Canada’s Online Ad Revenue Grows 29% to $1.6B

July 30, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Agency Business | Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Financial Services | Paid Search | Radio

Canadian online ad revenue exceeded 2008 expectations of $1.5 billion by? growing 29% and surpassing the $1.6 billion mark according to a report and analysis from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) of Canada.


Publisher revenue resulting from online advertising in Canada quadrupled over the course of five years, rising from $364 million in 2004 to $1.6 billion in 2008. Of that, French Canadian online publishing properties raked in $317 million – 20% of total online ad revenue, representing 22% year-over-year growth for that subset, writes MarketingVOX.

Search advertising leads in terms of share of dollars, garnering 38% of total revenues. Search was followed closely by display (31%) and classifieds (30%).


Online video advertising rose 33% from revenues of $9 million in 2007, generating $12 million in 2008, while email advertising maintained at roughly the same revenue levels, raising $18 million.

For the first time, total revenue for all online ad media surpassed revenues in radio advertising, which was $1.55 billion for the year. Online advertising now occupies third spot in terms of both time spent by consumers with media, as well as marketing spend by advertisers, representing 11% of the combined $14 billion spent on all major media in Canada (TV, newspapers, internet, radio, Magazines and out-of-home).

Looking Ahead to 2009

Publishers surveyed projected revenues would blossom to $1.75 billion in 2009, an increase of 9.2% over 2008. This also accounts for a 7.8% increase to $342 million just for French publishers.

“Even in the face of uncertain economic conditions and continued pressure on total advertising budgets…online advertising has cemented itself as a mainstay in the overall media buy,” said Paula Gignac, president of IAB Canada. “And although 2009 has presented substantial challenges to the entire Canadian marketing community, we’re confident that online advertising will continue to grow at the projected pace.”

By category, Canadian online ad revenue was distributed as follows:


This month, comScore ranked Canada third among the top 20 countries with the most engaged social networking audience. Canadian users spend an average of 5.6 hours on socnet sites per month. They are also thought to watch the most online video, with the average user watching 10 hours over the course of a month – a 53% rise from last year.

About the report: The IAB Canada 2008 Actuals/2009 Budgeted Internet Advertising Revenue Report (pdf) is a survey of all major online publishers in Canada. Revenue data was compiled and dissected by Ernst & Young LLP.

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