Press release

11 Aug. 2021 Toronto, CA

Digital fatigue is driving 45% of Canadians to seek downtime from internet-enabled devices

Preference for centralized smart home ecosystem growing to help streamline services

Press contact
Victoria McQueen

EY Canada Team Lead, Public Relations

Leading the development and distribution of external communications and social media across Canada. Can be found by the lake in the summer and on the slopes in the winter.

Related topics TMT
  • One-in-five consumers are willing to switch broadband providers in the next year
  • 55% of respondents believe they pay too much for content they don’t watch
  • 46% say they have increased concerns around privacy and security of personal information

The EY Decoding the Digital Home Survey finds that half of Canadians are experiencing a growing reliance on the digital home as the pandemic drives a major uptick in TV and digital streaming needs and increasing internet connectivity requirements. This rise in online services from telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) providers is being met by concerns around digital fatigue, with 45% of Canadians seeking downtime from internet-enabled devices.

“Whether adding entertainment services, upping internet speed or adopting new health and education tools, Canadian consumers loaded up on online services at the start of national lockdowns and are now starting to revaluate products and services as they come out of the pandemic to help alleviate digital fatigue and minimize variable expenses,” says Rohit Puri, EY Canada Telecommunications, Media and Technology Leader. “As consumers reassess the cost and value of their services, not all TMT providers will survive the cut. Those who work collaboratively to solve fatigue challenges, while innovating to provide new whole home solution services, stand to win in the market.”

While most TMT organizations are heading into the reopening with considerable customer satisfaction to advance their momentum, one-in-five consumers are still willing to switch service providers in the next year. Price is a leading factor, with 55% saying they pay too much for content they don’t watch and 48% believe their provider isn’t doing enough to ensure they’re on the best-value deal.

“So many smart devices compete for time, budget and tech support,” explains Stuart McEwen, EY Canada TMT Business Transformation Leader. “Providers that address education gaps by offering clear guidance on how to install services and manage preferences can increase customer satisfaction. And those that go beyond typical value drivers — like speed or reliability — to deliver valuable one-stop-shop solutions for the digitally connected home can seize a huge opportunity.”

With 35% of respondents saying they prefer to get all their connectivity and content needs from a single supplier, it’s no surprise that nearly half of users favour a centralized smart home ecosystem. Beyond streamlining, they can help alleviate pain points around password and payment structures, which consumers indicate as a growing concern. The survey finds that 46% of respondents are more concerned about privacy and security of personal information since the start of the pandemic.  

“In a time of heightened privacy concern, it’s vital that companies define proper data protection mechanisms and be transparent in order to build trust and deepen relationships to strengthen customer loyalty in a sea of competition,” suggests Puri. “Providing end-to-end customer experiences that enhance cybersecurity while enabling unified support and eliminating friction points across the multitude of smart devices will be vital to help address fatigue and be a springboard to future success.”

Find more insights on consumer attitudes around digital connectivity, technology and content consumption in the EY Decoding the Digital Home Survey.

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