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Mobile advertising is booming (but still small)

Spending on mobile advertising nearly doubled in Canada last year.


Persuasion Notebook offers quick hits on the business of persuasion from The Globe and Mail's marketing and advertising reporter, Susan Krashinsky. Read more on The Globe's marketing page and follow Susan on Twitter @Susinsky.

Spending on mobile advertising nearly doubled in Canada last year, but still accounts for just a small slice of the digital ad market.

That is according to a report released on Wednesday from the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada.

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The report states that mobile advertising revenue totalled $160-million in 2012, a 97-per-cent increase from the year before. Online ad revenues, meanwhile, rose 13 per cent to $2.9-billion – beating IAB Canada's 2012 forecasts.

In 2013, digital revenues are expected to rise 9 per cent by the end of the year, to $3.36-billion in total – including a 50-per-cent increase for mobile, to $240-million. The forecast is based on advertising budgets that were submitted to IAB Canada by its survey respondents – including online publishers as well as ad networks and exchanges – in the first half of 2013.

The dollar figures show that while mobile has massive potential as an advertising vehicle , advertisers are still in the early stages of cracking the code on how best to spend their money to reach consumers on those ubiquitous devices. It also reflects a challenge for publishers to sell enough advertising on those devices to recoup major investments in developing their mobile properties.

And as has been the case in recent years, those online ad dollars are going mostly to a few Internet giants in Canada: The top 10 online earners took in 82 per cent of all online ad revenues in 2012.

How the numbers break down, by type of digital advertising in Canada in 2012:

Search ads – $1.3-billion (up 21 per cent from 2011)

Display (a.k.a. banner) ads – $916-million (up 9 per cent)

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Classifieds/directories – $584-million (up 2 per cent)

Video – $92-million (up 27 per cent)

E-mail – $12-million (down 8 per cent)

Videogaming – $13-million (up 23 per cent)

Mobile – $160-million (up 97 per cent)

TOTAL INTERNET: $3.09-billion (up 15 per cent)

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How the advertising spending compares with other major media in Canada in 2012:

Television: $3.47-billion (down 2 per cent from 2011)

Internet: $3.09-billion (up 15 per cent)

Daily newspaper: $2.02-billion (up 2 per cent)

Radio: $1.59-billion (up 1 per cent)

Magazines: $573-million (down 3 per cent)

Out-of-home (billboards etc.): $486-million (no change)

Total major media spending: $11.22-billion (up 3.4 per cent)

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