Happy 2019 to the Indian Ad Land: The Numbers Look Good

The Indian advertising industry will grow at a healthy CAGR of 14-15% during 2019. Advertising revenues will be around Rs 70,000 - Rs80,000 cr this year.

e4m by Venkata Susmita Biswas
Published: Jan 2, 2019 8:59 AM  | 4 min read

Hello Readers, Happy New Year! 

2019 is going to be a good one for the Indian Advertising fraternity. Don’t believe us? 

Take a look at the numbers

As per multiple estimates, the Indian advertising industry will grow at a healthy CAGR of 14-15% during 2019. It will be worth around Rs 70,000 - Rs80,000 cr. The industry has recovered from the massive blow that it suffered due to demonetisation, implementation of the GST regime and RERA and 2019 will see a strong growth.  

As per the latest KPMG media and entertainment report, of the various sectors, digital will grow at the fastest pace of around 30 per cent, followed by TV at 12.6 per cent, radio at 10.2 per cent, OOH at 9.2 per cent and print at 5.9 per cent over the next five years. 

Television advertising will grow on the back of growing TV penetration, strong advertising demand on the back of domestic consumption and major events - two cricket world cups and General Election. 

The growth of digital advertising will get stronger due to the continued deepening of digital adoption prompted by the Mukesh Ambani-led Jio revolution and dropping data costs. Usage from regional markets will provide advertisers the opportunity to offer customised advertising to wider demographics in 2019.

The OOH segment will benefit from the Indian government’s smart cities’ campaign, promotion of public welfare schemes and expansion of the airport network. 

The revival of the industry, upcoming major events, and bolstered consumer spending will lead to the Indian advertising industry becoming the third largest in the world after the US and China.  
Biggest Democracy will Spend Big

The upcoming general elections and sporting events such as two cricket world cups will drive ad revenues this year. General elections in particular will offer a boost to television, print and digital ad revenues. 

In FY 2017-2018 alone the ruling Modi government spent Rs 1,315.83 crore on promoting the government’s initiatives and achievements. This number is expected to be higher during 2019 ahead of the general elections. 

Political parties, which have already experimented with digital promotions in the 2014 elections, will be stepping up their digital and especially social media promotions in 2019. From Whatsapp to Facebook and Twitter to Instagram political parties are leveraging every digital medium to target voters.

Overarching Trends

As telecom operators see content as a differentiator, tech companies find growth from video content consumption, and media companies get access to a variety of distribution channels through this convergence, India’s media ecosystem has reached an inflection point. This ultimate convergence of telecom, media and technology is one of the major drivers of the industry and the convergence of this holy trinity will continue to shape the industry in 2019. 

The non-metro phenomenon will also play a big part in the media ecosystem of 2019. Television, print, and digital mediums are seeing significant growth and penetration in rural India and tier-II and tier-III cities. As per the KPMG report, non-urban demand is driving growth
in Hindi and other language newspapers. The introduction and strong performance of free-to-air (FTA) channels to tap rural and semi-urban markets is one of the main drivers of television advertising. Availability of data at affordable rates increased the reach of digital platforms into rural areas driving a significant growth in digital usage and changing the demographics of digital consumption from niche to mass. 

Audience measurement will unlock higher spends

As 2018 drew to a close the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a consultation paper to solicit the views of stakeholders on regulatory initiatives/ measures to be taken to make TV rating services more accurate and widely acceptable. 

This review of television measurement comes at a time when industry stakeholders are yet to arrive at a consensus about a unified video measurement solution for the media landscape in India. 

Even measurement of radio and OOH sectors needs more rigour. Currently, TAM’s Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) which follows a manual diary method is limited to the four metro cities. OOH sector has the inherent drawback of being a tough-to-measure medium and this is amplified by the absence of an independence measurement body. 

Solutions to these measurement problems can help agencies and advertisers justify spends and media owners validate claims. 

Here’s to hoping that in 2019 the industry will get closer to solving these problems thereby unlocking higher ad spends.

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