The print medium has continued its fall in calendar 2000 in terms of the volume of advertising. Its share fell 3 per cent to 56 per cent of the Rs 6,500 crore total mass media expenditure. This is due to the sudden mushrooming of new satellite channels over the last few months. Companies which needed to have a Rs 2-3 crore ad budget to advertise on mainstream channels, can now sustain on a shoe-string budget of Rs 50 lakh on regional and niche channels.
Television appears to have become the accepted medium of the day. The options are now far too wide. Last year, dotcoms were mainly spending in print. Now, not only dotcoms but also all client budgets have gone down. So, the fragmented television media actually offers cheaper options.
Last year, the total mass media expenditure stood at Rs 5,750 crore according to an A&M survey (December 2000). Hindustan Lever has shown a marked preference for television. According to the ADEX service of ORG Marg (which calculates on the basis of the media rate cards), the fast moving consumer goods major spent Rs 845.2 crore for 15,4433 ad slots in television against Rs 1.8 crore in print for 3771 inserts last year.
Added to this is the fact that from April 1, newsprint has seen a 15 per cent surcharge which has been absorbed into the rates.