Display ad impressions grow in Europe
The comScore 2010 Europe Digital Year in Review, which reviews key digital trends in the European media market, found that Europeans spend more time on Facebook than on any other site, 34% more time than a year ago. But the numbers most important to digital publishers are what the review has to say about the advertising on social networks numbers for Europe.
On the continent, total display ad impressions on social networking sites grew 47% in the UK, 64% in France and doubled in Germany (102%) in the period between December 2009 and December 2010. The study surveyed 18 markets: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK.
In Europe, web-based email is still quite viable - unlike trends we're seeing among younger U.S. consumers. "The younger generation aged 15-34 are increasingly shifting their online activity to social networking (+32 percent) whereas the older population, above the age of 35, are experimenting with social networking but also embracing the comfort of traditional email (+6 percent)," the report states. Also: Sharing -- updates, photos, etc. -- in Europe became the most popular use of social media.
The rise of social networking in Europe has come at the expense, curiously enough, of instand messaging. IM, once the most popular digital destination in Europe, declined 8.3 percentage points from a year ago. EBay, curiously, lost 3.6 percentage points in 2010.
The report found that social networking penetration in Europe increased by 10.8% last year -- the highest seen in any region globally. Facebook was the leading social networking sites in 15 out of those 18 markets, excepting local social networks in Russia, Poland, as well as the Netherlands.
Several demographic trends really popped for me in this study, from the point of view at least to the American eye. For instance, the total number of people using coupon sites in Europe in a month grew 162% to 34.9 million visitors year over year. Wow. Much of the growth in this space is being attributed to Groupon, which bought competitor CityDeal, making it the biggest cat in the jungle.
Another surprise: more than half of Europe's regular digital consumers in Europe are above the age of 35. Even LinkedIn, which here is quite focused on the college age demographic, has only 10.4% of its users under the age of 25 in Europe. Further, half of LinkedIn's audience on the continent is between the ages of 35-54.
Finally, at 90.4% Turkey had the highest Facebook penetration, followed by the UK, at 81.7% reach. In 2010 in Europe Facebook made it's significant gains in Portugal (up 48.2 percentage points; overtaking hi5.com in March) and Germany (up 27.2 percentage points; overtaking StudiVZ sites in March).