Growth in Canadian ad spend to slow across most media: study

In eMarketer's most recent round of Canadian predictions, growth was found in digital, out-of-home, TV and radio - but most of that growth will either be flat or decrease over time.

Research firm eMarketer has released its most recent round ad spend growth predictions — and in Canada, while most media will see growth for the next three years, that growth is set to slow in almost all areas.

Overall, Canada’s advertising expenditures for 2016 totaled just over $10.1 billion, with digital taking the lion’s share of spend at 40.57% ($4.1 billion). The next largest area of spend was television at $2.5 billion, followed by print newspapers at $1.4 billion.

By 2020, the country’s advertising market will reach just under $12.8 billion, with digital representing more than half of the spend ($6.8 billion).

But when it comes to media investment, the market overall could be headed for a slowdown, according to eMarketer’s predictions over time. The slowed growth is a similar story to that told by Zenith’s most recent global ad spend forecast, which showed that Canada will be outpaced on growth by other countries in the coming years.

For media currently predicted to experience growth (out-of-home, digital, television and radio), that growth is still expected to either stay flat (radio and television will hover around 1% year-over-year growth for the next three years) or slow down. For example, digital spend is expected to go up 16% year-over-year between 2016 and 2017, but that growth is expected to gradually slow until 2020, when it will grow by 10.5% year-over-year.

Although advertising in print newspapers and magazines is still declining, the rate at which spend is decreasing is expected to slow for both. By 2020, print newspapers and magazines will see decreases of 2% and 1% respectively. The chart displaying the rate of change is included below:

Most of the growth in digital will mainly be helped by mobile — when breaking down mobile versus non-mobile, eMarketer’s predictions found that spend in non-mobile digital will actually go down over the years, dipping as low as a 16.61% decrease year-over-year (2018) before rebounding upward and finally making gains again in 2020 (when it’s predicted to rise 12%). Mobile, meanwhile, will post big gains in the next few years, although growth will still slow to 12% by 2020.

Mobile will progressively represent a larger and larger chunk of digital ad spend in the next three years. In 2016, with a total estimated spend of $2.02 billion, mobile ad spend represents 49% of digital spend. By 2020, at $5.25 billion in spend, it will represent nearly 77% of ad spend, just shy of the U.S.’s 79.2%. The growth, says eMarketer, is caused by wider availability of smartphones and an increase in mobile-first media creation.

As for TV, eMarketer believes the growing rate of cord-cutting is offset by the rise in innovations such as programmatic television, driving up demand slightly. In 2016, television spending was clocked at $2.46 billion. By 2020, those expenditures will climb to $2.57 billion.

Photo by Matthew Guay, courtesy of Unsplash