2019 Internet Advertising Revenue Indicates Mobile & Video Rise to Meet Audience

IAB Canada released the 2019 Digital Ad Revenue Survey results this week.

Actual total Internet revenue is up +15% to $8.8 billion in 2019 vs the +11% forecast of $8.5 billion, a bit faster than 2018’s 12% increase, in a decade of double-digit growth. French language Internet ad revenue grew 16% to 1.5 billion, maintaining its 17% share of Total Canada.

Mobile continues to drive Internet expansion in 2019, up this year by 24% to $5.9 billion, accounting for almost all new revenue. Mobile’s share of Internet revenues has risen to 68%, up from 63% in 2018.

Digital Video spiked +41% from $1.8 to $2.6 billion in 2019, over 2.5x faster than total Internet ad revenues, surging past its 2018 near-tie with Display, which sits at 1.9 billion in 2019. The largest format Search grew +14% to $4.2 billion.

The growth of Digital Video in 2019, drove its share of Internet revenue up to 29%, from 24% in 2018. Search share remained stable at 48%. A similar pattern is at work with Mobile Video, which spiked by +52% in 2019, over 2x faster than total Mobile ad growth, jumping its share from 30% to 36% of Mobile revenue.

Programmatic revenues increased 15% to $1.6 billion in 2019 from $1.4 billion. The still dominant transaction-type of Open Auction is very gradually losing share to Programmatic Direct, now 71% / 29% respectively vs 77% / 23% two years ago. (Note: excludes search and social media).

Of the 15 Advertiser Categories reported annually, two of the top-4 reported industries have consistently included Automotive and Financial since 2015. Packaged Goods continues in the top-4 from last year, while Retail has replaced Technology, taking first place at an unprecedented 21%.

Revenue share concentration among the Top-10 / Top-20 survey respondents remained stable at 90% / 93% respectively in 2019, after edging up in previous years.

Actual Internet revenues of domestic Canadian Publishers dropped 12% from $1 billion ($999 mil.) in 2018, down to $0.9 billion ($879 mil.) in 2019, half of the decline attributed to one leading Canadian publisher. Canadian Publishers’ share of Total Canada Internet dollars contracted from 13% down to 10%, due to a Mobile revenue decline in the face of Total Canada’s Mobile growth. Share of Total Programmatic remained stable (11%), with Programmatic Direct much more prevalent among Canadian Publishers, than the industry.

While the 2019 report does not include a forecast for 2020 due to Covid-19 uncertainties, the results provide a reliable basis for projections and IAB Canada is currently working on estimates for 2020 in a separate report.

The results of IAB Canada’s Annual Canadian Internet Advertising Revenue Surveys are based on data compiled directly from information supplied by Publishers who sell advertising on Canadian Websites. Also polled are search, social and video sharing Content Platforms plus Online/Mobile Ad Networks and Exchanges/SSPs, that sell advertising on both the Canadian and U.S./other foreign Websites they represent to reach Canadians.

At IAB Canada, our active community of publishers, marketers, ad technology firms and agencies continue to collaborate and innovate with passion and commitment to drive responsible growth of this dynamic industry. We look forward to helping drive the Canadian Digital Media industry forward through our continued focus on solutions-based thought leadership.