Canadian Online Advertising: “A Paradox”

Ever wondered why Canada’s online advertising market is lagging behind the U.S.? eMarketer is puzzled as well, although there are signs of life.

“Canada’s online development has been a paradox, The country has one of the best broadband infrastructures in the world and higher household Internet penetration than the United States. The online population is engaged, tech-savvy and independent-minded. Canada is home to a cutting-edge computer games industry, assisted by substantial tax breaks. The size of the country and its pioneer heritage encourage efficiency and progressive thinking. Yet Canadian companies have generally been slow to advertise online.”

- Karin von Abrams, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report Canada Online Advertising.

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  • Nav

    It seems that content delivery is in the same paradox – high broadband use, voracious content consumption and yet, no iTunes movies and TV shows or any other such service. Microsoft’s Live Marketplace will likely hit this year but no Canadian companies really seem to be ready to dive in headfirst. The most progressive company out there seems to be CTV, who have Corner Gas and other shows on their site to stream.

    Btw, *so* glad to read a good Canadian tech/media blog – thanks so much for this.

  • Myk

    Unfortunately, it seems that “Corner Gas” and “Little Mosque” is the perception of the the central Canada kids that control the marketing for most of Canada. I’m in BC, and do most of my shopping online now. I always check the “Pages from Canada” choice on iGoogle before doing that, but I seldom get what I want. I’m not interested in movies, music or TV shows, but last year we bought family things (books, educational material, clothes and gifts) over C$7,000.00.

    That’s 7,142.35 USD. (I love doing that!)

  • Craig Saila

    The paradox may also be explained in the advertising being analyzed — the figures presented exclude online video.

    The most interesting piece of the article for me, though, was hidden in one of the charts. Although online ad spending is predicted to treble its 2006 value by 2011, the rate of year-over-year growth looks to be continually slowing. In 2006 it was 80%, 2007, 37%, and in 2011 it’s pegged at 16%.

  • Mark Evans

    Craig: I wonder how much online video advertising is actually being done in Canada.

  • Craig Saila

    I’ve not seen any solid stats for it (and I presume eMarketer was accounting for video in traditional ad units), but I do know advertisers are chomping at the bits for it (YouTube Canada most likely arose because of that).

    As well the number of online publications offering video content has grown dramatically in the past year and a bit.

  • Markus

    There are no major Canadian internet companies. Other than Plentyoffish, Nexopia and network what is there? All the other sites are US owned and don’t have a large ad sales force going out and rounding up advertisers.

  • Mark Evans

    Markus: What about the Canadian arms of Yahoo, AOL and Google? Surely, they’re trying to convince Canadian advertisers to spend some of their money on the Web.