French has a smaller share online than in other media

This post is the fifth instalment in a series that depict the state of the online nation in Quebec vs the rest of Canada, North America in general, even France in some cases. The story began here in case you missed it focusing on what’s so different in Quebec. Part two is here and explains about our inferiority complex, our star system and how we are latin. Part three looked at who’s online in Quebec and how time spent online compares to other media. Part four compared online surfing habits of French and English Canadians by looking at the categories they navigate online.

How much is spent in online advertising in Quebec?

$400 million dollars were spent in French language advertising online in Canada in 2010. That’s up 14% from 2009. The split between search, display and classifieds / directories is similar in French and in English. We (IAB Canada) are forecasting 18% growth between 2010 and 2011 for French Canada as well as for English Canada.

Less is spent in French advertising online than in other media

19% of total online ad spend in Canada is in the French language. That is off from every other media (television, magazines, radio, out of home and newspapers) where the average (across media and for the past 15+ years) has been 22%. Why? There are two main reasons why French language’s share is smaller online: ease of access and regulation.

Regulation limits the number of English and French radio and television stations per market across the country. Regulation (competition bureau) limits cross media ownership. Municipal regulation limits the number of billboards + provincial law dictates the language of advertising. Competition and profitability limits the number newspapers and magazines out there.

Ease of access online gives, as you well know, users total access to everything online. All the French content one could desire. All the English content to complement whatever might be missing or inadequate in French. All the content in other languages if we’re more comfortable in them… There’s no regulation or economic bottleneck forcing users to consume a particular content over another – true freedom of choice reigns online.

These two factors create conditions where in other media, 22% makes sense. It’s the French media consumption‘s share. It’s what’s available in terms of advertising inventory. Further, consider just search. When a Francophone searches online, let’s say with Google. He or she may have a preference in what language they’d like to transact in, but if what they really want is only available in English, that will not be a deal breaker.

How does online compare with other media in Quebec?

In Canada as a whole, Internet ($2.1 billion dollars) is the 2nd most important media in ad spend next to television (almost $1 billion difference between the two still) and a few million dollars ahead of daily newspapers, direct marketing and radio. Internet holds a 15% media spend share among 10 media (including those above, yellow pages, magazines, out of home and mobile).

In Quebec, Internet ($400,000) is the 3rd most important behind television and daily newspapers – a little less than $100,000 separate newspapers and Internet. Internet is itself $100,000 ahead of weekly newspapers and radio. Internet holds a 19% share among 7 media (including those above plus magazines and out of home).

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