Digital Media Conference 2010 was kicked off on March 19, 2010, with the keynote of Lynn de Souza, Chairman & CEO, Lintas Media Group. Speaking on the topic ‘Advertising in the Digital Media – is the rookie coming of the age?’, de Souza delved upon the various aspects of this digital domain, including challenges and opportunities.
She commenced her session by appreciating the concept of Digital Media Awards, which has been initiated by exchange4media Group, and said, “Digital Media Awards, which was organised by the exchange4media Group for the first time this year, is a very encouraging step. Digital medium needs a lot of push to give it what it deserves in India.”
Continuing with her keynote, de Souza compared this robust medium with print media. She noted, “Active users in digital medium are growing very fast. At 5.7 crore, digitally active users are far more in numbers than the readership of the leading newspapers of the country.”
Recalling the shift print to TV, de Souza said that that was effortless because there was money involved with the TV medium, but the case was different for the digital medium. Very less money was there in digital, however, the growth of Internet in India (at 56 per cent) was better than other mediums (the FM radio industry recorded a growth of 56.3 per cent, while the TV industry’s growth stood at just 36.7 per cent).
Though email and chat were popular tools in the Internet medium, de Souza believed that shopping and entertainment would slowly take over from these two tools. She further pointed out, “Multimedia entertainment is on the rise in the country. Movies on Internet are growing at a rate of 198 per cent year-on-year; music, 39 per cent YoY; and gaming at 22 per cent YoY. Broadband had grown at 80 per cent from September 2008 to November 2009 in the country.”
Commenting on social media, she said, “Social media is galloping ahead rapidly. Facebook has grown at 281 per cent in the last one year, while Linked In grew 231 per cent. Transformation of Facebook and Linked In has been faster than TV channels like Colors or Zee Network. We have got huge data that shows the kind of positive impact social media have on us.”
During her presentation, de Souza also explored the evolving advertising in the digital media domain. Emphasising on the language factor in advertising, she said, “78 per cent articles in Wiki are not in English, this needs to be noted. Spoken Hindi dominates in the real world, but is almost absent in the Internet world. With 490 million Hindi speakers, this language is among the top three in the world, but in digital, Hindi is not listed even in the top 10. Meanwhile, regional languages are also making their presence felt in this medium and advertisers will have to follow these trends.”
She further said that slowly but steadily, ad spend on the digital medium was growing with banking and finance leading the advertising on the Internet. “Advertisers are getting bolder on the medium and trying new ways to advertise. Forty per cent of the advertisers have already started doing viral ads. Once the FMCG sector comes on to this domain, we will see a big change,” she added.
Putting forward her vision for the future of digital media, de Souza said, “The Internet can be one mass through regionalisation. All the language publications and regional advertisers would be the future. Acceptance of mobile gaming through innovation will play a key role in this evolving medium. Mobile will soon be omnipresent, but we need to be creative in terms of content that can engage users.”