Introduction

The term interactive digital media (IDM) accounts for a range of digital content and experiences available through a variety of digital platforms such as PCs, mobile devices and game consoles. IDM in Canada is a growth industry that is quickly changing, driven by shifts in consumer behaviour and technology. The broader IDM sector includes companies that produce interactive content as well as firms that provide various types of products and services to enable the production of interactive content. These are sometimes called “core” and “peripheral” IDM.1 Core IDM content includes but is not limited to video games, cross-platform entertainment, virtual and augmented reality content, web series, e-learning and training products.

Industry Size and Economic Impact2

Revenues, Production Volume, and Employment

Source: Interactive Ontario, Measuring Success: The Impact of the Interactive Digital Sector in Ontario, February 2017, p. 4.

Videogame Industry

Entertainment Software Association of Canada, Canada's Video Game Industry In 2017, September 2017, p. 7

Consumer Market

Trends and Issues

Growth Rate and Industry Trends

Consumer-Paid Models Funded Models Hybrid Models
  • Subscription
  • Transaction
  • Metered (a.k.a. Paywall)
  • Premium
  • Merchandising
  • Ad-supported
  • Branded Content
  • Licensing
  • Freemium
  • Paidmium
Source: Adapted from CIAIC, Monetizing Digital Media: Trends, Key Insights and Strategies that Work, November 2014, pp. 5-6.

Global and Domestic Issues

Government Support

Industry Recognition

Ontario is home to a thriving IDM industry that includes many independent firms creating award­-winning products:

Profile current as of November 10, 2017

Endnotes

1 Canadian Interactive Alliance (CIAIC), 2012 Canadian Interactive Industry Profile, October 2013, p. 10.

2 It should be noted that some data on the Canadian digital media industry in this document is not comparable to data from earlier years due to changes to industry definitions and methodology in key source materials such as the Canadian Interactive Industry Profile. The following information on industry size, activity, revenue, and employment should be considered a snapshot of activity in the industry based on the best available information.

3 Statistics Canada, Canadian Culture Satellite Account, 2010, tables A.1 and A.2. Provincial and Territorial Culture Satellite Account, 2010, tables A.1 and A.7.

4 Interactive Ontario, Measuring Success, February 2017, pp. 3-4, 33. An earlier study conducted by the Canadian Interactive Alliance indicated that Ontario’s interactive digital media industry had $1.1 billion in revenues and employed 17,000 individuals in 2011. (Canadian Interactive Alliance (CIAIC), 2012 Canadian Interactive Industry Profile, October 2013, p. 10.)

5 Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), Profile 2016, pp. 5, 30, 94-96.

6 Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Media Lab, Pulse on VR: A Workflow and Ecosystem Study, 2017, p.17.

7 PwC, Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2017-2021, “Video games,” June 2017.

8 Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC), Canada’s Videogame Industry in 2017, September 2017, p. 2.

9 ibid., p.11.

10 Hand Eye Society, Toronto Videogame Database Report, July 4, 2017. A prototype is available at http://tovgdb.smallcity.ca/.

11 Unity and Electronic Arts data, cited in Mary Meeker, “Internet Trends 2017,” Code Conference Presentation, May 31, 2017, p. 81. Available at www.kpcb.com/InternetTrends.

12 ESAC, Essential Facts 2017, 2017, p. 10.

13 cited in Meeker, pp. 114-115.

14 Meeker, pp. 82, 99.

15 L.E.K. Sports Survey data cited in Meeker, p. 140.

16 Solutions Research Group Consultants Inc., “Millennials Driving eSports Popularity,” June 13, 2017.

17 Vividata, 2017 Q1 Magazine Topline Data. Unduplicated audience of all measured English and French language magazines in Canada. Digital audience is defined as audience who accessed any digital content of the magazine in the past 30 days.

18 Vividata, “2015 Q4 Readership and Product Database (January-December 2015 Fieldwork),” April 14, 2016.

19 PwC, “Video games”.

20 PwC, Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2017-2021, June 2017.

21 PwC, “Video games”.

22 ESAC, Canada’s Video Game Industry in 2017, p. 28.

23 ibid., p. 25.

24 Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), The State of Content Distribution, 2016, p. 15.

25 PwC, “Video games.”

26 Department of Canadian Heritage, A Snapshot of China’s Creative Industries, October 2017.

27 International Data Corporation (IDC), Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide, February 2017.

28 CFC Media Lab, Pulse on VR, 2017, pp. 5, 18. IAB, Is Virtual the New Reality? A Market Snapshot of VR Publishing and Monetization, September 2016. Interactive Ontario, Measuring Success, p. 14.

29 Independent Web Creators of Canada, Industry Profile of the Independent Web Series Creators of Ontario, June 23, 2014.

30 CIAIC, Monetizing Digital Media: Trends, Key Insights and Strategies That Work, November 2014.

31 Statistics Canada, “Revision of the North American Industry Classification System.” The Culture Satellite Account (CSA) is a joint initiative of the Department of Canadian Heritage, provincial/territorial and municipal governments and agencies, delivered by Statistics Canada. The CSA measures cultural output, GDP and employment; Interactive Ontario, Measuring Success.

32 Jayson Hilchie, “Attracting Foreign-born Talent Can Take Canada’s Tech Sector Global,” Huffington Post, ­October 25, 2016; Press Release, “Video game industry welcomes new Global Talent Immigration Stream,” ESAC, June 12, 2017.

33 Press Release, “Creating the conditions for Canada’s job creators to succeed globally,” Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), August 16, 2017; ISED, “Economic Strategy Tables,” Canada.ca.

34 Interactive Ontario, Measuring Success, pp.18, 21; Press Release, “Interactive Ontario announces diversity and inclusion initiatives,” Interactive Ontario, March 8, 2017; Interactive Ontario, A Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit for the Interactive Digital Media Industry, October 17, 2017.

35 Canada Media Fund (CMF), Trends Report: Mid-Year 2016 Update

36 CFC Media Lab, Pulse on VR, p. 38.

37 Press Release, “Celebrating 20 years, Bell Fund launches new program and direction,” Bell Fund, September 25, 2017.

38 Department of Canadian Heritage, Creative Canada Policy Framework, September 2017.