Canada is on top of the world when it comes to online engagement. According to ComScore’s 2013 Digital Future in Focus report, Canada ranks first in average web pages viewed each month (3,731) and average monthly visits per visitor (101).
Canadians also spend more than 41 hours per month online on their desktop computers, ranking second behind the U.S. at 43 hours.
Canada also nabbed a second-place spot for online video viewing, with the average internet user watching 291 videos a month spanning 25 hours, slightly behind the U.K. (300 videos and 30 hours).
When it comes to digital media, “we’re seeing an extremely high sophistication amongst Canadian users,” said Bryan Segal, vice-president of sales at ComScore. “When you look at engagement and usage on a worldwide basis, you start to see how integral the internet and digital media is in the life of the average Canadian.” That’s good news for marketers “because people are interacting with the content and the platforms, so marketers have a new avenue to attach their brand and messaging to.”
Certainly, marketers are flocking to where those eyeballs are. ComScore found that the digital ad market is growing significantly in Canada, with 724 billion display ad impressions in 2012, up 17% versus a year ago. Social media sites accounted for the highest share of impressions (27%), followed by entertainment (17%), portals (14%), news/information (8%), and directories and resources (5%).
The top five advertisers in 2012 in terms of total display ad impressions are: Netflix, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, General Motors and Condis BV (Clearly Contacts).
Mobile and Social Growth
On the mobile front, the study shows the market grew by 10% in 2012, adding approximately two million customers to reach just over 22 million. Smartphone ownership now represents 62% of the market, up from 45% last year. Google’s Android has 40% of Canada’s smartphone market, followed by Apple (35%), Research in Motion (now called Blackberry) (20%), Microsoft (2%) and Symbian (2%).
The percentage of smartphone users watching videos on their mobiles increased to 37% from 16%, while search is the fastest-growing mobile content category (57% in 2012 versus 48% in 2011).
Comscore said social networking sites grew 3% in the last year, with nearly 24 million unique visitors a month. While Facebook retains its strong lead in the category, several “rising stars” saw strong visitor growth rates: Pinterest.com (+792%), Tumblr.com (+96%), LinkedIn.com (+38%), and Twitter.com (+27%).
Social networking on smartphones made big gains in 2012, with 56% more users (8.3 million) accessing a social media site or blog on their phone compared to the previous year. Among those, 58% said they visit social media sites with their smartphone almost every day and 25% said at least once a week.
E-commerce spending reached $22.3 billion in Canada in 2012, up 10% versus a year ago, with the number of transactions increasing by 17%. Visits to retail websites were up 9%, with Amazon, Apple, Kijiji, Best Buy and Walmart making the list of the top five retail websites.
Canadians are also increasingly using their smartphones for online banking: 33% of smartphone owners used their device for banking, up from 29% in 2011.