At Rs 22,057 crore, advertising spends on digital media overtook spends on print in 2019, becoming the second largest advertising medium in India after television. A GroupM report also found that 27% of all advertising spend went to digital media platforms in 2019, while 22% went to print publications.
India, the report noted, is expected to be the fastest-growing advertising market in the world. GroupM forecasts India’s advertising investment to reach Rs 91,641 crore in 2020. Of this 30% or Rs 27,803 crore is expected to be earned by digital media companies, 42% or Rs 38,081 crore is estimated to be spent on television and 20% or Rs 18,140 crore is expected to be invested on the print medium.
The ad industry is estimated to grow at 10.7% during the year. Digital media is estimated to grow at a rate of 26%, outpacing traditional media such as TV, radio and outdoor advertising which are growing at 7-8% annually. Print is expected to hold on to its current level, registering negligible growth in 2020.
Commenting on the findings of the report, Prasanth Kumar, CEO, GroupM South Asia, says that digital is growing on the back of greater use of technology, affordable data costs and better content across media. “It is not just large national level companies that are spending on digital, but also SMEs that are looking to talk to smaller, niche audiences,” he points out.
A large portion of the money spent on digital advertising goes into the pockets of the duopoly of Google and Facebook. “These two companies attract over 70% of all digital ad spend. Which means that the three main areas that marketers spend on are: video, social media and search advertising,” shares Sandeep Goyal, chairman, Mogae Media.
An increase in spending on digital platforms calls for improved and efficient ways of measuring digital video consumption across devices. Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC India) had floated a unified digital measurement tool – Ekam – in April 2017. But the project is yet to see the light of day. In the meantime, agencies have developed their own tools to measure the outcome and impact of the digital campaigns they run for brands.
“We have tools to measure outcomes for performance marketing. That said, there is a lot more to be done about digital measurement from a branding perspective in particular. We need to accept that it is not easy to build such a tool,” says Kumar. Industry experts have observed that international behemoths like Google and local platforms have not been able to arrive at a consensus or unified measurement system, stalling progress on the matter.
“In the absence of a universal measurement tool, let’s try to create the next best possible solution. We are working with partners and platforms themselves to devise solutions that can address the concerns of marketers,” adds Kumar.
Goyal emphasises on the need for uniform measurement especially because the digital advertising market is a duopoly that should be regulated.