The digital advertising market will grow in 2022

This document, produced by the American strategy consulting firm Oliver Wyman, offers an assessment of the advertising market in France for the year 2021.

Although the first half of the year was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the French advertising market grew slightly over the whole of 2020, thanks in particular to a rebound in the second half.

Thus, over the whole of 2020, digital advertising revenues grew by 3%, but it is estimated that the health crisis caused the online advertising sector to lose about half a billion dollars.

The various advertising levers had mixed fortunes in 2021:

Display suffered, with the exception of programmatic, with performance down 2%.
Search and Social did better than resist, in a difficult economic context, with respective growth of 3% and 7%.
Affiliation, Emailing and Comparators showed a significant growth of 7%, mainly due to a performance logic reinforced by the economic context.
Another highlight for this year 2021 is the gap that is forming between the digital behemoths like Facebook, Amazon, Google, and the rest of the market.

Here are the details of this report.
The Display
As we said in the introduction, the Display ended the year 2021 in decline (-2%), but it should be noted that the Display players have been affected in very different ways depending on their sector of activity:

Publishing and news: This is the largest category in the market with revenues reaching 460 million euros. 460 million. It is down by almost 8% over the year. The impact of the pandemic was very strong in the first half (-22%). Traditionally focused on branding, the publishing and information sectors have suffered from campaigns that are mainly focused on ROI.

Video and music streaming: this category, which is worth 284 million euros, has seen the strongest growth in the display advertising sector, with an increase of 7% over the whole of 2021. People have logically spent a lot of time on video and music streaming platforms due to containment measures, and we note that large advertisers have returned in force in the second half of 2021.

Retail and services: The retail and services sector got off to a very bad start at the beginning of 2020, with a first half-year down at -11%, but managed to reverse the trend in the second half-year (+12%), and ended the year with overall growth of +5.2%, for revenues of €232 million.

Radio and TV: this category was the most impacted by the crisis in 2021, with a decline of 8.5% (€164m) over the full year. Despite a 3% increase in the second half of the year, the sharp decline observed in the first half (-22%), due to the sudden end of TV campaigns and their digital variations, could not be offset.

To finish with Display, it should be noted that native advertising has grown nicely (+5%), and now represents 23% of all Display advertising.

Programmatic advertising now represents 61% of Display revenues.

Growing slightly, at +3%, Search has earned revenues of €2.5 billion in 2021, compared to €2.4 in 2019. The share of mobile is also growing, with 67% of the search sector in 2021, compared to 63% in 2019, resulting in advertising revenues of around €1.7 billion in 2021, compared to €1.5 in 2019.

It should be noted that Retail Search is becoming increasingly important, and has seen its revenue explode from 192 million euros in 2020 to 254 million in 2021

Social is doing well and ended the year with a remarkable growth of 7%. It’s a type of digital advertising that remains strongly tied to mobile, with 94% of revenue generated on mobile devices, up from 2020. Of the €1.5 billion generated by social digital advertising in 2021, almost all of it will come from the mobile medium.

Affiliation, Emailing and Comparators
With 7% growth, the Affiliation, Emailing, and Comparator levers performed well in 2021, with revenues exceeding 820 million euros, which breaks down as follows

Comparators: 379 million euros in revenue (+8%)
Affiliate marketing: 298 million euros in revenue (+8%)
Emailing: 148 million euros in revenue (+2%)
Forecasts for 2022
GDP forecasts for 2022 suggest that the French economy is likely to experience a stronger rebound than the other major economic players in the European Union: +5.8%, compared to +3.5% for Germany, +4.1% for Italy, and +5.4% for Spain.

The consulting firm Oliver Wyman estimates that the digital advertising market will grow by 7% in France in 2021, and forecasts revenues for the French digital advertising market at 6.5 billion euros.

Among the topics that will attract the attention of all professionals in the online advertising market, we note the concern about regulatory changes related to user data privacy, which make the near future difficult to read for players in the digital advertising ecosystem.

The other central point of discussion for digital advertising professionals concerns the technological choice of platforms and gatekeepers, in terms of user settings, third-party cookie replacement solutions, etc., while the members of the European Union are still in a discussion phase on the DSA (Digital Services Act) and the DMA (Digital Market Act).

Finally, the notion of eco-responsibility is going to be part of the reflections conducted by the online advertising world, with the Citizen’s Climate Convention and the Pompili climate bill in focus, and a real willingness to commit to this subject on the part of professionals, with eco-responsibility becoming a priority and strategic axis of communication and marketing.

In conclusion, here are a few words from Emmanuel Amiot, Partner Communication, Media and Technology at Oliver Wyman: “With 3% growth in 2021, digital advertising has shown a remarkable capacity to rebound, in a market that is structurally growing, fueled by the search for performance, e-commerce and the major Social and Search platforms that now represent nearly 80% of the market.”

For him, the year 2022 should confirm this positive trend, which simmered in the second half of 2021, and this despite the uncertainties related to the regulatory context, the technological choices of the major platforms, but also the political situation regarding the issue of the advertising ecosystem.

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