Exciting year for Canadian Media Practitioners

Our latest eBook explores the key Canadian media investment trends over the past seven years and investigates what these trends mean for the future of the Canadian media marketplace. We wanted to give our readers the most up-to-date information on Canadian ad spending coupled with exclusive insights in one concise guide. Our goal is to save you several hours of Googling and downloading various industry reports in preparation for your 2016 advertising plan.

We think 2016 is going to be a really exciting year for Canadian media practitioners. There’s a lot going on in terms of new technology adoption, new consumption trends, and innovative ways to reach consumers.

When it comes to ad spending, a lot has changed over the last seven years. We’ve witnessed ad budgets flowing into digital (online and mobile) advertising at an accelerating rate, while spending on traditional ad channels like newspaper and magazines has declined.

And while they haven’t experienced the same level of exuberance as online and mobile advertising, radio and out-of-home ad spending have been growing steadily since 2007.

But the whole story is a little more complicated.

All of the traditional media channels (TV, digital, radio, newspaper, magazine, out-of-home) are evolving, and the lines between them are blurring.

For instance, the TV industry has been fractured into several sub-industries, namely traditional TV from cable and satellite service providers, and free or subscription based online TV from services like Hulu or Netflix. And more and more high-quality content is being produced primarily for streaming services; even mainstream TV networks have moved some of their programming online.

Radio is facing a digital transformation as well, with the growth of podcasts, online streaming services, and satellite radio services; static out-of-home properties are being replaced with digital boards that have video and interactive capabilities, and are successfully merging the physical world with the digital realm through touchscreen interactions and connectivity to mobile apps; and finally, the digital spending landscape itself is quickly shifting toward more mobile ad spending over desktop ads due to the fact that users are increasingly consuming content on their mobile devices (smartphones and tablets).

But some things haven’t changed: local radio stations, out-of-home, and community newspapers are still great avenues for targeted local ads; and traditional TV is still the dominant ad revenue generator in the TV industry.

Where is Ad Spending Heading?

While overall spending growth has been relatively modest over the last seven years, we’re expecting ad spending to pick up over the next few years.

By 2018, we’ll likely see a 22% growth over 2014 spending levels to a total of $14.7 billion. The majority of this spending growth is going to come from digital ad budgets: namely mobile, which is on track to reach $4.1 billion by 2018 (a 356% growth over 2014 levels). We’re also expecting TV advertisements to remain as prominent as they are today, and radio & out-of-home budgets should increase moderately as they have before.

U.S. vs. Canada

On the surface, it would seem safe to assume that advertising in Canada is pretty much the same as advertising in the US. But, as we’ve discussed in our blog before, there’s a lot that you need to know before taking your US brand to the Canadian market.

In terms of media investments, TV advertisements are more important in the US than they are in Canada, and online advertising is more prominent in Canada than in the US. This is a direct reflection of the slight differences in how Canadians and Americans consume media. If you’re thinking about advertising in Canada, you might want to put more emphasis on your digital efforts.

There are also important differences in the types of advertisements that you’ll see in each country. For example, in Canada, ad spending is heavily weighted toward a handful of dominant industries, including consumer packaged goods, auto, retail, and financial services.

In the US, retail ad spending takes by far the greatest share, but the rest of the ad spending in the country is distributed across a wide range of industries, such as financial services, auto, telecom, and travel.

Technological Improvements in Canadian Advertising

The programmatic tide is coming to Canada.

While the country is a little bit behind the US in terms of technology adoption, a desire for greater ad transparency is driving a rapid uptake of programmatic digital, display, and even audio ads.

And when we say rapid, we’re not exaggerating: advertisers are expected to spend $880 million on programmatic digital display ads in 2015 — a 62% increase over 2014 spending levels. That means that in 2015, programmatic ads will represent almost half of all digital ads sold in Canada.

Who’s providing programmatic technology in Canada?

There aren’t as many technology providers as in the US, but Canada has a growing programmatic technology industry. Some of the leading providers include EyeReturn Marketing (a Media-Corps partner), Chango, Doubleclick Bid, Manager by Google, MediaMath, and more.

Looking for more Insights?

Download our FREE eBook for more Canadian media investment data and insights, including:

  • Forecasts from key industry players and Canadian media industry experts
  • In-depth analyses of the evolving Internet and TV advertising industries
  • A look at the top media companies in Canada and their most important sources of revenue

Stay on top of the latest media investment trends Download our free guide today.