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France’s economy may be in the doldrums, but the country’s digital advertising market is thriving. According to the most recent edition of the “Observatoire de l’e-pub,” issued by the Syndicat des Régies Internet (SRI) in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Union des Entreprises de Conseil et Achat Media (UDECAM), digital ad spending in France reached €1.49 billion ($1.98 billion) net in the first half of this year, a gain of 3.5% compared with H1 2014.
This sum included expenditure on national and local search, display, referrals and affiliations, direct email, shopbots and mobile ads, and was adjusted to take account of duplication between channels. The figures were based on quantitative data supplied by the member firms of SRI and UDECAM, interviews with industry experts, and additional information such as company financial results, internal PwC data and data from trade associations, among others.
Spending on search placements rose 4.0% between H1 2014 and H1 2015, SRI found, from €867 million ($1.15 billion) to €902 million ($1.20 billion). Search continues to dominate digital ad spending in France and accounted for 58% of all outlays on digital platforms in the first half of this year. Display spending grew at twice that rate (8.0%) but accounted for only 28% of digital spending. The remaining 14% went to other forms of digital advertising and marketing, including direct email, referrals and shopbots.
The report commented on the growing influence of “mobile-first” strategies among brands, acting as a spur to both search and display investments on mobile channels. As a result, ad outlays on mobile platforms rose 63% between H1 2014 and H1 2015 and amounted to 21% of all digital spending, or €91.0 million ($120.8 million), SRI reported. Expenditure on mobile social network ads rocketed by 130% to make up an impressive 51% of mobile display.
Video registered the biggest increase of any display format, with expenditure up 38% during the year to €126 million ($167.2 million). In-stream video was preferred to out-stream; advertisers spent more than three times as much on in-stream ads as on other types of video placements.
Overall, banner and other traditional display formats claimed the largest share of display spending in H1 2015, at €258 million ($342.4 million). Yet investment in this category had actually fallen by 2% compared with the first half of 2014.
Earlier this year, eMarketer estimated that digital ad spending in France would rise by 6.0% in 2015, to $3.22 billion. This figure is based on a different methodology to that used by SRI and PwC, but suggests a very similar picture in some respects, with total spending on digital platforms rising well beyond $3 billion this year.
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