Programmatic to dominate in Canada by 2020: study

However, according to Zenith, programmatic TV is still at least a few years away.
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Zenith predicts that in 2020, 98.6% of Canadian display ad dollars will be spent programmatically.

That’s a higher share than any other country tracked in the company’s newest Global Programmatic Ad Spend Forecast.

Zenith’s report estimates that Canadian advertisers will spend $2.35 billion on display ads in 2020, with $2.31 billion of that being programmatic. That’s up from an estimated $2 billion this year (with $1.6 billion, or 81.8%, being programmatic).

While Canada has a higher share of programmatic dollars than any other nation, its total display advertising market is still modest compared to markets like China (US$25.11 billion), France ($1.97 billion) and Germany ($3.94 billion). Overall in 2018, Canada (which has a US equivalent of $1.5 billion in display ad spend this year) has the eighth-highest display ad spend of all tracked countries.

Of the top-10 highest spending countries, the growth rate of Canada’s overall display market is also modest. From the years tracked (2012 to 2020), Canada’s digital ad spend shows a growth rate of 240%, putting it ahead of only Italy (193%) and the Netherlands (205%).

Canada’s growth in programmatic ad spend, however, is higher, tracked at 473% (putting it ahead of the Netherlands as well as more advanced markets like the U.S. and the U.K.). The fastest-growing programmatic market is China, which is predicted to see 1,917% growth by 2020.

Digital video ad spend in Canada is currently estimated at CA$493.9 million and is predicted to grow to $603.3 million in 2020. Of that total, $436.2 million (72%) will be bought programmatically.

The majority of Canadian programmatic transactions take place on an open exchange ($962.5 million in 2018) and that trend will continue into 2020 ($1.3 billion). Private marketplace deals currently make up $641.7 million of Canada’s programmatic ad spend and are predicted to grow to $879 million in two years. In 2019, guaranteed sales will emerge as a form of programmatic buying and will take in an estimated $74.4 million, growing to $92.5 million the next year.

Zenith also predicts that in 2019, radio and OOH will emerge as new platforms for programmatic spending, with radio taking in $7.4 million in programmatic ad dollars that year and growing to $7.5 million the next. OOH will see a slightly higher value, at $23 million next year and $23.3 million the following.

Although Canada’s digital market is modest compared to other countries, adoption of programmatic is high and the process of “demystifying the negative perception of programmatic ads” (such as effects on brand safety) has been successful and driven growth, Zenith says.

With the exception of OOH, there are “no true programmatic opportunities” in traditional media in the Canadian market, according to Zenith: “While traditional broadcasters are attempting to put forth programming offerings for TV, this remains in the early testing phases.” The company does not expect to see programmatic-style ad products in the Canadian TV market before 2021.