Media Room




Toronto, September 11, 2014 – Hot Docs is pleased to release Learning from Documentary Audiences: A Market Research Study, a major survey of documentary viewing habits in Canada supported by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), Telefilm Canada, the National Film Board (NFB) and the Canada Media Fund (CMF). Drawn from thousands of completed questionnaires and a five-city focus group tour, results of the study were presented yesterday at the 2014 TIFF Doc Conference by Hot Docs industry programs director Elizabeth Radshaw.

“Studying the documentary audience is critical to inspire new strategies for our industry, inform new policies for our government and open new opportunities for funding,” said Elizabeth Radshaw. “The act of talking to the audience is vital to shaping our understanding of the marketplace. Documentaries are like any other product and as an industry we need to understand our customer—the audience.”

Intended to help inform filmmaker, distributor and exhibitor strategies for increasing documentary viewership, the study identifies three market segments amongst Canadian documentary viewers, and offers insights into how documentaries are ‘discovered,’ on which platforms they are viewed, and the willingness of audiences to pay for online documentary content.

The study suggests evidence of an increasing demand for documentaries among viewers. From a distribution perspective, this suggests a growing need for release strategies that make documentaries available to audiences in a timely manner and on multiple platforms, and that employ tools that facilitate greater opportunities to engage with new audiences.

Learning from Documentary Audiences: A Market Research Study can be read in full online.

Commissioned by Hot Docs, Learning from Documentary Audiences: A Market Research Study is supported by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), Telefilm Canada, the National Film Board (NFB) and the Canada Media Fund (CMF).


Hot Docs (, North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, will present its 22nd annual edition from April 23 – May 3, 2015. An outstanding selection of approximately 200 documentaries from Canada and around the world will be presented to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Hot Docs will also mount a full roster of conference sessions and market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs Deal Maker and The Doc Shop. In partnership with Blue Ice Group, Hot Docs operates the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood.

About the Canada Media Fund
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. Please visit The CMF’s is a website designed to showcase and celebrate Canadian creative talent and content destined for all types of screens, from television productions to games, Web content and software and applications.

Media Contacts:
Patrycja Cieniewicz
Publicity & Promotions Coordinator, Hot Docs
Phone: 416-203-2155 x292

Pierre Campeau
Communications Manager
Canada Media Fund

The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

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