eMarketer estimates that digital ad spending in India will cross $1 billion in 2017. According to another estimate by Carat Media, ad spending in India is expected to grow at 13.9 per cent in 2017 with digital being the major driver of growth.
There are a number of factors that have come together to create a favourable environment for digital advertising, primary among which is a huge and still growing population, many of who are getting introduced to the online medium for the first time. Even though digital advertising still forms a very small per cent of the overall advertising spends, it is factors like these that are making people so optimistic about its prospects in the future.
As we head into 2017, we take a look at some of the key trends to expect in digital advertising in the year ahead.
Regional video content consumption will increase
Video advertising turned out to be one of the more popular forms of advertising online last year and this is expected to continue into 2017. One of the major trends within video is going to be the use of data to develop more focused video content especially targeting regional audiences.
“We are seeing increase in creation of segmented and regional content using data sciences. We have seen an increase in 60-70 per cent increase in video content production budget with campaigns now strategic rather than occasion or event specific,” informed Charulata Ravikumar, CEO for SapientNitro & Razorfish India.
“Video consumption will continue to increase as cheaper mobile internet connections become available and the connected user base grows. As a result, mobile-and-social-friendly video formats such as short videos, vertical videos, and live videos will become more common. 2017 will also see the battle of OTT video platforms in India. We will see several of these platforms invest heavily in original content in order to try and entice new users. Pricing will be competitive, choices aplenty - all good things for consumers. Long-form programming will become the cornerstone of this battle. Ad spends on video creators and video platforms will increase significantly as brands try to find the most effective means to reach their target audience. Success will no longer be measured predominantly by video views - engagement will become the new TRP,” opined Ashwin Suresh, Co-founder of Pocket Aces.
Live video will come of age
All media platforms, from YouTube to Facebook to Twitter; to even newer OTT players like Hotstar have identified live video content as an important platform going ahead. With significant effort being spent in the development of this platform, we could see more and more brands start using this medium for their marketing activities. Publishers like NDTV among others have already started using live videos on Twitter and Facebook for news broadcasts and events coverage. We expect more media companies to start using this medium in 2017.
“Live video and VR will become omnipresent. And Facebook will up the ante in a big way in its quest to end YouTube's dominance as the world's primary video platform,” said Roopak Saluja, Founder & CEO of The 120 Media Collective and Sooperfly.
2017 will be the year of the AI
Gautamm Mehra, Chief Data Officer of Dentsu Aegis Network opines that 2017 will be a turning point for Artificial Intelligence (AI).
“I see 2017 as the year of data for sure. With Google now changing their mission statement from organizing the world’s information to being an AI company, I see 2017 as being the turning point for AI in more commercial industries and advertising is not going to be left out,” he said.
Saluja also agreed that AI will play a bigger role in 2017, thereby enhancing the potential of Big Data and analytics beyond the exploitation capability of the human mind.
“It won't change the game yet in 2017 but you'll see the writing on the wall. Advertisers will stop taking vanity metrics at face value. The era of clicks, views and Comscore will come to an end. Only numbers that move the needle in terms of brand affinity or sales will matter,” he said.
Programmatic advertising will receive an impetus
Though programmatic advertising has been growing steadily over the last couple of years, it has still to take off in India. However, this could change in 2017 as advertisers and agencies come under increasing pressure to justify investments in digital advertising and ensure that the brand is getting the required RoI. Even as brands hunt for newer ways to reach the consumer, concepts like header buying, etc. might find more interest among brands looking for cheaper and more efficient ways of broadcasting their brand message.
“Clients will want more control and visibility on the data they generate via owning their own DMPs and integration between CRM and advertising will get even more tighter. Programmatic buying though has not yet seen as much uptake till now, will definitely pick up steam in 2017. There is definitely interest in new concepts like header buying but actual execution is not as simple as it seems,” says Mehra.
Metrics and transparency will become more important
The recent spate of embarrassing revelations by Twitter and Facebook has created a bit if a stir in the industry and has reinforced views taken by some that it is high time platforms like these start allowing neutral agencies to evaluate campaign efficacy. From an Indian context, there has not been a huge hue and cry around this issue so far but with Western clients and agencies clamouring for more transparency, expect more changes in the way platforms like Facebook and Twitter report data to clients in the near future.