Go Canada – The Future of Television

Toronto was a buzz with the Future of Television this week. IAB Canada was on the ground at the event alongside many of our members. The agenda focused on one of the fastest growing mediums in the mix and over the course of the day, we took some notes for those who were unable to attend. 

Linear is Not Dead and Streaming is Alive and Well 

While the impact of cord cutting has been debated, Canadians are still watching an average of 4.5 hours of television per day. The CRTC states that 10.3 million Canadian households have a paid TV subscription today. With a reported triple-digit growth of streaming audiences in Canada, it’s clear that we are not watching less TV and rather, just using different devices to access the content.  

Today’s planners are looking beyond the set top box to find their audiences and according to IAB Canada’s annual revenue study we have noted over 20% increase in video spend year over year – largely due to that fact. In one way or another, CTV is on everybody’s plan, and with the recent news of Netflix’s new ad-supported platform, this is not going to change anytime soon. 

Standards Need to be the Focus 

We noted that the definition of CTV prompted a lot of questions this week and the need for a comprehensive answer was clearly in demand. Additionally, for investment in media and creative to be fully realized, shared standards and ad sizes across properties, along with interoperable reporting, remains firmly on the buy-side wish list. Reminiscent of the early days of banner ads, with time we will get there and supply-side associations like IAB Canada and others are rolling up their sleeves to crack on these. We’ve seen great progress already through efforts coming out of the IAB Tech Lab.  

Buy-side Support of Platform Innovation is Key 

Many CTV players hit yesterday’s stage presenting their innovative solutions. We heard a consistent call for brands and buyers to put their money behind the products being offered up. New solutions such as Corus’ free streaming Pluto TV , new services from Bell and Rogers as well as foreign offerings like Tubi are hitting the market. These “start-ups” are designed to fill the demand from the buy side and this creativity and innovation has a cost; putting money where our demands are by supporting existing solutions is now possible. IAB Canada took note of the need for greater awareness of these exciting new developments required in the Canadian marketplace. 

A Round of Applause for Canada 

We’ve got a long way to go but the Canadian media industry was applauded for the strides they have taken towards collectively shaping the Future of Television. We have a truly collaborative and committed group of people working together to support our local market and were thrilled to see so many or our own members hitting the stage. This effort was not lost on anyone and a collective high-five was given at the end of the day to the hundreds of attendees.  

To continue the discussion on where video is heading, we encourage you to join the conversation at IAB Canada by reaching out to committees@iabcanada.com