Project background

As an industry operating in an age where we’re more socially connected than ever before, we have little understanding of the actual size and scope of the digital media industry in Canada, and the space in which we work. Despite all the tools available, our government cannot be relied upon to help us understand this information.

Through Statistics Canada, obtaining data is costly and difficult at best. In a thriving and ever-changing industry, it doesn’t help that their data collection process occurs only every five years, with the next round of surveying slated to begin in 2011. The providers of digital media services are classified in a way that isn’t indicative of the industry’s true organization, and two more years will pass before the NAICS classification is rewritten.

To compound the issue even further, the data currently being collected reflects only the larger organizations, while ignoring the small to medium-sized businesses, who are the primary drivers of our economy.

About this project

The purpose of this project is to quantify the Canadian digital media industry. Currently, we don’t have a thorough understanding of the size and scope of our industry; we have no optics into the number of digital media service providers operate within Canada or their characteristics (number of employees, location, revenue, etc). What’s also unclear is the size of the workforce; there’s no reliable and readily available data around the working habits, salaries, and skills of producers of digital media content.

Who’s behind this project?

This project has been made possible through a $40,000 research grant disbursed by Teehan+Lax by way of the Mesh Prize. Pixel to Product is an arms length non-profit initiative based in Toronto, ON.

Who is the target audience?

This research study is geared towards digital media practitioners working in the Canadian advertising and digital marketing industry. These practitioners include those employed in a production capacity (for instance, web/mobile application developers, visual designers and information architects), as well as those employed in a management capacity (project managers, account executives and digital strategists). Our research is also targeted towards freelancers and business owners in this space. And finally, we’re looking to survey brands and companies procuring digital media services from vendors and service providers within the digital media industry.

What are the outcomes

We intend to deliver the following artifacts by June 2011:

  • A report highlighting industry insights and findings
  • A self-published e-book of blog posts generated during the research study
  • A report outlining the needs and trends of the buyers of digital media services
  • Access to the raw, anonymized data sets in a variety of open data formats

How are we going to do this?

Over the course this research study, we’ll be performing the following tasks:

  • Surveying digital media practitioners employed within the digital media industry
  • Classifying and surveying digital media companies
  • Surveying and interviewing the buyers of digital media services

The methods of gathering data include surveying through web-based collection mechanisms, face-to-face interviews as well as a series of asks through social media, email marketing and the project blog. These research phases will be run concurrently, and during the course of this research project, the large data sets (1, 2, and 3 identified above) will spin off into subsequently smaller data sets with the intention of revealing and cataloguing the generated insights and findings. These smaller data sets will provide us with an increasingly valuable understanding of our industry.

Want to help?

If you are interested in helping this project, we are looking for:

  • Industry organizations to advocate on our behalf to their members
  • Media platforms to promote our research study and the subsequent findings
  • Engaged social media and industry professionals to spread the word about this initiative
  • YOU!

Want to get involved on a greater level?

Lending your gifts to this research study is easy. Visit the Actionable Tasks page on our wiki to learn more about our emergent and long-term needs. Have a question? Simply send us an email and we’ll get right back to you.