India’s advertising expenditure is expected to touch Rs 49,000 crore in 2015, forecasts GroupM India, WPP’s media communications agency.
This translates into 12.6% growth for calendar year 2015. As per GroupM’s biannual AdEx (advertising expenditure) report, ad spend was Rs 43,490 crore in 2014, an increase of 12.5% over 2013.
The report attributes the growth to aggressive ad spend during general and state elections and industry categories such as e-commerce and telecom. The FMCG sector, which contributes nearly a third to the country’s total ad spend, had a steady year, growing broadly in line with industry average.
Announcing the group’s forecast for 2015, CVL Srinivas, CEO of GroupM South Asia, said, “Digital, TV and cinema are expected to be the high-growth media channels. We are seeing a lot more confidence among local businesses to invest in brand-building than before. This is a positive sign for the industry.”
According to Srinivas, the penetration of smartphones coupled with the popularity of online video is making FMCG companies spend more on the digital medium. “Another trend is the emergence of categories like e-commerce and the increased competition in telecom both of which are aiding the growth of traditional media channels including print and TV apart from digital,” he added.
As per GroupM’s research, the digital media continue to show the maximum growth of 37% in 2015. In fact, digital has been growing at an average rate of 35% over the last two years.
“Television is showing a higher growth percentage in 2015 compared to last year with 16%. The big-ticket event this year is the ICC Cricket World Cup in February and March, with scope for programming and advertising innovation during the tournament,” according to the GroupM report.
Prasanth Kumar, managing partner, Central Trading Group, GroupM South Asia and CEO designate Mindshare South Asia, said that over the last few years, Indian media has been in a state of change.
”The next 3-5 years will be about embracing technology, which will allow both advertisers and media owners to customise distribution to a premium niche audience. In 2015, programmatic buying will see an impetus as all media in the future will see automation, backed by smart data and analytics,” he added.
The surprise element in the media mix has been cinema advertising, which finally closed 2014 with a 25% increase. This year, too, GroupM estimates this media category to grow at 20% as multiplex chains consolidate, leading to a more organised and accountable environment. With technology fueling exhibition and distribution, especially in smaller towns, consumers will get a better viewing experience, points out the report.
Even with pressures on ad revenues, the print medium shows an increase by 5.2% against the 2014 estimate of 7.6%; however, print magazines continue to be on the decline as many look at digital delivery mechanisms, says the report.