New York, N.Y., – Internet ad spending in the five largest nations in Western Europe — France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK (the EU-5) — reached €1.9 billion (approx. $2.2 billion) in 2005, a healthy 38 percent increase over 2004's spending, according to recent figures from eMarketer's report on Europe's online advertising.
While considerable, that figure clearly lags behind the estimated $12.9 billion of 2005 US online advertising spending. Especially when you consider that those five nations have 131.5 million Internet users (or 77 percent of the corresponding US figure). Researchers estimate that number will increase to 174.6 million EU-5 Internet users by 2008.
"While the European Internet ad market may not be the same as in the US, it's much like an echo—a similar sound but a few beats behind," said eMarketer senior analyst David Hallerman, "That means spending still has far to go before catching up with the more avid audience, and traditional advertisers are still putting more money in old-time media (notably print) where audiences spend less and less time."
In all 17 Western Europe nations, Internet ad spending in 2005 increased to €2.7 billion (approx. $3.2 billion). That's about a quarter of all US online advertising spending according to the research estimates.
But longstanding country-by-country differences in Western Europe may point to growth in one area, and the opposite elsewhere. In 2006, there will be 154.1 million Internet users in the five largest Western European nations, with the largest group coming from Germany. But Spain, with the fewest people going online among the EU-5 countries, will likely see the highest growth this year. More than 50 percent of the total population goes online in only the UK and Germany. By next year, though, France and Italy will also pass that critical mass mark.