Digital is taking over France’s media advertising landscape

02 February 2024 4 min. read
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The media-related advertising market in France is projected to grow by about 2.3% per year to 2030, when it will reach a market size of €18.3 billion. The digital segment is commanding a growing share of overall advertising revenue, expected to reach 65% by 2030.

Most of the sector’s growth is driven by digital players, who made up 52% of the market last year, a majority for the first time. Much of that new digital advertising growth stems from international players that have entered the French market and by shifting consumer habits, with more regular users of YouTube and other social media networks.

These figures were revealed in a study carried out by PMP Strategy at the behest of France’s Ministry of Culture and Arcom, the country’s digital communications regulatory body.

Evolution of the communication market

Digital is taking over France’s media advertising landscape

The Ministry of Culture selected PMP Strategy last year to carry out the study, which is being used by the government to better understand the market and help protect press freedoms.

The French communications market has really only grown slightly over the period from 2002 to 2022. Major setbacks like the 2008 crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic reset growth trajectories, which overall saw the market go from €30 billion to €33 billion in those two decades.

Evolution of the share of display revenues by type

Digital is taking over France’s media advertising landscape

As far as different media formats, video and audio are the categories that have seen the most growth in recent years.

With the huge growth of streaming services like Netflix and its many rivals and audio services like Spotify that offer both music and podcasts, it is no wonder why these are overtaking classic media formats like newspapers and magazines.

The share of advertising revenue captured by digital players in France is comparable to that of Germany or Italy, but is much lower than in the United States or the United Kingdom. As far as other EU countries, Norway and the Netherlands are ahead with over 60%. Part of the reason Great Britain’s digital sector commands so much advertising revenue is due to a highly developed e-commerce market and more dynamic advertising.

Share of advertising revenue captured by digital

Digital is taking over France’s media advertising landscape

The study aims at helping the French government protect press freedom in the face of huge market consolidation in the advertising sphere. Some French policymakers are worried about the growing influence of major international digital platforms (like Google, Facebook, and other social networks), which they believe pose a threat to the business models of the press and media.

Another concern is that media outlets that actually invest in content creation will see their share of advertising revenue drop from around 40% today to 29% in 2030. This will put pressure on (independent) content generation to the benefit of the wider public.

Digital is taking over France’s media advertising landscape

Commenting on the report, Philippe Curt, partner at PMP Strategy, said: “The media plays a central role in our democratic society. They safeguard democratic values, pluralism, and the preservation of cultural diversity, among others. We are delighted to have helped the Ministry of Culture and Arcom better understand the evolution of the media advertising market, contributing to future policy that impacts the functioning of our society.”

PMP Strategy is a France-headquartered international consultancy firm with around 150 staff. The firm is a market-leading player in the telecom and media sectors.