Can telcos exploit loopholes in TRAI ruling?
TRAI's banning of differential pricing based on content was a welcome move but there are still fears that a couple of loopholes in the guidelines could be potentially exploited by the telecom operators.
TRAI's ruling on differential pricing has now made it impossible for operators to levy separate tariffs for services/applications based on content. However, there still remains a possibility that they could utilize a small loophole in the ruling to provide their own apps at a discounted rate. This stems from the fact that TRAI has mentioned that closed networks are not subject to the same rules on pricing differentiation.
It has been pointed out by some observers, like IAMAI, that this loophole could be exploited by telcos. For example, it is feared that, operators like Airtel or Reliance Jio could use this to provide their own apps to their users for free or discounted pricing in a closed circle.
When asked about his views on this, Amresh Nandan, Research Director at Gartner said, "Yes, that possibility may arise. Considering the discriminatory pricing, regulation is primarily for internet, it is possible to create applications specifically for intranet and offer different kinds of services / pricing. However this may not mean blocking other applications or content. In such a case, it is not violating net neutrality."
To be fair, TRAI has taken cognizance of this fact and has mentioned in its ruling that if an operator is found to be using this to "defeat the purpose of the regulation", then TRAI would intervene. Meanwhile, Ashutosh Sharma, VP and Research Director at Forrester, opined that bringing zero rating under the umbrella of net neutrality has simplified the regulatory process. “I believe it is a very good step because now service providers and content providers have absolute clarity on the rules of the game and field is level for everyone,” he opined.
He agreed that a slight potential that the aforementioned loophole might be misused did exist in any closed network that is excluded from TRAI’s regulation. He also pointed out that the penalty of Rs 50,000 (with a cap of Rs 50 lakh) did not seem very daunting.
Telecom operators, meanwhile, will now have to think of new ways of circumventing the new rules.
Pointing out that the TRAI ruling just emphasizes the influence that marketing reach and consumer insights of telecom operators has, Abhay Doshi, SVP (Product and Marketing) at Flytxt said there were numerous alternatives available to telcos. Giving some examples, he said telcos could provide marketing reach to other industries by reverse bundling their recharge coupons with discounts for products and services, e.g. spend this amount and get redeemable cashback or direct free product, subscription or discount. “The opposite is already happening today where you buy a product and get talktime/data free,” he noted.
“They could build, partner or acquire trending VAS services and bundle them as freemium version like how Microsoft offers Skype with its OS or how Google Map comes pre-installed with every android mobile OS. I believe it is only a matter of time before OTT players start building apps exclusively for telecom operators so that they can tap into the operator’s extensive reach, captive audience and deep consumer insights,” he noted.
Another option, according to him, is to start offering their own digital services by either building it in-house or acquiring another service provider. For example, Airtel has its own music streaming service, Wynk.
As, TRAI's ruling is only about discrimination based on content, they could look at other models that are within TRAI's rules. One example could be Equal Rating as proposed by Mozilla, wherein a brand sponsors a certain number of data for the consumer and gets a "Brought to you by" mention.
"Mozilla has been exploring 'Equal Rating' model with Grameenphone in Bangladesh. It appears to be a good model from inclusion perspective, where people with no / little disposable income can get access to internet. However in some sense, it can also be undemocratic by affecting social behavior in a certain way. So it needs to be explored further," opined Nandan.
He also added that telcos would definitely explore other opportunities as the rise in data traffic and content demand is of interest to all telcos. "It is important for them to identify ways that helps data monetization more effectively than what it is happening today. So they will definitely explore," he said.
TRAI Chairman RS Sharma told media that the regulator will now turn its focus on the other issue that has long been demanded by proponents of net neutrality, namely, throttling and fastlaning.
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Has digital become the new flag bearer of advertising?
Digital advertising’s market share in 2022 touched 48.8%, while TV rests at 36%, according to recently released GroupM This Year Next Year 2022 report
By Kanchan Srivastava | Dec 7, 2022 8:44 AM | 7 min read
Digital advertising in 2022 has surpassed all projections made at the beginning of this year, if GroupM’s year-end report is an indication.
According to the year-end report titled ‘This Year Next Year’ 2022 released on Monday, digital AdEx now accounts for a whopping 48.8% market share in advertising; TV represents just 36%. At the beginning of 2022, GroupM had estimated that digital will capture 45% share in advertising, while TV will remain at 39%, a unique proposition that surprised the advertising and media industry. Pitch Madison Annual Report 2022 had made similar predictions of digital advertising leaving behind TV in AdEx.
Despite dwindling market share, TV advertising has grown at 10.8% rate this year and is expected to grow at 13.8% in 2023. Digital advertising will see growth rise from 17.3% in 2022 to 21% in 2023.
Meanwhile, India’s total ad spends have reached $14.9 billion (approx Rs 122,000 crores) exhibiting nearly 15.8 percent growth and expected to grow at 16.8%, the media agency claimed.
TV Vs digital
TV has been losing its share of the ad pie over the last three years, while digital has been gaining. From 29 per cent market share in 2019, digital AdEx share grew to 38 per cent in 2020, 41 per cent in 2021 and touching 49 per cent in 2022.
Meanwhile, TV’s market share which remained above 40 per cent so far, has slid to 36 per cent in 2022, claims TYNY year-end report. It has added fuel to the ongoing debate on digital versus TV that has rocked the media and advertising industry for the last couple of years.
According to Mona Jain, CRO of ABP Network, the growing dominance of digital is a reality. “Well, this is a reality, and one can see that through the campaigns being released. Digital is taking dominance and many brands when planning campaigns are also looking at only digital communication - hence the forecast,” she noted.
Jain believes that television still works as a “reach generator” but increasingly digital is also being perceived as not only providing reach to campaigns but also providing enhanced frequency efficiently. “But I don’t know how effective it is and if the brand campaigns are able to create enough visibility and impact and create a sustained recall for the brands,” she quips.
The shift towards digital is not a new development as we have seen over the last few years. Since 2016 digital advertising has grown by over 300%. Today Digital consumption growth has outstripped all other media consumption, he adds.
One of the reasons for the shift to digital could be the stress on the economy and factors like the war and rising inflation leading to reduced margins for advertisers forcing them to be conservative and run only sustenance campaigns - where digital works better from an efficiency and outlay point of view, Jain explains.
Jain further adds, “The categories that are spending money like auto, pharma, e-commerce, and mobiles are redirecting money to digital. While FMCG is still spending on television and did report growth but with reduced margins, they too used television judiciously and focused on the efficiency of delivery and hence were limited on impact buys.”
According to Ashish Bhasin, Co-Founder and Chairman, RD&X Network, in adverse market conditions where advertisers are looking at conserving spends, brand spends are often delayed and curtailed. “Brands are undergoing a rationalization phase where every penny is accounted for,” he says.
Shift was inevitable
Marketers believe the shift towards digital video was inevitable as the number of connected users continues to rise across the length and breadth of India.
Rajiv Dubey, Media Head, Dabur India, shared, “With almost as many smartphone devices in hands of people as much as the TV universe, the change was bound to happen. This change will be felt across e-commerce platforms as well as unified payment systems become accessible to a wider population.”
The growth of digital has been consistent over the past decade with two big inflexion points. The first was in 2016 when Jio’s launch crashed data prices in India to amongst the lowest in the world. This together with the increase in smartphone penetration, estimated at over 600 million users, spiked digital consumption dramatically, shares Lloyd Mathias, Business Strategist and Investor.
To make matters worse, TV viewership shrank by 12% in 2022 with a sharp decline in consumption in major genres such as Hindi news channels (-21%), General Entertainment Channels (-23%), Movies (-11%) and Regional GECs (-3%).
Is a drop in viewership responsible for AdEx's shift to digital? Jain denies. “I don’t think it is essentially because of a drop in viewership- you do have programmes and genres of channels still delivering high numbers, nationally and regionally.”
Low cost, innovative formats
Digital advertising enables smaller advertisers with limited budgets to slice and dice consumers for their relevant segments, experts point out.
Mathias says, “SMEs can target consumers at a much lower cost than mass television buys where segregation of audiences to the level of personalisation is not possible.”
Mona Jain echoes the sentiments, saying, “Probably digital platform’s ability to innovate and create impactful communication at lower outlays to a targeted audience and also quantification of the same could be the reason for the shift.”
Besides, digital advertising moved beyond simplistic formats to more evolved formats like influencer marketing and social commerce. All these are contributing to moving the advertising pie toward digital.
TV plus digital
Bhasin insists that it is “digital plus TV '', not “digital versus TV”.
“Both TV and digital are growing in India. India is still in fact a fast growing market for TV. However, digital is growing faster than TV and its growth momentum will continue for two main reasons-5G network and addition of 250-300 million new internet users soon from small towns and rural India,” Bhasin says, adding that TV will continue to grow as it offers reach while digital helps in performance driven marketing.
Bhasin, however, clarifies that platforms that offer good content would grow, others won’t. “Content is not just king. Content is the emperor now. For users, channels or platforms are not important. They stick to good content. Going forward, channels offering good content will rise,” Bhasin opines.
Decline of TV share is blamed on the rise of OTTs, short video platforms and social media platforms, all of which are competing for the share of time spent by the TV audience.
“Advent of CTV, as modern TV boxes are getting internet enabled, is opening the user to a plethora of quality content from the various OTTs. Short video apps have also eaten into the share of time spent and eyeballs of the TV audience. This shift is also mirrored by the shift in ad spends on the medium,” said Sajal Gupta, Sajal Gupta - Chief Executive - Kiaos Marketing.
He added that CTV and OTTs also allow sharper targeting which makes the media reach out a lot more effectively and reduces wastages.
Matthias agrees. “The switch from linear TV to digital has accelerated significantly during the pandemic. Also, the growth of digital video – YouTube, Instagram Reels, and short format video such as Tik Tok clones like Moj, Josh, MX TakaTak, Chingari, and Roposo have attracted eyeballs in a short attention span world,” he shares.
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e4m-DNPA virtual roundtable: Experts to shed light on publisher-platform relationship
The roundtables are the precursor to the e4m-DNPA Future of Digital Media Summit & Awards to be held in January
By exchange4media Staff | Dec 6, 2022 8:45 AM | 2 min read
With deeper internet penetration, the growth of digital media is unprecedented. In a bid to shed light on the future of digital media, the opportunities that it brings and the challenges that lie ahead, exchange4media and the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) are organizing the second edition of the virtual roundtable conferences with international speakers. The virtual roundtable will be held on December 9, 2022 from 6 pm to 7:30 pm IST.
The second edition of the e4m-DNPA Dialogues will see experts discussing the topic: ‘Decoding the Publisher- Platform Relationship’. The speakers, who are thought leaders from various countries, senior journalists, publishers, technology leaders, legal professionals and other stakeholders, will discuss the issues involved in creating an ideal relationship between news publishers and Big Tech platforms in rebuilding the business of journalism.
The e4m-DNPA virtual dialogue will cover the requirement of a new focus on solutions. DNPA represents the digital arms of the country's top media companies working in the areas of print and television.
In a bid to maintain the quality of journalism, the publishers are seeking a level playing field between themselves and online platforms and are trying to create a more sustainable foundation for the preservation of high-quality journalism.
The DNPA Dialogues are held with an aim to find the issues and solutions, and potential publisher playbook into the essentials for news media companies. The dialogues bring together the brightest minds to create the strategies and business models to help quality journalism thrive and encourage open and unconstrained discussions, and provide a testing ground for ideas and possible new policy approaches.
The first edition of the DNPA Dialogues was held on November 25 where the best minds came together to explore the challenges the digital media faces. These roundtables are precursors to the e4m-DNPA “Future of Digital Media Summit & Awards” to be held on January 20, 2023 in New Delhi.
Here is the list of speakers:
CEO, ABP Network
CEO, HT Digital
Dr Annurag Batra
Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Businessworld & exchange4media
Beaverbrook Chair of Media, Ethics and Communication, Max Bell School of Public Policy, McGill University
Dr Courtney Radsch
Fellow, UCLA Institute for Technology, Law and Policy
President and Chief Executive Officer, News Media Canada
Click here to register for the event.
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A digital mediapalooza in the making?
Guest Column: Rahul Vengalil, ED, Everest Solutions, likens the present situation in advertising to the mid-2010s when brands went after buying efficiency by ignoring planning effectiveness
By Rahul Vengalil | Dec 6, 2022 8:22 AM | 5 min read
Google and Facebook together received advertising revenues of close to Rs 40,000 crore last year, which is a significant amount. This is more than the outlay in all the TV mediums together, substantially higher than what was put into the print medium as well. As a digital marketer since 2010, I should be jumping with joy looking at these numbers, but the truth is I am not. I am afraid there that we are going into an unsustainable model in the coming days.
Digital marketing has become a much sought-after career today, from creative to media to data to whatnot. The number of youngsters who want to get into digital media, social media and content marketing has multiplied manifold of late. These are good trends, but unfortunately, I believe there is a bubble in the making. The costs have gone up substantially on one side, but the agency remuneration hasn’t gone up accordingly. If I were to put the key reason behind this, it is the democratization of digital media.
Let’s sieve through the chaff and really look at reality. Google and Meta increased their revenue last year and are close to Rs 40,000 crore. This entire amount hasn’t been planned and bought by the media agencies in India. It is bought by agencies, influencers, mature startups, SMEs/MSMEs, and many mom-and-pop stores. As per one estimate, Meta has over 8 million active advertisers on their platform globally and a major part of its revenue comes from direct advertisers. It won't be that different in India as well. This means that the advertising budget that is handled by agencies would well be less than half of the number that is quoted everywhere. In contrast, more than 90% of offline media is bought by agencies. In a biz model that works on commission, a lesser number of people are buying almost double the media on offline channels.
I remember a time early in my career when I was working with a marquee client in India. My retainer for being the digital creative agency was x and the retainer that my counterpart charged then for being the mainline agency was nothing less than 30x. This gap has significantly reduced over the year, but still exist. Digital or more rightly put social media has become the lead medium for every client in India today. The expectation is for every piece of content that is put up on social media to provide the brand’s POV and if possible become viral.
That’s undue pressure on the agency partner to deliver, and mind you, an agency creates everywhere between 15 creatives and 30 creatives each month, that’s a run rate of 1 per day. Compare this with what the mainline agency creates, which is 10 campaigns in a year, resulting in videos, print ads and other collaterals.
What a digital agency creates in a month a mainline agency at best creates in half a year, keeping the studio job outside of the purview for now. Companies are still not ready to create a remuneration parity between digital agencies and mainline agencies today, because the perceived notion is that the 1 TVC or print ad is significantly more important than the content that is created for social media platforms.
Digital media is so democratized that any advertiser with a credit card can advertise today, and a bunch of friends who understand social media can create an advertising agency. My most conservative estimation is that there are over 3000 digital media agencies (creative and media together) in India today. In comparison, the number of mainline agencies would be significantly lower. The hurdles to start an offline media buying unit is high, from initial investment for tools, access, affiliation, etc in comparison to online where you just need a credit card. The challenges to start an offline creative unit is also comparatively higher compared to the online counterpart, after all, one can also create content using Canva to publish online.
Just to reiterate, the number of people coming into digital media has increased, the costs of the resources have increased, and the number of agencies doing digital is much higher than traditional, but the amount of media bought by digital agencies has not seen a corresponding rise, the remunerations paid to digital agencies for making content is not at par with traditional agencies (barring few exceptions).
The situation is much like the media palooza of the mid-2010s where brands went after buying efficiency by ignoring planning effectiveness. When agencies are not paid equitably for the amount of time and effort that is being put on the table, the quality of the output will suffer. The conversation should move away from what’s the “best cost” to “what can you do to impact my business positively”. Alternatively, businesses can also lower the expectation from the digital partner, which I don’t think should be even on the table as an option.
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Great Learning launches #ItPaysToUpskill campaign with Virat Kohli
Kohli urges professionals to invest in upskilling as it can be the best investment in the uncertain macroeconomic conditions of today
By exchange4media Staff | Dec 5, 2022 7:04 PM | 2 min read
Great Learning, a part of the BYJU'S group and a leading global edtech company for higher education and professional training, has launched #ItPaysToUpskill, a digital campaign highlighting the need for students and professionals to invest in upskilling to get high financial returns. The brand ambassador Virat Kohli is seen kickstarting this 360-degree digital campaign by urging professionals to invest in upskilling as it can be the best investment in the uncertain macroeconomic conditions of today.
The entire premise of this campaign is to highlight how upskilling impacts one’s income levels and how those salary increments compound over time. Hence upskilling early on in one’s career can yield tremendous returns and also help individuals meet their financial goals sooner.
“With the looming economic recession and uncertain market conditions, upskilling is one investment that carries zero risk while still providing high returns. This is showcased in the campaign through a series of quirky posts, reels and videos on the Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin handles of Great Learning,” the company said.
Speaking about the campaign, Aparna Mahesh, Chief Marketing Officer, Great Learning said, “The ever evolving nature of work and the skill gaps it creates makes upskilling an obvious choice. But it’s also a decision that is very easy to postpone as there is no instant gratification. Also, there has been no quantification of what people are leaving behind on the table by delaying decisions to invest in upskilling. To solve this, we have illustrated the monetary benefits of upskilling and how they compound over the long term. Research was carried out to curate data that revealed how upskilling in top performing domains can add immense value to people’s careers and their earning potential. The findings were summed up in the Great Learning Upskilling Financial Impact Report 2022 which together with the current market scenario resulted in the narrative that we’re putting out through this campaign.”
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Verve Media bags creative mandate for Bharat Alt Fuel
As per the mandate, Verve Media will employ creative strategies to create brand awareness and gain recognition for Bharat Alt Fuel
By exchange4media Staff | Dec 5, 2022 2:55 PM | 1 min read
Verve Media, a Mumbai based integrated digital marketing agency, has won the creative mandate for Bharat Alt Fuel. The alternative fuel company is committed to deliver renewable energy solutions by focusing on two crucial points - alternative fuels & electric vehicles.
As per the mandate, Verve Media will employ creative strategies to create brand awareness and gain recognition for Bharat Alt Fuel. The agency aims to position the brand to its target audience and communicate the brand's vision through creative content. This mandate offers a great opportunity for increasing its presence on social media platforms which will result in Bharat Alt Fuel being the most trusted and valuable initiative.
Talking about the onboarding, Vinay Sangwan, Co-Founder at Verve Media, said, “Verve Media has always been active in collaborating with eco-conscious companies like Bharat Alt Fuel. With our plan to create new benchmarks in this category, we believe this decision would bring fruitful results. Our team looks forward to an exciting partnership with Bharat Alt Fuel. “
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Agencies should learn to trust the creators: Panel
Top content creators and experts at the Impact Digital Influencer Conference discussed how brands and influencers can strike the right chord
By exchange4media Staff | Dec 5, 2022 11:10 AM | 2 min read
At the Impact Digital Influencer Conference, top content creators and industry experts convened for a panel discussion on the topic “The Jugalbandi of Brands and Influencers- striking the right chord." The panel was moderated by Satyanarayan Murthy, Head Growth Products, Inca, Motion and saw participation by Viraj Gehlani, (Content creator); Sunetro Lahiri, (Vice President creative, The Glitch); Simone Khambatta (Digital content creator); Snehil Mehra (content creator); Nishant Tanwar (standup comedian, content creator); Arushi Handa (content creator) and Shlok Srivastava (Tech influencer).
Talking as an ad maker, Lahiri noted, “When it comes to influencer marketing, I don’t think brands are not doing it right.” He thinks listening out to the influencers is important while making an ad is necessary as consumers directly connect with the influencers.
Gehlani spoke about influencers’ life, which he believes is quite hyped. He said, “I create content as my passion but don’t stress a lot about it. Audiences like our content and get connected when we keep it natural. It is very necessary to promote a brand subtly so that it doesn’t look like an ad.” Influencers’ posts and ads are different from each other.
Khambatta said, "It’s really difficult to understand what ad agencies and brands want. If they want ads or content created by the creators. Brands want to reach creators’ audience then they have to let them do it their way because no one knows their audience more than creators. Agencies will have to learn to trust the creators."
Tech influencer Shlok thinks the collaborative efforts of brands and creators produce good content. According to him his audience really looks forward to sponsored videos. He feels that creators should also realise where the brands are coming from. For him serving the audience is what matters.
Mehra, popularly known as BC aunty said, “Collaborating with brands is a great revenue model as it supports influencers financially."
Since thousands of influencers are coming up, the insecurity of losing the audience is real. On this, Handa pointed out, “We can’t change the algorithms of Instagram. What’s yours will be yours. Today, everyone has a phone and anyone can become an influencer and I can’t control it.”
Talking about brands' budgets, comedian Nishant Tanwar said, “I deal with the brands in my own ways. The behaviour of the person from the agencies matters a lot. I adjust prices according to that.”
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From Web 3.0 to Metaverse: 10 digital trends that defined 2022
The digital landscape evolved rapidly in 2022 as the pandemic drove communities and businesses online. exchange4media tracks down top key trends in the digital landscape this year
By Kanchan Srivastava | Dec 5, 2022 8:44 AM | 8 min read
In the rapidly evolving world of digital trends, every year brings something new and exciting for consumers and marketers. The year 2022 saw many such trends that captured our imagination, from the promise of Metaverse to the impending Web 3.0. The year also saw the implosion of cryptocurrency and the emergence of connected TV as avenue for marketers and media planners.
In this edition of e4m's year-enders, we list down the top 10 trends from the digital world that rocked 2022.
1. Digital ad spend
India’s digital ad revenue remained the talk of the town for the entire year.
Two tech giants Google India and Meta India-pocketed more than Rs 41,000 crore in 2021-22 through online ads. E-commerce players Amazon India and Flipkart also clocked nearly Rs 7,000 crore in ad money together, taking the cumulative Indian revenue of Meta, Google, Amazon and Flipkart to Rs 48,000 crore.
This is much higher than the predictions made by the leading agencies earlier this year. Although the reports and predictions had different timelines, experts believe that digital ad spend could be at an all-time high this year riding on the growth of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs), perhaps even surpassing the ad spend on TV.
TAM report for Q1 and Q2 of FY23 however paints a different picture. It indicates digital ad insertion has declined by 13% compared to the Jan-March quarter.
“The growth rate has declined, but digital ad spend has continued its growth in 2022 s as India’s economic outlook appears to be stronger relative to other markets,” says Atique Kazi, President - Data, Performance & Digital Products, GroupM India.
GroupM’s ‘This Year Next Year’ end-of-the-year report pegs that digital advertising revenue in India accounts for the largest share (48.8%) in 2022 and is expected to continue rising above pre-pandemic levels. Retail media in India is forecast at $551 million in 2022.
2. Data privacy law
Data privacy debates rocked the country throughout the year mainly due to rising data breach cases and stringent laws in the European Union and other developed countries. India has close to 760 million internet users.
After much pressure, the government of India has finally come out with a revamped Data Protection Bill that seeks to allow companies to transfer some users' data abroad, while giving the federal government powers to exempt state agencies in the interests of national security.
The Bill also proposes financial penalties of up to $30 million fine for breaching the provisions of the law.
The revised Bill came after India withdrew a 2019 privacy bill in August this year. It alarmed companies by proposing stringent restrictions on cross-border data flows. The proposed law would be the latest regulation that could impact how tech giants such as Facebook and Google process and transfer data in India's fast-growing digital market.
3. Connected TV advertising
Connected TVs number this year crossed 10 million in India, according to a FICCI-EY report for 2022. With the rapid growth of CTV and its young users, it has emerged as a touchpoint of interest for marketers and media planners to effectively reach out to their audiences.
It is rapidly emerging as an ideal medium for brands to directly target their audiences. With connected TV, brands are able to advertise on the large screen and at the same enjoy the benefits of digital advertising, like targeting, measurement and interactivity.
Although connected TV advertising is in its nascent stage in India and the platform lacks effective measurement tools, brands have started to advertise on the platform this year.
Prabhvir Sahmey, Senior Director-India and South East Asia, Samsung Ads, assures, “As we look to the next generation of audience measurement, large first-party data sets from Smart TVs will likely play a key role around not only measurement but also planning and optimisation.”
The Indian short-form video market set off on a strong growth trajectory in 2022, thanks to the Indian government’s ban on TikTok in 2020.
“The void was quickly filled by global giants YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels besides home-grown platforms like Moj, Josh, MX TakTaka, Chingari among others”, says Sajal Gupta, Digital Marketing Specialist, Chief Executive Kiaos Marketing.
With a 300 million active user base, short-form video platforms have witnessed a surge in content consumption this year.
RedSeer predicted in 2021 that short-video platforms will overtake over-the-top (OTT) video streaming platforms in terms of content consumption in 2022.
Indian short-video apps alone see a $19 billion monetisation opportunity by 2030, according to a Redseer report.
During 2022 it was hard to move without bumping into the term "metaverse”, especially following Facebook’s rebranding into Meta at the end of 2021. Metaverse enabled a myriad of new opportunities for the digital and physical worlds to converge.
Leading advertisers like Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tanishq, Mondelez and MakeMyTrip, set the tone by leveraging the virtual space to create their own Shoppe in the metaverse.
The craze that started at the beginning of the year during the Omicron wave appears to have somewhat fizzled out later.
Rubeena Singh, outgoing country manager, Josh, says, “Metaverse has immense potential and people are yet to explore the space fully.”
It is predicted to add $5 trillion to the value of the global economy by 2030, and 2023 is likely to be a key year for defining the direction it will take.
6. Social Commerce
Brands and retailers strategized around social commerce—creating content designed to show off products in an entertaining and visually appealing way so that it’s shared widely across social media.
Integrations with Shopify and other payment platforms made it easier for brands and influencers to set up shop on social media.
Besides, Influencers were roped in for performance marketing. With coupon codes, their followers purchased online with influencers counting their cut in their wallet.
7. Micro and Nano-influencers
Content creators with smaller followings than film actors and celebrities emerged as the strategic play in the influencer marketing world in 2022.
According to the latest INCA-e4m Influencer Marketing Report 2022, the industry grew to touch Rs 1,275 crore in India this year and is likely to grow by 25% CAGR for the next five years.
The popularity of influencers, especially nano- and micro-influencers, grew phenomenally to an extent that they were more trusted than celebrities across the board by consumers and there is more willingness to try a product on the basis of influencer recommendation vis-a-vis celebrity recommendation, the report highlights.
8. Crypto downfall
The cryptocurrency market plunged to a new low every day in 2022. It all started after the Luna-Terra fiasco early this year, followed by Bitcoin and then many others.
Crypto markets crashed further following the Indian government’s announcement to impose a 30 per cent tax on earnings from crypto trading in the budget, which was implemented in April.
November 2022 was a month that investors watched in horror as FTX, the multi-billion-dollar crypto exchange, imploded. Soon afterwards, other leading crypto firms were inundated with requests from customers seeking to claw their money back — the crypto equivalent of a run on the bank.
Several firms have been forced to suspend withdrawals while they sort out their liquidity problems.
9. Web 3.0
While many tech messiahs like Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey have expressed their doubts over Web 3.0, leading marketers are calling it the future of the internet and democratization of ownership of media, information and the way companies, consumers and content interact with each other.
Many started working on developing Web 3.0 systems, touting its benefits to consumers and a way for brand interaction sans the middlemen.
Unlike Web 1.0, which comprised largely static web pages and Web 2.0 as it exists today, Web 3.0 is based on blockchain technology, with a potential decentralized ecosystem that will allow users to break away from the control of tech giants like Alphabet, Meta, and the rest of “big tech”, thereby bringing down the “walled gardens” of closed internet platforms.
Web 3.0 helps us design intelligent interfaces that are more user-friendly, highly personalized, increasingly adaptable, and easily shareable, with heightened security and privacy.
10. First-party data
Third-party cookies have acted as a catalyst for advertisers, who invest heavily in digital, to understand who their consumers are, what their preferences are, and where they are located, to target them with precision. Google is gearing up to eliminate third-party cookies in its Chrome browser by 2023.
Since Google Chrome holds the largest market share in terms of browsing in India, a large number of marketers started investing in first-party data this year.
Sajal Gupta says, “Huge investments are required in collecting the first-party data. Then there are recurring costs associated with the data as consumers grow over the years and their preferences and requirements also change accordingly. For B2B entities, first party data collection would be tricky.”
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