The slowdown of last year saw a shrink in the advertising pie. The question that topped everybodyТs mind: is the Indian media under-priced and how do Indian media CPTs compare with those of the other countries? Can the advertising pie grow without the corresponding growth of sales of products and services it promotes? To answer these questions were a set of eminent speakers at the session on СTime to Grow - The Advertising Pie (Media)Т, which included Shashi Sinha of Lodestar Universal, Bharat Patel of WFA, Bhaskar Das of The Times of India, Uday Shankar of Star, and Ronnie Screwvala of UTV. The session was moderated by Lintas Media GroupТs Lynn de Souza.
Sinha commenced the session by presenting CPT models around the world. He started by saying, УIndia is an underleveraged market.Ф He explained that in a lot of mediums, except for print, there was no reference to CPTs and when it came to television, CPTs were just overlooked; it was just the ratings that were being looked at. УFrom what AdEx shows, we are a meddling market,Ф he noted.
He further said, УIndia is down in television, magazines and newspapers. Radio is not so bad and the same goes for the Internet when it comes to comparing ourselves with other countries.Ф Talking further about the print industry, Sinha said that there was potential for the medium to grow. УDeveloped markets show high leverage on magazines and thus the entry of multiple niche players in India could exist. The message is that there is huge potential for magazines in India and also television,Ф he added.
He ended his session by saying, УIf we as an industry start adopting CPTs, a lot of things can change.Ф
Patel started his presentation by narrating a short story of the pricing of Vicks VaporRub in Japan and in India, which ended up in a very simple fact that everything in India was low priced when converted to dollars. The point that Patel wanted to make was that the same was the case with CPT, but then again he firmly stated that УCPT cannot be looked at in isolation. It has to be looked at with regards to the money spent, consumption patterns, etc.Ф
He concluded by saying, УWhen it comes to CPT, we are in the ballpark with countries like China and Indonesia, which is good to be compared to. Revenues for everyone have to grow. It is the growth of sales and value that is the real driving force.Ф
With his witty humour, Das took the stage to give the audience a view from the print medium. He kicked off his presentation by saying, УIn the print media, language print clocked a better growth, which is a sign that print as a medium is growing. Even though there are a lot of numbers floating around, talking about the growth or de-growth of the pint medium, the problem was only last year when the industry fell victim to the global slowdown. We should not think of that anymore because now we are back and we are rocking.Ф
Continuing on the disruption of the slowdown, Das said, УThe media got disrupted last year, but disruption is a part of life. We should now get on and look at the new age market and new imperatives. To my mind, the market culture has to change. We need to look at things like consumption and word of mouth amongst other things. We talk of change, but fundamentally nothing has changed, only options have and this is true not just for print but all mediums.Ф He ended his presentation by saying, УToday, customers have a choice, we have to think not of СorТ but СandТ and be more focused on the advertiser and the consumer. Along with that, we have to create excellence, co-create and co-exist, engage and innovate while managing markets and margins.Ф
Giving the audiences a television point of view was Shankar, who spoke largely about the broadcasting sector being large and yet not profitable. УBroadcasting is now the largest segment of the media and entertainment pie. The cable and satellite industry today is at 100 million homes. And even though we have 500-plus channels, broadcasting is still not profitable. It is an industry that is losing its health very rapidly because in this country broadcasters get a very small percentage of the profit, which we have to give back as carriage fees. As a result of this, we have a high dependence on ad-revenues.Ф
Shankar summed up his presentation by raising the question whether TV was becoming too cheap a medium? УTV has always been a medium which is cheaper than other mediums, what we have to ponder upon is has it become too cheap?Ф
The last presenter was Screwvala, who seconded Shankar. Taking forward what was already said, Screwvala commented, УWhen there is so much of pressure on both sides of the coin and the other side content innovation Ц it is cramping and it is challenging. Also, what I find is that the domain knowledge is lacking. What happened last year is becoming more and more irrelevant. We need to know the medium.Ф
Talking about consolidation, he said, УThere has to be a strong sense of consolidation. When I say consolidation I do not mean that the smaller organisations will be eaten up by the larger ones. What I mean is that other forms of consolidation are what should be looked at, like there is a huge gap between supply and demand and shrinking of the supply chain can be looked at.Ф He further said, УMedia technology is changing and when we talk of consolidation, we should be looking at a 360-degree approach to everything.Ф
Taking forward the presentations into a panel discussion, Lynn de Souza, the moderator of the panel, said, УThere is definitely scope for value and we have to go just beyond what we have just been doing and innovate. Input costs have to be looked into and different revenue models and streams must be looked at besides largely looking at advertising revenue.Ф
She commented that maybe various channels did not have sufficient differentiation that was being offered, which moved the discussion to content creation and what was really differentiation. On this, Das commented, УEveryone wants differentiation, but innovation and content creation have to be generated and this is not as simple.Ф
Screwvala commented, УDifferentiation on television is there. One should not take soaps as a differentiating factor. There is a split in generation and there is a lot of segmentation that is happening.Ф