Canadians have the highest online engagement both on Internet and mobile. Social networks, movie retailers, online trading and couponing lead the way with strong increasing usages, paving the way for major digital marketing opportunities.

Brands would better not forget about Canadian audiences!


While China and the United States rule the world wide web in terms of unique visitors, Canadians are actually the most engaged online users. Canadians spent an average 45.3 hours per month on the Internet in the last quarter of 2011, up from 43.5 in 2010, and before the United States (38.6), the UK (35.4) and France (27.5). With a total of more than 3,300 pages view per month, Canadian Internet users represent a major opportunity for online marketers to leverage that strong community. Netflix caught on the opportunity and launched its video streaming service in the country back in 2010, with an aggressive advertising strategy, and thus became the third online advertiser in Canada – with more than 6 billion ad impressions. Boosted by Netflix’s move, the Movie Retailers category showed a 106% increase versus the last quarter of 2010, proving Canada to be a strategic market for online business.

Online engagement driven by entertainment and social networks

Among the top 10 sites categories gaining unique visitors are Retail/Movies, Online Trading, Coupons, Consumer Goods, Online Gambling and Personal Finance. However, online engagement (time spent online) is mostly triggered by entertainment (+4.1pts between Dec 2010 and Dec 2011) and Social Networks (2.7 pts), while Portals, e-mails and Instant Messaging are declining. The total number of minutes spent on social networking websites increased by 32% compared to 2010, to 10,708 million minutes with more than 20,648 million pages visited. Canadian YouTube users viewed an average 271 videos in December 2011, up 120% from 2010, and Twitter, LinkedIn; Tumblr and lately Pinterest have witnessed the most important growth in visitors and minutes lately.

Social ads a driving force

The high level of engagement is also the source of strong ROI, based on social enabled advertising. Social media account for most of the ad impressions online in Canada, with almost 200 billion ad impressions in 2011 in Canada, representing 24% of the total ad impressions. 7% of display ads were “socially-enabled”, redirecting users to the brand’s social network page after clicking on it. By shifting to social advertising, marketers hope to optimize their ROI, thanks to effective consumer targeting. 

By Jérôme Rastoldo