Growth and losses in Canadian ad spend to stabilize: Report

Digital will continue to grow as other media see losses, but the rates of loss and gains have become more consistent, according to Zenith.

Canada’s ad market will continue to make subtle gains over the years, driven almost entirely by gains in online advertising.

That’s according to Zenith’s latest ad forecast, which says that Canada’s ad market will end the year with $14.2 billion in investment, and eventually grow to CAD$14.9 billion by 2021.

It’s a familiar story that has been told by almost every global firm, from GroupM to eMarketer to Dentsu, for the last several years: internet advertising will continue to grow, while most “offline” forms of media show declines, some more drastic than others. The only other area expected to see growth is OOH, which will see gains of about 1% year-over-year for the next three years (eventually coming to $649 million in 2021).

But the main finding from Zenith’s report is that the growth – and shrinking – of Canada’s various media now appears to be occurring at a more predictable rate. Just as advertising as a whole will see little change in its growth rate over the next few years (first at 1.87% in 2019, followed by 2.48% and 2.32% the following two years), growth and losses in all media will stay relatively consistent over the years.

Even digital, which once increased at exponential rates, will see growth rates more consistent and steady as the market approaches saturation. According to Zenith, digital spend will grow by 5.14% this year, then by just under 5% the following two years. It will end 2021 with $8.9 billion in total investment.

That also means that the breakdown of Canada’s ad spend will see very little change over time. Last year, according to Zenith, online advertising took just over 55% of the share of Canada’s ad market, while television came in second at 23.3% and other forms of media filled out the remainder.

By 2021, digital’s share will have grown to 60.1%, with all other media shrinking their shares just slightly to accommodate. The main loss will be from magazines, which will have gone from a 1.2% share to a 0.6% share.