinal and brand research study in Canada.

The winter 2021 Study provides new coverage on a number of evolving consumer trends such as: the impact of COVID-19 on media and purchasing behaviour, the activities Canadians plan to pick up again post pandemic, the use of meal kit services, and other topics.

Vividata Board Director, Norman Melamed, believes Vividata’s pre-pandemic development work in data collection methods and passive measurement have been crucial during this period. “Vividata’s inclusion of passive measurement through Metrica, as well as development of topical syndicated studies build on the solid foundations of their Survey of the Canadian Consumer”, says Melamed. “These added layers, combined with fieldwork enhancements and world class fusions are at the forefront of Vividata’s ability to provide timely and rich consumer research.”

The past 12 months have been incredibly challenging for everyone, and the impact on our behaviours and attitudes can’t be underestimated,” says Vividata President & CEO, Pat Pellegrini, PhD. “Early on, Vividata took steps to extract data from our SCC studies, providing interim releases that highlighted key differences and similarities from our pre-pandemic studies. As more COVID-19 period data is reflected in the Winter release, we see the impact the pandemic is having on consumers. The Winter release captures the expected increase in use of digital media in general during the pandemic, and significantly, that news brands (print or digital) are a highly trusted source of information on COVID-19.”

A sample of highlights from Vividata Winter 2021 Survey of the Canadian Consumer include:


Online Shopping:

  •  73% of Canadian adults shopped online for any item in the past month; with clothing and footwear, books, and electronics as the categories most often shopped for online.
  •  50% of Canadian adults report an increase in their online shopping in comparison to their usual shopping habits pre-pandemic. Households with an income over $100k and those with children are the most likely to have experienced an increase in online shopping.
  •  9 out of 10 adults that shopped online in the past month have used free shipping services, while 1 out of 4 have used click-and-collect.
  •  Compared to last year, Canadians are now more likely to agree with the statement, “Shopping online makes my life easier” (25% agreed in Winter 2020 | 41% agreed in Winter 2021).


  •  8 out of 10 Canadian adults read/accessed magazine or newspaper brands in an average week via print or digital platforms.
  •  7 out of 10 read daily newspaper brand content in an average week, with just over half accessing content via a mobile device (smartphone or tablet).
  •  In the past five years, the smartphone audience for digital newspaper content has doubled; 17% of adults accessed digital newspaper content on a smartphone in Winter 2016, increasing to 35% in Winter 2021.
  •  73% read/accessed magazine brand content in an average month, with food, technology & science, entertainment, and health/fitness magazines as the most popular among Canadians.
  •  In the past five years, the smartphone audience for digital magazine content has risen as well; 15% of adults accessed digital magazine content on a smartphone in Winter 2016, increasing to 25% in Winter 2021.
  •  Nearly 1 out of 4 adults indicate that their consumption of magazine content (print or digital) has increased during the pandemic.
  •  After healthcare professionals, news brands (print or digital platforms) are the most trusted source for information on the COVID-19 pandemic; achieving a higher rate of trust than government, television, radio and other media.
  •  Just over 1 out of 3 adults agree with the statement, “I commit more time each day to seek out current news and information than I did two years ago”.

TV Viewing:

  •  In an average week, 93% of Canadian adults watch TV on any screen or device, spending approximately 22 hours per week.
  •  65% of adults watch TV as per a broadcast schedule, 54% watch through a subscription service, and 36% catch-up on demand.
  •  42% of adults have increased their use of subscription services (e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime Crave, Disney+, etc.) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  •  Compared to Winter 2020, on weekly basis more Canadians are binge watching on any screen or device (23% in Winter 2020 | 30% in Winter 2021).
  •  35% of adults browse social media while watching TV, and this jumps to 51% among Gen Z and 48% among Gen Y.

Out of Home:

  •  Canadian adults are travelling (in a car/truck as a driver/passenger) an average of 116 km per week, down from 131 km in Winter 2020.
  •  Nearly 3 out of 4 adults noticed any out-of-home advertising in the past week. 53% noticed digital out-of-home ads specifically.
  •  35% agree that digital out-of-home ads are “a good way to learn about new products and services”, and this rate of agreement jumps to 46% among Gen Z adults.
  •  44% of Gen Z notice out-of-home advertising “each time” or “most of the time”.

VIVIDATA is Canada’s authoritative source for insights on multi-media and consumer behaviour. It is the leading provider of cross platform audience measurement for publishers. A tripartite, not-for-profit organization, Vividata is governed by a board of directors representing the interests of Canadian publishers, agencies and advertisers.


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