DB Corp’s Q2 profit is up by 25 per cent to Rs 60 crore; its advertising revenues has grown by 18 per cent year-on-year to Rs 309.9 crore from its print business and by 14 per cent to Rs 17.5 crore from its radio business.
HT Media, on the other hand, saw a 6 per cent increase from print advertising revenue to Rs 386.8 crore from Rs 364 crore in Q2-FY13 due to increase in advertising yields and ad volumes. The total revenue was up by 11 per cent to Rs 591.6 crore from Rs 535.3 crore in the same quarter last year.
Amit Patil, Media Analyst, Angel Broking, who tracks, HT Media, DB Corp and Dainik Jagran in the print business shared, “The revenue growth from Hindi editions for HT is around 40 per cent. In case of the print media, the margins are higher for the Hindi editions as the cost of newsprint for the English editions are considerably higher. Therefore, it would be safe to say that the margins of HT Media would be lower as compared to its Hindi counterparts. DB Corp has reduced its losses from Maharashtra and Jharkhand editions, while it also launched a Patna edition.”
As broadcasting sector witnesses too many developments, including the 10+2 ad cap, there is a considerable decline in the flexibility of inventories and therefore, the losses the sector will incur in the upcoming quarter (Q3) is likely to be captured by the print and digital, as most advertisers are not keen to cater to the increase in ad rates from broadcasting fraternity.
Anindya Ray, Vice President, Lodestar UM said, “The quantum of advertisements has increased on the print side considerably in the last few months, especially in the dailies. Leading consumer brands, especially technology brands, have allocated a bulk of their ad pie to print dailies. The festive season, which is a make or break for these brands, and new launches are propelling these developments. Print is likely to gain more in the coming quarter.”
Recent supplements of major national dailies saw four pager and two pager advertisements from various brands. Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Sony, Micromax, etc. have started investing substantially in print. Experts feel that as of now reach and acceptance of print media will give it an advantage as compared to the digital medium.
But the picture also has another side to it.
Gain is inevitable, its direction is not
Chandro Kalroo, COO, TTK Prestige, who recently tied up with Sab TV for a separate cookery show, said, “if you ask me, for the short run, print with its fundamental nature will definitely win this quarter game. But it would be wrong to say that digital will not gain at all. The gain will be both the sides, but the rate in digital is likely to be less than print media. In spite of this, the AdEx business on TV would return to normal.”
Many advertisers are of the opinion that since print media has got a vernacular and mass appeal, objectives that one aims to achieve are likely to be gained from the medium. But there is also an understanding among marketers that the shift in spend might be seasonal.
Shirish Joshi, COO, Strategic Marketing, Godrej shared, “I don’t think that the shift will happen from broadcast because of these developments. Marketers in some cases could have held back spends on TV as the sales have seen a dip. The sentiment is down. Marketers cannot give a discount and then advertise like before. There are certain brands which only advertise in Diwali, or in some cases brands chose print because they have local offers.”
Another angle which came to light was that of the static media; the one that has a large shelf life, as brands see a better value proposition from it. Ajit Varghese, CEO, Maxus, Asia Pacific said, “I don’t think broadcasters are suffering from loss in revenues. Their profits, which are now sourced from international channels, DTH, distribution, are not under pressure. Next quarter even if there is economic downturn, it might not affect their revenues. This is because any medium that has a larger shelf life or enables story telling like digital, TV or any other screens like Cinema, mobile will continue to gain vs static mediums”.
The gain will vary between the sectors and one cannot conclude which medium might gain more in the long run. But as per volume and value, print should outdo digital in Q3. Marketers are also confident that broadcasters will get back their business in the long run, and the gains to other media are only short-term.