Canadians are rediscovering the open internet as revealed in The Trade Desk Intelligence’s Open Internet Report 2024

The Trade Desk Intelligence reveals a compelling trend in its Open Internet Report 2024: consumers are rediscovering the open internet, a vibrant realm of news websites, CTV, and podcast networks where information flows freely. This marks a shift away from the “walled gardens” of big tech platforms like Meta, Google, Apple, and Amazon that dominate the landscape of user-generated content, social media, and search. Key takeaways from the report include: 

Open Internet Offers Marketers Untapped Potential 

Research shows that Canadian consumers are changing their digital habits, and marketers may need to catch up. The majority of online time (57%) is spent on the open internet, but only 19% of advertising dollars are invested there. This is in contrast to walled gardens, where 81% of ad spend occurs despite consumers dedicating only 43% of their time. Canadian consumers (21%) are also looking to increase their media consumption on the open internet in the next year. 

Image Source – Trade Desk Intelligence Open Internet Report 2024 

Where Attention = Opportunity 

The open internet’s resurgence isn’t solely about time spent but also about quality engagement. Consumers are gravitating towards personal interest news sites, podcasts, music streaming, and CTV—all substantial elements of the open web. Younger demographics lead this trend and are increasingly subscribing to newsletters, listening to podcasts, and streaming videos online. 

While CTV is gaining much ground, with roughly 34% of 25-44 year-olds watching, a more significant increase is observed with online podcasts and music streaming with 18-24-year-old (42%) and 25-44-year-old (44%) consumers.  

This shift has diverted attention from social media, as only 27% of Canadians aged 18-24 spend time on social platforms. 

The Trust Factor 

With this shift in attention comes a greater emphasis on data privacy. Consumers are likelier to trust open internet channels like video streaming, online news, and podcasts with their personal data. This preference significantly impacts brand perception, with personal interest/entertainment websites (33%) emerging as the top channel associated with premium, credible brand advertising. 

The Takeaway 

The open internet is experiencing a renaissance fueled by evolving consumer preferences. Marketers can benefit enormously from aligning their strategies with these trends. Savvy marketers can unlock the open internet’s vast potential by focusing on the spaces where attention is high, trust is paramount, and context aligns with premium branding.