Digital ad spend to reach $8.3B in Canada: WPP

•Total Canadian media spend to hit $15.2 billion

•Digital will represent 55.2% of all spend

•Print revenue down to $1.4 billion; Globe & Mail and La Presse are ‘innovators’

Digital—particularly Google and Facebook—will continue to pace Canadian marketing investment in the coming year according to the latest ad spend forecast from WPP.

The global holding company’s latest “This Year Next Year” report pegs digital advertising to grow by $1 billion to $8.3 billion, representing more than half (55.2%) of the total projected marketing spend of $15.2 billion.

The report also paints a grim picture for Canada’s TV industry, which continues to shed both viewers and advertisers. TV audiences dropped 10% during the fall 2017 period, a trend that continued in 2018.

Revenues for streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon, meanwhile, grew by 29% to $872 million, with cable and satellite revenues falling 2% to $8.74 billion.

music old radio speaker
Photo by SplitShire on

Radio revenues are expected to remain flat at about $1.5 billion, with WPP noting that the medium continues to benefit from being free-to-air and locally focused. Broadcasters are also capturing a share of digital ad dollars through extensions such as websites, aggregators like iHeartRadio and Radioplayer Canada, and continued integration with smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Print continues its steady decline, with revenues expected to fall to $1.4 billion in 2019. The report identifies The Globe and Mail and La Presse as “innovators” who are successfully enduring the pressures being brought to bear by digital, the Globe by refreshing its web operations and halting print distribution in Eastern Canada, La Presse by adopting a fully digital model.

The report also notes that agencies and digital publishers remain on “high alert” for new platforms from companies like Accenture and Adobe.


Leave a Reply