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French study finds 5 key digital advertising data points

By Nicolas Peltier

20 Minutes France

Paris, France


Compiled by PwC on behalf of SRI and UDECAM (professional unions of publishers, ad sellers, and agencies in France), the “e-pub Observatory” is used as a reference in France with regard to the digital advertising market. In a previous post, I relayed the results for 2017, which reported growth, including mobile, social, and video. These trends are confirmed by the figures from the first half of 2018, which have just been revealed.

Here are five graphs to understand the state of the current French advertising market. For more details, the view the full presentation.

1. Digital dominates the market and passes the mark of €2 billion.

With 15.5% growth, the digital advertising market is marking an impressive half year and passed the €2 billion mark. Since 2015, the trend is very positive, with growth accelerating each year a little more.

A situation that strengthens the status of digital as a leader is that it has captured nearly 40% of investments, far ahead of television (27.4%) and the press (16.2%). 

2. Publishers’ efforts do not pay … for now.

The growth of the market deserves to be nuanced, since it is mainly driven by a lever that seems to crush everything in its path: the social display (in other words, Facebook, and I hardly exaggerate). With an increase of 62% over the first half of the year, the market share of this lever is currently 20% and now exceeds the non-social display, which is growing by only 6%.

The efforts of publishers to regroup or highlight their good advertising practices are not yet bearing fruit. Note also that search (that is, Google) represents more than €1 billion and remains the most used lever on the market despite slower growth (+8.5%).

3. Video becomes mostly mobile.

On display, the video format continues its strong momentum with growth of +45% and a market share of 41%. Above all, the format reaches a new level since it is now mostly bought on mobile. Thus, 49% of video investments are made on mobile versus 43% on desktop. This is a situation allowing video to get closer to the usage reality (76% of site visits are now on mobile).

4. Programmatic represents two-thirds of the display market.

Up by 50%, programmatic investments now account for 66% of the display market. This is a very steady progression since 2015, but one which must also be nuanced.

Indeed, excluding social, the progression is “only” of 25%, and this mode of purchase does not yet represent half of the market. Of course, the OTC is not dead, especially when it comes to setting up special operations for selected publishers. But it also shows the technological backwardness of a number of actors. Let’s hope this delay can be made up, otherwise the train may never come back.

5. Mobile exceeds desktop.

In terms of devices, with a 43% increase, mobile exceeds desktop and now captures 51% of display plus search investments. We are still far from the reality of uses, but the story is running. Two years ago, desktop still accounted for more than 70% of this market.

Moreover, it is probably not a coincidence the progression of mobile display (+60%) is similar to that of the display on social networks (noted in the second chart). In any case, this is a growth allowing the display to account for 45% of investments on mobile versus 55% for search, which remains the majority despite a more measured increase (+31%).

About Nicolas Peltier

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