Canada’s online ad revenue growing like a bat out of hell, swiftly gaining on print ad revenue

The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB) recently announced that Canadian online advertising revenues for 2009 exceeded budgeted expectations. The expected revenue was already optimistic at $1.75 billion, but real revenues grew by 14% to reach $1.82 billion for the year.

This revenue has grown by 10% or more in 9 out of the past 10 years. It was less than $100 million in 2000, but it’s now swiftly gaining on print ad revenue.

Online video advertising shot up from $12 million in 2008 to $20 million last year. Email advertising waned, dropping from $18 million to $13 million over the two-year period. Video game advertising is a brand new category for 2009, and it opened with a revenue of $3 million. This is expected to grow steadily.

The most popular category for advertising was automobiles (12%), surprisingly, followed by packaged goods (10%), with financial services in third place (9%). Technology, retail, and communications weren’t far behind (7%, 5%, and 5%), with entertainment, leisure, media and health (5%, 5%, 4%, and 2%) rounding out the top 10.

Publishers within IAB Canada’s Annual Revenue Survey have projected that their revenues will continue to grow at an enviable pace. Online advertising revenue in Canada is estimated to be $2.1 billion in 2010, which would equate to 15% growth from 2009. 

“It seems incredible that after passing the $1 billion revenue mark just two years ago—and after the worst recession in history—internet advertising in Canada is poised to break through to the $2 billion mark in 2010,” says Paula Gignac, President of IAB Canada.

“What’s even more impressive,” Paula added, “is that Internet advertising in Canada has grown at a double-digit rate in the face of low, no, or negative growth in other countries. To me, that’s a testament to both the rising importance of the Internet within the total media mix, and the growing expertise in Interactive marketing within the Canadian advertising community. Clearly, the few advertising pioneers of yesterday have now been joined by a mass of companies who have not only made the jump to Interactive, but who are also increasing their investment based on positive brand and direct results from the various channels within.”