48.1% of Canadian digital media agencies projecting significant increases in revenue; report also finds hiring and new business projections bullish for 2011


Toronto, ON – Today, Justin Kozuch, 2010 Mesh Prize winner and lead researcher for the Pixel to Product research study, released the first yearly report on the state of the Canadian digital media economy.

“The state of the Canadian digital media economy is strong”, said Kozuch. “Digital agencies in Canada are projecting between 10% and 24% growth in revenue when compared to their revenue generation efforts in 2010. When you compare this data against the 68.1% of reporting agencies who indicated they have a labour force size between one and 10 employees, this is incredible growth and is a good indicator of the strength of our economy.”

The Pixel to Product report also found:

  • The average salary of a Canadian digital media professional ranges between $40,000 and $59,999,
  • 73.4% of digital media agencies are increasing the size of their labour force in 2011; skills in mobile application development, social media marketing and community management are in high demand,
  • 35.5% of women indicated they saw a 10% to 24% increase in salary from 2010 to 2011, compared to 26.3% for men,
  • Women earned a higher number of salary increases than men in the 1-4%, 11-15%, and 16-20% range.

“This research is an important first step in understanding the size and scope of the Canadian digital media industry. As we continue this research on a year-over-year basis, we’ll be able to better plot the growth of our industry and how technology changes its business behaviors and perceptions. It is our hope that this research sparks a local and national dialogue on how to better understand who we are, what we do and the impact of the digital media industry on the Canadian economy as a whole.”

Every Friday, we highlight 5 findings from our research and feature them in a weekly blog post. As a lead up to the release of our final report, we’d like to share some interesting insights we’ve found to date.

The Canadian digital media industry is teeming with young professionals. Almost 60% of practitioners who participated in our survey indicated they were between the ages of 22 and 34. A great deal of these practitioners fall within the Generation Y category and have been exposed to technology on a level that is unrivalled compared to previous generations.

The United States is a popular destination for those looking to acquire the necessary skills to succeed in the technology space. However, 91.1% of Canadian digital media practitioners are still engaged academic studies within Canada. Universities such as Ryerson, University of Toronto and OCAD in Toronto, as well as Vancouver Film School on the West coast are well-regarded post-secondary institutions in the digital space.

As employers become more comfortable with providing work from home opportunities their employees (and as the technology to facilitate these capabilities makes this easier), more and more digital media professional are working from home. Almost 40% of practitioners work from home on a regular basis, providing them with opportunities to care for their children, cut down on commuting costs, or work at their own pace.

A small number of Canadian digital media professionals are working more than 60 hours a week. With clients and employers using new methods of communication (Skype, text, Twitter) to communicate with their service providers/employees, and the changing work habits of practitioners, this might result in a health issue as those practitioners grow physically accustomed to working longer hours.

Billing on an hourly basis is still a prevalent model for charging for services rendered. While this is not surprising to see, what is surprising is the percentage of freelancers who have indicated they have implement a value-based billing model for their services. It will be interesting to see how this billing model grows in popularity on a year over year basis.

Over to you

What do you think? What are some of the causes behind the insights detailed above? Post your thoughts via a comment below!

One of the questions we’ve been asked frequently is “What have you found in your research so far?”. With 80+ workforce data points currently being collected, there is an almost infinite number of connections we can make between multiple data points, particularly where it concerns mapping job titles and location to years of experience and gender.

Here’s a few things we’ve learned in our surveying so far:

  • 59.1% of survey respondents are men, with the remaining 40.9% are women. This is somewhat surprising, as I had assumed the gender divide was far wider than 20 percentage points. In this case, I’m happy my initial assumptions were incorrect.
  • Unfortunately, only 1.4% of women identified as business partner or company owners.
  • The most popular job title among women: Digital Strategist. For men? Web/application developer.
  • 30.6% of women made on average between $40,000 – $59,999 per year, while only 23.7% of men reported earning the same amount per year.
  • Men and women are reporting at near parity when it comes to receives pay raises between 1 and 10% (62.9% for men versus 60.7% for women). What we found really interesting is that women earned more pay raises than men where the pay raise was 21% and higher. In fact, they outpaced men by as much 6%. This trend was relatively consistent and eventually reached parity as women earned pay raises greater than 49%.

This is but a sample of our findings thus far.

With these findings in mind, we’re launching a new blog post series entitled Friday Findings. Our goal with this weekly series is to compare and visualize one or more of our findings by way of an infographic or other visual element.

We’ve got an infographic in mind for this Friday’s post, but we want to hear from you. What do you want to see in terms of visualized findings? Which data points are you interested in learning more about?