What hot trends did IAB Canada’s 2019 Revenue Study Reveal?

The released survey is, as per usual, a hefty document filled with gems that delve into how internet advertising is tracking; you can find the entire 36-page document here.

If you don’t have time to dig into the glorious nitty gritty nerdy details (make a bookmark for later!), or if you’re new to the digital world of advertising have no fear!

Hereunder is a bite-sized helping of information to either:

  1. give you a quick snippet of trends (since you’re already pretty proficient at digital marketing), or
  2. prove to you that the time is right to throw your advertising dollars into the ring!


  • Actual total revenue was up 15% to $8.8 billion (7% higher than the $8.5 billion forecast), outpacing 2018’s already impressive YOY increase by 3%;
  • Mobile continues to drive Internet expansion and is up this year by 24% (I like to think of this as being akin to the limitless expansion of the universe here on earth);
  • Digital Video spiked by 41% (O.M.G!);
  • Search share remained stable;
  • Display shrank from 25% to 21%;
  • French language ads also trended upwards in terms of revenue, allowing it to maintain its 17% share of Total Canada.

No analysis would be complete without the visual element of seeing where trends have been tracking between Digital and Traditional Media, however, since 2020 has been heavily impacted by COVID-19, data inconsistencies with regards to the trends above are possible (perhaps even likely) before course-correcting into the new decade.

Some tidbits that can be further gleaned from the report are:

  • that over the last five years, Mobile is increasingly eating into desktop’s revenue ratio; and
  • that Video has grown faster over the last five years than the other top 2 formats (Search and Display). In fact, and though it’s too early to predict a definitive trend, Display ads appear to be slowly losing ad share.

Based on YOY ad revenue trends, Internet spending looks to be heading towards creative that is dynamic for people on the go who primarily use their phones or tablets to access online ecosystems.

To experienced digital marketers, this is not a surprise since increased data plans are helping to position this trend.

However, if you’re an advertiser navigating the digital landscape on your own, you’re probably saying to yourself, “That’s good to know! But it’s also a little intimidating. How can I tap into the infinite expanse of the internet? With magic?”

The answer, it turns out, is “easy.” Jay Aber, President & Founder of The Aber Group Inc. is quoted in the report as saying, “… Media platform research and my own years of experience agree – at least 50% of digital advertising effectiveness is due to the creative execution and strategy.”

Having an easy answer is great news!

What’s even better is that as an advertiser, you probably already have an idea of what works creatively based on your previous marketing experience in Traditional Media.

Throwing yourself into the digital landscape where your clients are should be looked at as an exciting adventure! And with an experienced partner like DSA Media, who can provide insights and navigate what strategies will get your marketing campaign seen, you’ll soon see returns on your investment.

Reach out today! We’d be proud to be in your corner.