AdEx collapsed by 65% in Q2, finds Pitch Madison Advertising Report H1

According to the mid-year review of the report, the AdEx is expected to rebound in H2 and grow by 60-72%. It shrunk by 39% overall with the COVID-19 impact in H1

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Aug 18, 2020 6:41 PM

The Pitch Madison Advertising Report has brought out a mid-year review of the advertising spends in India, revealing that AdEx saw a dramatic decline of 39% in the first half of 2020, shaving off almost Rs 14,000 crore from the ad pie. The review, necessitated by the extraordinary circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, also brought dismal news for traditional media, which saw 47% de-growth in H1. The overall AdEx drop is a whopping 65% for Q2. Traditional media also de-grew by as much as 71% in Q2.

Television and Digital seem to be bouncing back in June and July, but other mediums like Print, Cinema and Outdoor have not been so fortunate. With the festive season round the corner, the report does bring a glimmer of hope as it projects a 60-72% rebound for AdEx in H2 2020.

As part of the H1 2020 review, the report draws parallels from last year’s cash-spinning properties and events that contributed to the growth of AdEx. Last year on TV, the Indian Premier League (IPL), ICC World Cup and elections contributed around Rs 3,000 crore (34%) to the TV AdEx in Q2’19. However, the pandemic removed money-spinners like the IPL from the April-
May-June quarter this year, which has added to the decline.

In absolute terms, AdEx has de-grown from Rs 35,110 crore in H1’19 to Rs 21,298 crore in H1 2020, a drop of almost Rs 14,000 crore. AdEx has never seen a drop as dramatic as this. Digital media, the reigning growth-driver of AdEx in recent years, saw 7% de-growth in H1.

In the April-May-June 2020 quarter or Q2, TV and Digital together account for 80% market-share while Print registered a mere 18% share. Radio came down to 1%, and OOH and Cinema were virtually at ‘nil’. For Indian AdEx, the months of April and May were the worst ever when TV suffered despite breaking records in viewership and time spent by audience notwithstanding a dearth of original content. Even lucrative discounts offered by many broadcasters failed to bring advertisers back and the industry saw more than half the usual number of advertisers disappear from Print and Radio and a quarter from TV compared to normal times, in these three months.


The PMAR estimate for H2 2020 does show a glimmer of hope as TV and Digital seem to be inching towards normalcy. They are expected to perform well again, aided by the launch of IPL and big ticket properties such as KBC and Bigg Boss. The report, however, refrains from putting out a specific growth number as forecast this year as Radio, OOH and Cinema are still to see some semblance of normalcy.

However, it is now reasonably certain that the full year 2020 will show de-growth. If offices open in September, the report estimates that H2’20 in AdEx should grow by 60-72% compared to H1’20, leading to an overall de-growth in Adex, ranging  from -14 to -18 %.

The report also indicates that the pandemic may set the industry back to what it was three years ago. On an optimistic note, it says that if the festive season and consumer sentiment help the industry bounce back, then the COVID-19 outbreak may have set the M&E sector back by only two years.

Please find the entire report here.

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