Cautious optimism about growth of media

Industry leaders stress that different mediums cannot be treated in silos, however, integration of media in itself is one of the greatest challenges

e4m by Nitin Pandey and Neha Goel
Updated: Feb 20, 2012 3:19 PM
Cautious optimism about growth of media

The much awaited Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2012 report was unveiled in Delhi on February 17. To get better insights into how the media, marketing and advertising industry foresees the coming year, a panel discussion followed the release of the report.

India TV was the presenting sponsor for the Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2012, which was powered by Zee Bangla. Associate sponsors were Discovery Networks and Times Television Network, while My FM was the co-sponsor. Hospitality partner was The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa, while 24 Frames Digital was the web streaming partner.

A panel of industry leaders deliberated on the topic ‘Media Decision Making: What drives it’. The panelists included Nigel Wark, Executive Director, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford India; Arunabh Das Sharma, Executive President, Bennett Coleman and Co Ltd; CVL Srinivas, Chairman, Starcom MediaVest Group; Rohit Gupta, President, Sony Entertainment Television; Praveen Sharma, Head of Media Sales, Google India; Varghese Chandy, Senior General Manager, Marketing Operations, Malayala Manorama; and Satyajit Sen, Chief Executive Officer, ZenithOptimedia India.

BCCL’s Sharma confessed that “the English press had witnessed a tough year” in 2011. At the same time, he added, “We are very bullish about the medium in the coming year.” He also threw light on the vast reach of television as a medium, but felt that due to the compulsive habit of consumers zapping channels, the impact could not be clearly quantified.

Speaking on the regional press’ expectations from 2012, Malayala Manorama’s Chandy remarked, “For the print medium, a spark of hope comes from the regional space. The English press reaches only 10 per cent of the English speaking population.”

Srinivas of Starcom MediaVest Group was more optimistic about the growth of the industry as against the predicted growth of 9 per cent as per the Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook. He said, “The second half of the year will be much better for growth. I predict an overall growth of 12-13 per cent on the higher end.”

On the other hand, ZenithOptimedia’s Sen was convinced by the predicted growth numbers. He said, “I feel TV will do better than print. But as far as numbers are concerned, we are in the same zone (as Madison).”

Agreeing with Sen, Gupta of Sony Entertainment Television noted, “The TV medium has done great and it will outgrow print.” He further said, “50 per cent of the Indian population comprises youth. The print industry is not doing much to tap this population, which will give an upper hand to TV.”

Google’s Sharma, or Perry as he is popularly known in the industry, drew the focus on digital, the medium that is receiving maximum focus from the entire industry. He said that search queries were a major part of the digital medium. According to him, “Search queries for Google continue to grow at 60 per cent YoY. Local search is growing faster and there is faster growth in smaller advertisers.”

Representing the marketers’ side, Wark of Ford India noted, “It is true that the consumer spends more time on the Internet. However, the combination of mediums will help.”

The unanimous thought, however, was that it wasn’t about one medium against the other, but integration of all mediums. Different mediums cannot be treated in silos. The industry leaders also felt that integration itself would be the greatest challenge.

More business for TV in 2012: Rajat Sharma
Rajat Sharma, Chairman and Editor in Chief, India TV, is upbeat about the upcoming digitalisation of the TV industry, and believes that it will attract more business for all – leading to more channels with better audio and video capabilities.

In a special address, Sharma said that growing hunger for news amongst the masses would drive the growth for TV industry in the year ahead. He added that 2012 would be a year of great awakening and opportunities for the industry.

In a humble admission, Sharma said that he was not an expert in the domain, but “a journalist at heart and a circumstantial entrepreneur”.

Referring to the Anna-Andolen, he stated that the last six months had been months of awakening for the people of India. And this opportunity was well grabbed by TV channels last year, including GECs. “People of the country are more aware and the hunger for information has grown several folds in the last few months,” he Sharma noted.

As a result, Sharma said, India TV had also made lots of changes in its content line up. “Now, India TV has more news, views and debates,” he added.

In his opinion, the year 2012 would see TV informing, educating, empowering and taking the country ahead in the path of growth.


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