The Canadian Interactive Industry Profile 2012  (CIIP), which provides an in-depth look at the interactive digital media (IDM) industry in Canada, was released today during Interactive Ontario’s X-Summit programming at nextMEDIA. This report follows two previous editions of the Canadian Interactive Industry Profiles released in 2006 and 2008 but proposes a revised methodology that includes a more narrowed definition of the digital media industry to provide more of a focus on companies creating true “rich interactive experiences” (in terms of content creation) and those that supply services that directly enable other firms to create those experiences.
Covering all Canadian regions and comprising data collected from big, medium and small companies through a national survey, this report provides an extensive view of Canada’s IDM industry. In addition to the key economic indicators found in the first chapter, this study also includes a chapter on human resources, training and skill gaps that can currently be observed in the IDM sector. Finally, the report provides a future outlook for Canada’s IDM industry.
Interactive digital media companies in Canada appear to be poised for growth in the year or two following the report. Just over 80% of companies project at least 10% growth in revenue over the following 12-24 months and more than half (56%) project revenue growth of 25% or more over the same period. At the same time, there are a number of barriers that could hinder future growth. Core IDM companies in Canada indicated that a seeming lack of affordable capital is the most significant limiting factor for company growth in the industry, followed by the availability of management and sales expertise and the availability of skilled labour in general.
“This report confirms that interactive digital media continues to be a highly significant contributor to Canada’s economy,” said Serge Landry, CEO of the Canadian Interactive Alliance / Alliance Interactive Canadienne  (CIAIC). “With over half of revenues derived from export sales, Canada is truly a global player in this sector.”
Key findings from the report:
- Canadian IDM companies employed 26,700 full-time equivalents (FTE)
- Almost 57% of revenues generated in 2011 were directly related to export sales.
- Canada`s interactive digital media industry is concentrated in Ontario, British Columbia and Québec.
- From 2008 to 2011, the total revenues generated by the industry grew by a yearly average rate of 17%
- $3.8 billion in total gross annual revenue was generated by these companies, with $2.5 billion directly attributed to IDM production
- Games products produced the largest amount of revenue for core IDM companies in Canada (about 43% of total revenues for 2011)
- Mobile devices were the most targeted platform, with 75% of companies creating core IDM products for mobile platforms
The CIIP was commissioned by the CIAIC and created by Nordicity, with funding from the Cultural Human Resources Council, Canada Media Fund (CMF), Canadian Heritage, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC).
“The CMF is pleased to be part of research that engages with the interactive digital media community across Canada” says Valerie Creighton, CMF President and CEO. “The report provides a guide to a larger conversation to continue the growth of the industry and the resources required to keep Canada’s position as a global leader in digital media.”
“Ontario’s interactive digital media industry is thriving and producing innovative cross-platform content that is attracting global interest, so we’re especially pleased to support research that will help to ensure the ongoing competitiveness of Ontario’s industry on the world stage,” said Karen Thorne-Stone, OMDC’s President and CEO.