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Canada Time Spent with Media 2019

Time Spent with Digital Media Surpasses Traditional

Time Spent with Media 2019

Forecasts for nine markets: US, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Latin America, South Korea, UK; as well as mobile and social media time spent in the US

See All
About This Report
As media time reaches a saturation point, consumers in Canada are showing a decided taste for the immediacy of digital.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Consumers in Canada will spend almost 10 hours daily with media in 2019. While that’s a roughly even split between digital and traditional media, digital has inched ahead this year. Mobile devices and a healthy appetite for digital video are driving digital’s ascent.

Has overall media time in Canada reached a saturation point?

It has. At almost 10 hours daily—or 41% of the hours in the day, to be precise—consumers’ media plates are full. This follows a decade when digital formats increased access to media and multitasking, driving total media time to new heights.

What format is driving the heaviest media usage?

Digital video is extremely popular in Canada, bolstered by heavy usage of YouTube and Netflix. In fact, digital video’s share of time spent in relation to TV is higher in Canada than in any other country in our global forecast.

How much media consumption is taking place on mobile devices?

Mobile now makes up almost a third of all media time—on par with TV. The heavy reliance on smartphones and tablets for breaking news and social networking has stolen time from desktop/laptops.

How much time are consumers spending with traditional media formats?

Time spent with traditional media formats like TV, radio and print is declining. But the reach of TV and radio keep them as a go-to source for specific use cases. For example, auto commutes maintain a committed audience to terrestrial radio.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report covers our new forecast for consumer time spent with media in Canada, while comparing and contrasting media habits in Canada with other countries. We also look at social media time, which represents a significant component of consumers’ media lives.

An important note on how we account for multitasking in our estimates of time spent with media: If someone spends an hour watching TV (for example) and uses a smartphone to surf the web during the same hour, we count this as an hour of usage for each medium, and hence as 2 hours of total media time.

KEY STAT: Digital now accounts for 50.1% of total media time spent in Canada, following a decade of increased media access made possible by digital devices and groundbreaking new services.

Behind the Numbers

eMarketer’s methodology for its Canada time spent with media forecast is based on an analysis of 599 metrics from 45 sources. This analysis involves the collection of third-party data—primarily survey data—from adult respondents, asking them about their media use habits. Data is also sourced from online and mobile activity tracking services, government data and interviews with industry experts.

Using a bottom-up analysis, we assess and analyze reported time spent with each device and media activity across various sources. And where definitions differ, the data is normalized and interpreted in terms of our definition (i.e., the Canada population ages 18 and older). The data is then aggregated with the time contributions from each device and media type to arrive at an estimate for average time spent with media per day.

In order to arrive at forecasts for growth rates by media and by device, this analysis is followed by extensive assessments of historical and expected future growth patterns with regard to device adoption, multiple and overlapping device usage, population and demographic factors and competitors to existing devices and activities.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

6expert perspectives

Insights from industry and company leaders.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Daily Media Habits: The Times, They Are A-Changin’
  3. Trends in Focus: Time Spent with Video and TV
  4. Trends in Focus: Time Spent with Mobile
  1. Trends in Focus: Comparing Ad Spending vs. Media Time
  2. Canada’s Social Scene
  3. Key Takeaways
  4. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Armin Huska
The Royal Bank of Canada
Head of Media
Interviewed April 2, 2019
Brooke Robinson
Peersway Nano Influencer Marketing
Managing Partner
Interviewed March 27, 2019
Alicia Whalen
The New Conversation Economy
Interviewed March 25, 2019
Lauren Dineen-Duarte
American Express Canada
Director, Public Affairs and Communications
Interviewed April 25, 2019
Shane Foran
Interviewed April 22, 2019
Rob Young
PHD Canada
Senior Vice President, Planning Services
Interviewed March 25, 2019


Paul Briggs


Chris Bendtsen
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Angela Kim
Senior Researcher
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