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Revenue and expenses drop for Canada's film, television and video distribution industry in 2019

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Released: 2021-02-18

Operating revenue, film, television and video distribution

$ 1.8 billion


-15.6% decrease

(period-to-period change)

In 2019, the film and video distribution industry generated total operating revenue of $1.8 billion. This was down 15.6% from 2017 as a result of the market evolving and restructuring of the industry. The industry has been experiencing a shift as it reacts to the changing ways Canadians consume film and video content. The conventional television market continued to make up the largest portion of the industry, accounting for 35.8% of revenues, followed by the theatrical market, at 29.2%. Although video-on-demand services (22.4%) made up a smaller portion of the industry, it was the only revenue stream that grew from 2017 to 2019 (+2.1%).

Over the same period, operating expenses decreased 16.9%, to $1.7 billion. Accordingly, the operating profit margin increased from 4.7% in 2017 to 6.1% in 2019.

The film and video distribution industry is highly concentrated in some areas of the country—Ontario accounted for 88.0% of the industry's revenue, followed by Quebec (7.3%).

The distribution of film and video titles generated $1.5 billion. Non-Canadian productions accounted for $1.3 billion, or 84.9%, of total distribution revenue, while Canadian productions contributed the remaining $231.7 million from sales.

The COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for many cultural industries, including film and video distribution. A considerable portion of the industry's revenue comes from the distribution of products to the theatrical market. Consequently, the postponement of many blockbuster premieres and stay-at-home measures disrupted movie theatre revenues. Some distributors, however, were able to shift their focus towards streaming and video-on-demand services, another significant source of revenue and a trend that only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the theatrical market is able to operate again without restrictions, it will continue to compete with the expanding digitization of the industry and at-home options for consuming movies and other entertainment.

  Note to readers

Data for 2015 and 2017 have been revised.

These and other data related to the arts, culture, heritage and sport sector can be found in the Culture statistics portal.

The data for reference year 2019 were collected during the spring and summer of 2020. This collection period includes events and business disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and, in general, response rates were lower. As a result, there may be larger-than-usual revisions to the data in future releases. For more information on data quality and revisions, refer to 2414 – Survey of Service Industries: Film and Video Distribution.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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