Statistics Canada released the results of its first-ever Digital Economy Survey. The survey targetted Canadians 18 or older.
The survey gathered information on Canadians’ use and purchase of digital products. This includes music, video streaming services, e-books, mobile apps and online gaming subscriptions.
Finally, the survey examined ways of earning money from digital platforms and apps.
The survey discovered that nearly 80 percent of Canadians 18 and older used free versions or purchased digital products between July 2017 and June 2018.
Over that same period, 28 percent of Canadian adults reported making money through online platforms. The most common way of making money was through selling new or used products. This includes online bulletin boards like Kijiji, eBay and Etsy.
Those who sold online products made $4.9 billion in the last 12 months, averaging about $722 per person.
Alternatively, Canadians made money online providing freelance services, posting creative content like YouTube videos and offering peer-to-peer ride, delivery or accommodation services.
Canadians spent over $8 billion on digital products
On average, Canadians spent $412 per person on digital products between July 217 and June 2018. That totals up to $8.1 billion.
Men spent more than women, averaging $505 to women’s $312. Additionally, Canadians with annual incomes of more than $100,000 spent roughly 50 percent more.
Furthermore, nearly two-thirds of Canadians used free or purchased video downloads or streaming services. Digital video product purchases totalled $2 billion.
However, Canadians spent more on computer software, mobile apps and other online products. Totalling $3.1 billion, Canadians spent on average $258 per person. Canadians aged 18 to 24 spent double on average what those over 65 spent.
Men also spent more, averaging $316 compared to women’s $192.
Additionally, Canadians spent $1.1 billion on digital music. The average buyer spent $111. Interestingly, those aged 18 to 24 spent the least on music, averaging $97. Canadians aged 45 to 54 spent the most, averaging $133.
Finally, e-books were the biggest section of digital reading products purchased by Canadians, totalling $0.7 billion. There was little difference in spending between gender, age or income groups.
Online gaming is huge with young men
Canadians spent $1.4 billion on online gaming. While 31 percent of Canadians aged 18 and up used free or purchased online game downloads, subscriptions or in-game items.
However, young men dominated the category, with 78 percent aged 18 to 24 using or purchasing online games. On average they spent $380.
27 percent of women in the same age group used or purchased online games. On average, they spent $101 per person.
Young Canadians use more
Unsurprisingly, young Canadians use free or paid digital products far more than older Canadians. The survey found 90 percent of those aged 18 to 44 used free or purchased digital products compared to 51 percent of those aged 65 and older.
Young Canadians are also more likely to purchase or use digital music. 82 percent of those aged 18 to 24 purchased or used streaming services or downloads. That number fell to 18 percent for those over the age of 65.
You can read the full survey details on the Statistics Canada website.