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Don't price your content low: Sam Balsara

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Don't price your content low: Sam Balsara

Indian advertising industry is going through boom time and there are buoyant predictions for 2011 too, but Sam Balsara, CMD, Madison World, warns that media owners should handle this boom time responsibly and ensure that the boom continues.

Also, it is time that media owners look at earning 50 per cent of their revenues from their audience/ readers. “In an attempt to have the largest audience, most of the media owners are making their content available for free or for a very low price. This certainly put all their revenue pressures on advertising monies, which is not a good thing from a long term perspective,” felt Balsara. He also stressed that controlled cost could also improve the profitability of media owners.

Balsara was speaking at an event organised to discuss the findings of the Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook (PMAO) 2011, presented by Star Majha.

Balsara began by stressing on the importance of the Pitch Madison Advertising Outlook report, which has become an authoritative report and a reference point for advertisers, media agencies and media owners. He further discussed the key findings of the report. As per PMAO 2011, the overall advertising industry grew at a very impressive rate of 27 per cent to stand at Rs 23,646 crore in the year 2010. Also, the report projects that the Indian advertising industry will grow by 17 per cent in calendar year 2011 and is expected to add about Rs 4,000 crore to the existing ad pie worth to take it to Rs 27,650 crore by the end of 2011. “For quite a while, I have been quoting Indian advertising industry to be around Rs 20,000 crore. I am excited now that I can start adapting myself to calling it an industry worth Rs 30,000 crore,” he added.

In the same breath, Balsara also cautioned that one should not get carried away by the huge percentage growths mentioned, because it was important to note that when it came to absolute numbers, Indian advertising industry was actually minuscule compared to its global counterparts. The global advertising pie stands tall at an impressive $400 billion. Compared to that, Indian advertising industry’s worth of $5 billion was too small. Balsara remarked, “So, from that perspective, we do have a long way to go.”

He then gave a quick contrast of what the Indian advertising industry was 10 years back to today’s scenario. “From approximately a Rs 8,000-crore industry, we have come to Rs 27,650, which is phenomenal,” he said.

Getting into segment wise performance, Balsara rightly pointed out how unlike the western market, in India, print was still a dominant player and growing at an impressive rate. As per the PMAO 2011, print’s share in the ad pie was 42 per cent. He added, “However, TV overtook print in advertising revenues in 2009 and continued to be ahead in 2010 and we hope this will be the trend in 2011 and in the years ahead.” He further stressed that though currently the share of TV and print was more or less at par, by the end of 2011, TV would maintain a clear lead of at least 5 percentage points than print. He then mentioned how TV had grown phenomenally at 24 per cent in 2010. Balsara also stated that though Internet grew the fastest, at 50 per cent, yet it was notable that the base for Internet was very small.


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