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Digital advertising in Canada - statistics & facts

Digital advertising has become one of the most important forms of marketing worldwide. With internet penetration rates surging and digital content as ubiquitous and widespread as ever, marketing experts are increasingly focusing on digital channels to promote their businesses. This global trend is particularly evident in Canada, one of the largest advertising markets in the world. In 2020, advertisers spent approximately 8.45 billion Canadian dollars on digital ad campaigns, and by 2024, digital ad expenditure in Canada is set to surpass the 12-billion-dollar mark.

Overview of the Canadian market

Compared with the United States, Canada only accounts for a small share of total digital ad spending in North America. Nevertheless, Canada’s advertising industry continuously increases online ad investments and maximizes internet ad revenue. This commitment to digital promotion reflects one of the most visible shifts in consumer behavior, namely the transition from traditional to digital media formats. As Canadian consumers are spending more time online, advertisers have come to allocate more than half of their advertising budgets towards digital campaigns. Today, Canada ranks among the leading digital ad markets worldwide, with industries such as retail, finance, and automobile paving the way.

What are the most popular digital ad formats in Canada?

Over the past few years, search advertising has been the leading digital advertising format in Canada, accounting for almost 50 percent of the country’s total digital ad spend. Considering that search engines such as Google have become the first point of call for internet users across the globe, it comes as no surprise that marketers are directing both focus and ad dollars towards these platforms. While search advertising revenue in Canada continues to grow, online video advertising is currently experiencing the highest surge in advertising spending, as video platforms and online streaming services are becoming vastly popular among Canadian internet users.

Mobile advertising trends

As an ever-increasing share of internet traffic is generated via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, mobile marketing initiatives have become an essential tool for marketers around the world. In Canada, where the number of mobile internet users is set to surpass 30 million in 2021, the mobile revolution has also significantly affected the allocation of advertising funds. In 2020, mobile advertising spending in Canada reached an estimated 7.29 billion Canadian dollars, and while this figure does not compare to the amount of mobile ad spend in the United States, Canada’s visible focus on mobile advertising channels will likely pay off in the future. With more than 76 percent of total ad spend directed towards mobile, Canada already ranks among the countries with the highest share of mobile in digital ad spend worldwide.

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Digital advertising in Canada

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