Banks and cars make up nearly half of programmatic video spend

SMI data also finds that CPMs for podcasts are nearly double the rest of streaming audio

Financial services and auto advertisers are driving programmatic in-stream video spend in Canada. Last week, Standard Media Index introduced its Canadian Pricing Intelligence Suite, which aims to give local media agencies and advertisers accurate pricing insights across screens, providing pricing transparency on both the buy and sell-side.

Using the pricing intelligence suite, SMI found that third-party programmatic CPMs average $18 on in-stream video, with the majority of spend driven by financial services and insurance, as well as automotive advertisers. Those advertisers represent 43% of all programmatic in-stream video spend.

“Financial services and automotive advertisers are within the top five advertising categories in Canada as is when it comes to digital. So it’s not surprising that they will be the two leading ones when it comes to programmatic video,” says Darrick Li, managing director of Canada at SMI.

“I think [what] stood out here to me, specifically for automotive, was that they have always leveraged linear TV as a media channel to get their messages out. And one of the big shifts that is happening across the industry, regardless of category, is that advertisers are evaluating and they’re at an intersection, deciding on whether they want to choose linear TV, or OTT and online video.”

Automotive advertisers, who were impacted by the pandemic and supply chain issues, have opted to go towards the digital in-stream video option, Li explains.

“The CPMs are comparatively much lower and especially when you look at programmatic means of buying, when you’re looking at an average CPM of $18, when TV CPMs could range between $20 and $30. If you’re looking at a prime target in conventional, that’s going to be a much more attractive CPM for that particular category.”

 SMI also found that much like in the U.S., the consumption of podcasts has accelerated in Canada and as result, Canadian advertisers are paying similarly high pricing as neighbours to the south to reach engaged audiences. Podcast CPMs are almost double that of streaming audio CPMs right now, with podcast CPMs reaching $28 in 2021. Li says that’s likely driven by the scarcity of podcast inventory available compared to other streaming channels.

While podcasts have been around for years, audiences have grown considerably over the last two years. And as a result, platforms and podcast publishers are trying to find ways to build more opportunities for ad inventory.

“There’s not a lot of inventory and as a result, that scarcity creates a high price because the spend is very high,” he says.