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

e4m by Kanchan Srivastava
Published: Dec 7, 2022 8:44 AM  | 7 min read
digital

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.

Anil Uniyal, CEO, BQ Prime, said, “This trend does not come as a surprise. Advertisers will move where the audiences are. It has been consistent with the shift in consumption patterns of audiences over the last decade but the last 2-3 years have seen an acceleration, in light of the pandemic and shift of key businesses becoming digital-first as well.”
 
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. 

Macroeconomic factors

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.

New platforms

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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‘Monetisation of news platforms biggest challenge in digital era’

At e4m-DNPA Future of Digital Media Conference, Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Businessworld & exchange4media, spoke to CEOs on monetisation, fake news, consumer attention & much more

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 30, 2023 10:58 AM   |   3 min read

DNPA

At the e4m-DNPA Future of Digital Media Conference, a panel discussion with CEOs of top companies was held to discuss digital media and how the new generation of readers is influencing media houses and their ways of connecting with their audiences.

The panel was chaired by Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Businessworld & exchange4media. On the panel were Avinash Pandey, CEO, ABP Network; Puneet Jain, CEO, Hindustan Times; Hemant Jain, President and Business Head (Digital), Lokmat, and Sanjay Sindhwani, CEO, The Indian Express (digital).

Avinash Pandey spoke about the challenges in the digital era. “The biggest challenge today is reaching out to the consumer. When everybody has become a publisher and a broadcaster, how your authentic news reaches the consumer first, and how you monetize it best is the biggest challenge today in our industry.”

Speaking on the opportunities that the digital world has created for publishers, Puneet Jain said: “I think the biggest opportunity for our publishers’ communities is the tremendous interest and love we see from our users. All of us continue to track millions who are using our platforms to consume news on a daily basis. In fact, what we are seeing is a huge reinforcement towards credible journalism in these interesting times of a social world we are living in.”

Sanjay Sindhwani veered the discussion to the problem of fake news and how publishers and consumers together can fight it. “The opportunity is massive. But I think the cost is also massive. I think today what is happening is if the media business doesn't become viable, then we'll see a lot of fake news floating around. When you're trying to bait clicks, you try to provoke people with things, which may not be real or factual. So, I think that's the cost of it. And I think in a democracy, it's very important that people value good content and good news sources and learn to pay for it.”

Taking the discussion ahead, Hemant Jain spoke about how the short attention span of consumers is the biggest challenge for consumers today. “While monetization continues to be the lowest common denominator and the most common challenge for most news publishers across the world, I think if you keep the consumer at the centre of your entire ecosystem and the business model, there is a huge shift in consumer behaviour with regard to the attention span. So, if you look at human attention today it is the lowest. Now, how do you evolve yourself keeping the shift in consumer behaviour in terms of newer formats of news media content, which ensures that you are able to create the right connect with the consumer and thereby create a great value proposition is something which would which all of us would have to kind of today embrace as one of our bigger challenges.”

He ends his view by talking about first-party data as a big opportunity for media publishers and how they can monetise it. “The big opportunity I see is our investment of time, money and resource in building the first-party data because it's not just about collecting data, but it's about managing customer lifecycle. So, most of us complain about the lesser frequency of visitations in a month, lesser time spent and how do we increase frequency and time spent to increase a better value proposition for advertisers? Now, that's interesting, because we have to start thinking like B2C brands, where we start not only capturing consumer data, but also start serving content which is more relevant more contextual, and in the process, collect enriched data, which can be monetized or leveraged at a higher value or premium when it comes to advertising.”

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Twitter advertisers to know if ads seen by real users or bots

The platform has tied up with Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify to ensure that the ads are seen by potential customers

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 27, 2023 11:26 AM   |   1 min read

Twitter

Twitter has decided to team up with ad verification companies Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify to enusre that the ads are being seen by real people and not bots, media networks have reported.  

IAS officials were quoted as saying that the move was intended at giving marketers the "confidence to continue to invest in Twitter".

In another move to lure advertisers, Twitter had said end of last year that it would soon bring new controls to allow advertisers to prevent their ads from appearing above or below tweets with certain keywords.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk recently said that Twitter higher-priced subscription models will be completely free of ads.

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Recognition as a separate industry & more: All that creator economy wants from Budget 2023

Well-defined guidelines and relaxations in TDS for micro-influencers are some of the other demands of the industry

By Shantanu David | Jan 27, 2023 8:32 AM   |   5 min read

Aaj Tak becomes world's first news channel to cross 50 million subs on YouTube

The record-breaking milestone comes just three years after the channel crossed 10 million subscribers on the platform

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 9:50 PM   |   2 min read

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Earlier this year, Aaj Tak became the first news channel globally to cross 50 million subscribers. Ms. Kalli Purie, Vice Chairperson, India Today Group, met Mr. Gautam Anand, Managing Director of APAC - YouTube, in Singapore to commemorate the special achievement. 
 
“Thank you so much, YouTube! This is just amazing. The team is already planning its way to 100 million so YouTube had better start designing the next button,” Ms Purie quipped to Mr Anand. “Trust has always been the foundation for audience engagement at AajTak. It’s no different with our YouTube channel, but on a much wider scale with hundreds of videos getting uploaded every day. We place equal emphasis on having new audiences discover our channel while ensuring loyal viewers revisit, and invest in figuring out what works on YouTube – whether this is a nuanced understanding of thumbnails or producing hero content frequently.” 
 
Aaj Tak started its digital journey by launching its YouTube channel in the year 2009, and started streaming news live on YouTube for the first time in 2017. The massive popularity gained by the channel subsequently led to its Diamond play button from YouTube in 2019 for crossing 10 million subscribers. Now, just three years later, Aaj Tak is the first news channel to reach 50 million subscribers on YouTube. 
 
“Constant experimentation with new formats like Shorts and investment into our Community page has really paid off, and consistently breaking stories has helped create a very loyal fanbase,” explained Ms. Purie. “Events like the Presidential Elections of 2022, Solar Eclipse and the Cricket World Cup just kept encouraging us to do better and better.”
 
YouTube has been at the forefront of India's mobile revolution, by powering the content and creator ecosystem and by propelling the massive upsurge of video streaming in the world's largest democracy. AajTak has also fast evolved its offering to meet new consumer needs, with the introduction of Shorts, and other constantly emerging insights on LIVE Streams. The channel now has a universe of committed audiences across TV, web, app and social platforms through compelling storytelling that’s tailored to individual platforms.
 

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'India will be one of the most powerful start-up ecosystems in the world'

A panel discussion at the e4m DNPA Digital Media Conference 2023 deliberated on 'Challenges before start-ups in the current digital ecosystem'

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 5:16 PM   |   4 min read

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India boasts one of the largest start-up ecosystems, enabling the dream of the country becoming a several-million-dollar economy. However, despite government measures to boost the start-ups – in terms of investments and profitability – there are challenges.

The topic of 'Challenges before Start-Ups in current digital ecosystem-Possibilities and Choices' was discussed during a session at the e4m DNPA Digital Media Conference 2023. The panel comprised Ajay Data, MD, Data Group of Industries; Murugavel Janakiraman, CEO, Bharat Matrimony; Ritesh Malik, Director, ADIF & Founder- Plaksha University; Rohan Verma, CEO and Executive Director, Map My India. The session was chaired by Ruhail Amin, Senior Editor, Businessworld & exchange4media.

Speaking about the challenges facing start-ups, Verma said, “Honestly, I think it is very clear that the entrepreneurial talent in India, especially in the digital space, is extremely high. I see no lack of capability. As we have said multiple times, the key challenge has been there because of monopolistic activities that have been suppressing the Indian digital ecosystem. That is the key challenge of our times and I'm pleased that some things are changing with regard to that. 

Malik presented his observations about the challenges that have cropped up in the last few years in the start-up ecosystem: “It took 125 years for Silicon Valley to become what it is. In India, we are leap-frogging the technology era. I think we are going to be one of the most intensely powerful start-up ecosystems and technology ecosystems.

Citing the success of the UPI system in India, he added: "Our mobile payment infrastructure is way ahead of developed nations. Just think of what we will do with the entire Ayushman Bharat digital health mission. We will be one of the most technology-savvy citizen programmes in the world. So the good part is, for the first time, the government is focussing. I think we are standing on a large opportunity. Having said that, technology regulation is important. Unfortunately, it is always falling behind the actual technological innovation. In my opinion, we need to develop a special ministry whose job would be to ensure that another East India Company does not happen again and that Indians are not to be taken for a ride and that our data remains ours; that we are not just a large digital democracy for other large monopoly companies to come, use, generate revenue but also to make sure that our MSME does not get squeezed.”

Singla noted, “Even while we are sitting here, we talk about start-up and start-up ecosystem, but Amar Ujala is a hyper-local newspaper and has a presence in Tier II and Tier III cities. There, education and awareness are still required. From a media perspective, there is a good amount of innovation that is still seen as a challenge. I would say that there is a lot of room for identifying the right business sustainability model.”

Speaking on the broader challenges that need to be addressed in the start-up ecosystem, Data said, “It is extremely important that all entities work together to ensure – whether it is mentoring or education or incubation centres or investments or subsidies or government support – that the frictions between things have to be reduced. And the knowledge about the availability of those resources has to be made very simpler and easy.”

Janakiraman, who joined virtually, spoke from a sectoral standpoint and touched upon the issues that need to be overcome to render a robust start-up ecosystem. He said, “Digital start-ups can significantly contribute to country growth. Today, Indian start-ups are not only limiting themselves to country boundaries but looking at global opportunities. The Internet, 15 years ago, was free and open. Anybody could set up an Internet business or a dotcom; Internet was not controlled by any organisation. Today, the shift has happened, we all know that. The majority of the traffic is happening through mobile apps. So, more than 90 per cent of the traffic happens through the two dominant players – Google and Apple. What are the implications? Today, they are not simply platform providers or access providers; today, they are the platforms as well as players. The challenge is that when the platform becomes a player, their interest changes. Because they are commercial entities and their primary objective is to make money. And because they are both platform and player, they start abusing dominance and that is not good for Indian start-ups nor Indian consumers.”

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Experts discuss competition laws governing digital media in India

At e4m-DNPA Future of Digital Media conference 2023, media industry leaders deliberate on topic, competition laws governing digital media- need for review

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 3:44 PM   |   4 min read

DNPA panel

At e4m-DNPA Future of Digital Media conference, industry experts came together for a panel discussion on ‘competition laws governing digital media- need for review’. The discussion was chaired by Dhanendra Kumar, former chairman of Competition Commission of India. The panelists were Karan Singh Chandhiok- Practice Head-Competition Law- Chandhiok and Mahajan; Pawan Duggal- Head- Pawan Duggal Associates; Parthasarthi Jha; Economic law practice; Avaantika Kakkar, Partner-Competition - Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas; Vaibhav Kakkar, Partner- Saraf and Partners; Abir Roy- co-founder- Sarvada legal, Anil Malhotra, Head- Public & Regulatory Affairs, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited. 

Kumar opened the discussion briefing the audience about the competition laws governing digital media in India and how they were help in accelerating the country’s economic growth.

Anil Malhotra joined the conversation, “Certain perspectives change when we move from linear to digital media, and we are governed by certain regulations in linear which are not duplicated in the digital domain. The organised media player expects a fair and transparent revenue share because the organised media invest a lot in people, infrastructure, and building networks.”

Karan Singh Chandhiok added, “We have good laws, but lack enforcement. Law creates a framework that is flexible enough to deal with eventualities. Besides looking at the competition laws, we should look at a broad picture that includes more information. From a business perspective, the three things to keep in mind while catching up and implementing laws are: predictability and certainty in enforcement, regulatory dialogue and unintended consequences of both legislations and enforcement.”

Abir Roy mentioned, “The biggest challenge is the enforcement of a particular law. Enforcement needs to be certain and the regulator needs to be more dynamic.

Joining the discussion, Avaantika Kakkar shared her views on digital media. “When the pandemic began and we did not get newspapers, we started reading content online. We evolved much during the pandemic and we witnessed the scenario of subscription-based news platforms. Digital players are creating opportunities, which result in access which was never explored before.”

On the legal system, she said, “We have a robust legal system, IP laws, and data protection laws, some laws are evolving, and amendments are being introduced. 

Kumar then asked Parthasarthi Jha to share how digital media is evolving and how the internet has obliterated geographical borders. On laws, Parthasarthi said, “the new law must be fabricated and addressed in a manner that must contain some base work.”

Pawal Duggal opined that internet has transformed human beings into data entities. “We all have become global authors, global transmitters, and global broadcasters of data, and in scenarios like such, we have to keep aside the traditional perceptions of media and should start looking at things from the digital media point of view,” he said.

Duggal said that chatgpt which has completely changed the landscape of digital media. “It is a revolutionary kind of algorithm that has shaken the entire world and which is probably going to impact the content being prepared by media organisations as it is going to be more AI-based.”

Talking about competition laws Vaibhav mentioned the mendment introduced by MIB recently on fake news
that talks about giving Press Information Bureau the responsibility to declare what is fake news. He said, “We need independent arbitrators to decide more on free speech.”

He also mentioned that India should not always copy the West while framing and implementing legislation. “India is a completely different country in terms of population count and other things. India needs evidence based laws and not perceptions-based laws,” he opined.

As concluding remarks, Dhanendra requested all the panellists to sum up pointers of the conversation. The key pointers were: sanitise publishers operating out from India to clear the ground for Indian digital players in fair revenue share; study the laws before enforcing to avoid adverse repercussions; law should be evidence-based and it should ensure fairness and reasonability among the market participants; the idea of fairness is more pervasive, it’s not limited to internet and digital media and it is important for marketers to be flexible to get the fair share in the business; the law should be fair and competition law is not the socialisation of private property; India require a dedicated law on digital media; India need to think carefully at the regulations.

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US sues Google, new lawsuit aims to break up tech giant's ad unit

Google contended that the lawsuit by the US DoJ would reverse years of innovation and harm the broader ad sector

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 7:57 AM   |   1 min read

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Big Tech major Google has been sued by the United States Department of Justice for the second time over anti-competitive practices. This is the US DoJ's second antitrust lawsuit against the tech giant.

Google has been accused of dominating the digital ad market, according to people privy to the matter. The lawsuit will aim to dismantle the tech giant's ad-tech department over its monopoly in the digital ad space.

Reports say that the case will be filed in the federal court before the end of the week.

DoJ chief Jonathan Kanter reportedly said in a press conference that the lawsuit aims to hold Google to account for its "longstanding monopolies in digital advertising technologies that content creators use to sell ads and advertisers use to buy ads."

Google retorted by saying that the lawsuit by DoJ " attempts to pick winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology sector."

The tech giant doubled down by stating that the lawsuit is an attempt to "rewrite history at the expense of publishers, advertisers and internet users."

Google also highlighted the ad businesses and practices of its competitors Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, TikTok, Comcast and Disney but the government chose not to go after them.

The tech company is also accused of antitrust practices in India where the Competition Commission of India has slapped heavy penalties against it for abusing its dominance in the Android ecosystem.

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