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Native Advertising in Canada to hit $200M in 2015

Feb 19, 2015 / by StackAdapt



Mostly an unknown term until just a few years ago, native advertising is on the rise. It is anticipated that native advertising will pull in close to $5B in the US alone (eMarketer), and it has made its way in Canada too. StackAdapt, a Toronto-based native ad tech company, forecasts the native advertising spend ad spend to approach $200M in Canada in 2015.

Figure 1


Native advertising is a paid strategy of reaching target audiences with branded or sponsored content. Its growth is largely attributed to the rise of content marketing. As more brands invest in producing value-added content, they seek non-interruptive ways to reach consumers with it. Native advertising is emerging as a channel to accomplish just that, because the fundamental premise of native is to seamlessly integrate sponsored messages in a user experience.

While social networks such as Facebook and Twitter play a large role in content distribution and native advertising, 2015 is expected to be a pivotal year for brands in Canada to start investing in native advertising outside of closed social media platforms. This is largely attributed to the fact that brands are looking to align their message with endorsements from trusted publishers, on a scale that can be achieved with the precision of targeting using 1st and 3rd party data.

Figure 2


Accounting for only about 5% of total digital ad spend, native advertising in Canada is expected to grow at around 20% for the next three years (StackAdapt). The anticipated $200M that native advertising is expecting to realize this year includes all forms of native advertising – sponsored content, paid content integration and programmatic distribution.




  1. US digital spend to reach $58.6B in 2015 eMarketer
  2. US programmatic to hit $14.88B in 2015 eMarketer
  3. US Social and native ad spend forecast BIAKelsey
  4. Social media ad spend in the US to hit $8.5B in 2015 Business Insider
  5. Native Advertising ad spend forecast in the US of $4.3B in 2015 eMarketer
  6. Canadian digital ad spend hits $3.5B in 2013 IAB
  7. Canadian digital ad spend forecast eMarketer
  8. Canadian RTB spend forecast eMarketer
  9. Canadian social media ad spend eMarketer
  10. Programmatic in Canada accounts for 15% of all digital spend eMarketer

Figure 1

2015 programmatic spend is assumed based on:

  1. Programmatic spend in 2013 is reported by eMarketer as 15% of all digital spend.
  2. Forecast growth of close to 50% by eMarketer in real time bidding is used to approximate growth of entire programmatic spend. A conservative growth of 30% in 2014 and 20% in 2015 is used.
  3. Programmatic spend is expected to account for 25% of all digital spend in 2015 in the US (eMarketer). The Canadian forecasted spend is in line with these numbers, accounting for roughly 20% of all digital spend.

2015 native advertising spend is assumed based on the percentage of native ad spend versus social ad spend in the US, which amounts to 51%. Both the US and Canada’s native ad spend will reach close to 60% of all social spend by 2017.

Figure 2

Social ad spend in 2016 and 2017 is forecast using growth rates from overall Canadian digital ad spend and is discounted for slowing growth rates on social media users in Canada (eMarketer).

Native advertising base spend in Canada for 2013 is calculated using a conservative 30% of total social ad spend. This is 5% lower than that of the US (in line with overall digital ad spend growth: 18% vs. 13%). Native ad spend forecast is approximated using growth rates from native ad spend in the US and social ad spend in Canada, both forecast by eMarketer.

Topics: News

Written by StackAdapt

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