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Guest Column: Crystal Ball gazing into 2016 Media Trends: Ashish Bhasin

04-January-2016
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Guest Column: Crystal Ball gazing into 2016 Media Trends: Ashish Bhasin

As we kickstart 2016, Ashish Bhasin Chairman & CEO South Asia - Dentsu Aegis Network Chairman Posterscope & psLIVE - Asia Pacific, shares five key trends that will rule the year.

The only constant in media trends for 2016 is that they will change. Things will almost certainly not look the same in 2016 as they did in the past. More so, the pace of change will accelerate and catch many unawares.

Five key media trends that we will see in 2016 are as follows:

1.    Beginning of the End for Dinosaurs:  As an industry we have had a disproportionate number of dinosaurs that have managed to survive longer than they merited. 2016 will mark the definitive beginning of their end. Irrespective of their past or present size. These will include media agencies which still question whether digital at 8% of the industry is mainstream as well as media houses who keep believing that they can keep doing the same things year on year and their audiences will always stay loyal to them, irrespective of how much out of date they may have become.

2.    Monetizing Mobile: After years of churning out meaningless figures of several hundred million mobiles in India, for the first time in 2016 the industry will learn to monetize mobile. Dentsu Aegis Network research shows that in developing countries the inflexion point usually comes once smart phone penetration crosses 25-30%. I feel towards the end of 2016 we will be close to that, if not already there.

3.    Established order will change all across:  This will be across board. In television better sense of what India watches, through BARC data, will throw up new winners and losers, as Rural data stabilizes.

In print, regional print will challenge the supremacy of English National Newspapers, with respect to advertising revenue.

In OOH, where a sudden spurt of Digital OOH and more professional media owners can be expected, the landscape will throw up new players.

           4.    Media Buying & Selling will become more and more Programmatic:  2016 will see Programmatic enter mainstream, from just being a Power Point slide. Rapidly the ground work will be laid for programmatic not just dominating digital media buying and selling but also permeating into TV and gradually into Print, Radio and OOH.

5.    Media industry entering Bull Market phase from 2016:  For far too long the Indian advertising industry has hovered around USD 6-7 Billion, growing at single digits in USD terms. I believe we are entering an equivalent of a mid-term “bull-market”, which will see the industry grow at 12% for the next 5 years. There may be ups and downs but a 5 years CAGR of over 12% growth in USD terms should be expected. This will be driven partially by rising media costs but largely by the new media explosion that we are beginning to witness.

I have no doubt that there will be several competitors of mine who will disagree with the bullishness I share on mobile, new media and on the digital front. But then dinosaurs were never known for adapting quickly to changes in the environment!

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