How media was consumed in 2015: report

Mobile and internet ad revenue is underdeveloped and 40% of internet time remains buried according to IAB Canada's 2015 Canadian Media Usage Trends Report.

ad blockingWhat does the nation’s media landscape look like? If you ask Rob Young, director of insights and analytics, at PHD Canada, he can give you some of those answers visually by pairing buzzwords with arresting images of Canadian landscape and abstract artwork.

Ever wondered how ad blocking can be represented on a blank canvas? Take a look (see image, right).

The images correlate to an extensive annual analysis by the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada on Canadian media usage trends. The report, which is in its 12th year of publication, was released today at the third annual IAB Metrics and Annual General Meeting. It includes several new issues this year such as ad blocking, “simulmedia” (the intersection of TV and the internet) and looming fears of cord-cutting. The report also shows that marketers aren’t giving enough attention to mobile and internet video, where consumers are spending a chunk of their time.

IAB Canada’s president Sonia Carreno says that the report is important because it is the only Canadian report documenting consumers’ changing media consumption habits across all devices. “Since 2004, the study has tracked the migration to digital, the penetration of mobile and other devices and this year we are excited to include the Internet of Things (IOT) as part of the analysis.”

Carreno says that the study, when combined with IAB Canada’s Annual Revenue Survey, gives publishers, advertisers and marketers the data they need to strategize, plan and execute investments in the digital space.

The report also examined the burgeoning wearables space, along with car connectivity and smart TV connectivity. All three are growing areas for consumer time spend on internet-connected devices, with the three collectively making up 50% of the usage for adults over 18.

According to the IAB, TV still dominates all mediums with a 98% total Canada weekly reach. The report compares numbers from 2001 and 2015 and shows that, with the exception of TV, offline media has seen a decline in weekly reach, with newspapers and magazines taking the biggest hit. Newspaper’s weekly reach dropped from 82% to 62% in that period, with magazine reach dropping from 73% to 49%.

TV’s growth of 2%, however, can be partially attributed to changes in PPM’s survey methodology. Online media reach, meanwhile, saw double digit growth during that same period going from 52% weekly reach for the 18-plus market to 81%.

That number, says Rob Young, is lower than it should be because of “unearthed time,” which is time not measured by ComScore. That number – estimated at 40% – is unchanged from last year’s report. Overall, weekly time counts for TV and radio have gone up between 2001 and 2015 with 1740 weekly minutes being spent on TV per capita. That audience skews towards the 55-plus in both English and French markets. Internet’s weekly minutes market grew from 311 minutes to 1,244 minutes overall, with millennials making up the biggest part of that audience.

The report also determines how much time people spent with commercials. Those results match well against revenue-per-minute of tuning for TV, radio and the internet. According to the report time spent with commercials on TV was 64% next to 65% revenue earned; 31% of commercial time with radio next to 30% revenue and 5% for commercial time and revenue on the internet.

Revenue for mobile and internet video, however does not match consumption patterns. Canadian adults spend 23% of their total media time with mobile internet and 17% with internet video. However, only 8% and 2% of total ad budgets, respectively, are directed at those mediums.

Young identifies a few areas of concern for mobile and internet video. For mobile, he says there is a lack of mobile-specific website design, units are small and ad blocking is a concern. However, mobile is an under-utilised space that offers reach and more focused messaging. Meanwhile, while internet video has undesirable content, there is the issue of target rating points and ad aversion by consumers, opportunities exist here too. Internet video is uncluttered, can be bought through programmatic channels and involves multiple partners.  

Ad blocking continues to impact display ad impressions but does not impact campaign delivery. The report shows a 30% drop in display ad impressions on desktop and laptop between August 2013 and August 2015. That is likely attributable to a study by Page Fair in partnership with Adobe that shows 20% penetration of ad blocking across Canada.

Mobile is where the most unearthed time is expected. While publishers began to tag their mobile video content this year, data from that on ComScore is still slim. Unearthed time across mediums is estimated at making up 2,186 minutes per week, compared with ComScore’s 1,244 minute estimate for internet time share; 1,223 minutes of that time is attributable to mobile non-video (723 minutes) and video (500) according to the report.

The report also documents a rise in the use of Connected TV and measures the grey area of simulmedia (duplicated time based on MTM’s 2015 survey that shows 51% of the Canadian TV viewers access the internet at the same time as they are watching a show). Based on those numbers unduplicated media time consumption shows little change between 2001 and 2015.

Cord-nevers and the tuned-out (those who never use cable) make up 19% of the overall 18+ market, with less people joining the cord-cutters ranks in French Canada (11%) compared with English Canada (15%). Young attributes this to French Canada having pick-and-pay cable options, and estimates a fall in the cord-cutter numbers once pick-and-pay is introduced in English Canada next year.

IAB Canada will be presenting the French Canadian portion in Montreal in January 2016.