Canada Leads the World in Q2 Branded Content Click-Through Rates

Polar has released data that indicates Canadian click-through rates (CTR) on branded content were the highest of all measured regions in the second quarter of 2016. Canada came in at over 45% above the average click through rate (0.31%) with a 0.41% CTR.

Also measured was the average time spent (ATS) on the website once a visitor clicked through the ad. It was determined that Canadians spend about 156 seconds on the website they visit through an ad, second only to the US (174 seconds).

The Global View

In all regions measured, Arts & Entertainment publishers had the highest click-through rate in Q2, at 0.20%. Business & Finance (222 seconds) and Fashion & Shopping (174 seconds) verticals outperformed the average ATS. Bad advertising practices and low-quality content are probably to blame for the significant drop in both CTR and ATS for the Health & Lifestyle vertical. The click-through rate for Health & Lifestyle dropped 45% year over year, and the average time spent on sites dropped by 17%.

While mobile device usage is increasing in all regions, desktop is still in the lead when measuring views of branded content.

  1. Desktop 59%
  2. Mobile 28%
  3. Tablet 13%

One of the most interesting observations in this report was the branded content view rate throughout an eight week campaign. 48% of views occurred in the first week of the campaign, and 90% of views occurred in the first month. Weeks five through eight saw views declining from 4% to 1%. Based on this information, advertisers may want to limit campaigns to less than four weeks. Rotating and alternating campaigns every month should increase overall performance and ROI.

Canadian Use of Ad-Blocking Software

The prevalence of ad blocking has impacted online advertising around the world. However, Canadians use less ad-blocking software by comparison. According to a recent IAB Canada study, just 17% of Canadians use an ad blocker. Only 6% of Canadians have installed ad-blocking software or apps on their mobile devices. Use is lowest in Atlantic Canada (11%) and highest in British Columbia (19%). 28% of millennial male Canadians use ad blockers.

“Canadians overwhelmingly are agreeable to being exposed to advertising in exchange for high quality content with over three-quarters (78%) of online Canadians preferring free, ad-supported online content versus pay-for-content options,” the IAB report states.

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Comment on Canadians Internet BusinessHave you seen an increase in click-through rates for your branded content campaigns?  Please share your experience in the comments below.

✔ You may also be interested in reading:
2016 Canadian Digital Marketing Report
Canadian Email Marketing Benchmark Data
10 Hot Product Niches to Sell or Drop Ship Online in Canada
Listen Up, Brands: What Online Canadian Moms Want (Statistics)


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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon is an internet entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in a wide range of online business models, backed by a formal business education and enhanced by training and mentorship. She has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available from all major ebook retailers.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on,,, and, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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Well of course, it’s only polite to click if you’re getting free info! LOL!

Jack Matheson

It’s interesting that Canadians respond so well to online advertising. They have a good attitude toward it too. I wonder if there is more Canadian or American advertising in Canada? Probably American.


Hey Melody,

This is the best one you shared.

I like the point [Canadian Use of Ad-Blocking Software] I feel like all should focus on this.

Thanks for such a great post.