A booster shot from the general and state elections and greater credibility will make the print media a dominant force in India in 2019, surpassing an impressive growth rate of 2018, Magna Global, a division of media agency group IPG Mediabrands, had forecast.
As per the report, print media ad revenues grew 5.6% in 2018 to Rs 22,121.8 crore, and it is expected to go up to Rs 22,424.3 crore in 2019.
Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands, said print is also growing because of the credibility it offers in this era of fake news. “India is the only market in the world where print continues to be dominant and is growing in all aspects — circulation, readership and geography. The medium is growing strongly on the back of language, which has led to the growth in the number of language newspapers,” Sinha said.
“There is no denying that there are platforms causing strain on print but the attributes of well researched, in-depth content and authenticity can only be endorsed by print and that makes the medium more credible and hence relevant for advertisers,” he added.
As per the report, print will attract a larger pie of the political campaigning and government spends because of elections. Also, real estate and education advertising reaching its peak will help achieve growth of 6.2% in 2019.
“The impact of print is much higher as it allows for discoverability of ads and is the most non-intrusive ad medium. Also, higher quality of engagement and quality of the audience gives it power to influence and drive change,” said Sivakumar Sundaram, president – revenue, at Bennett Coleman & Co (BCCL), the publisher of this newspaper.
Sundaram added that publishers need to have confidence in their product. “There is no competition when it comes to credibility and trust. These are the intrinsic strengths of print media. I am 100% bullish on the medium,” he said.
The report points out that physical news delivery, compared to the global trend of negative growth, has grown CAGR +1.9% in the last five years till 2017 as per ABC. Also, the fact that readership has grown across age groups establishes print’s dominance, relevance and growth.
English newspapers facing competition from digital platforms have seen a drop in readership, but this is offset by growth in languages. Moreover, publishers are also gearing up to move beyond pure-play print revenue stream.
Overall, the report predicts that ad sales growth across media will be at 15.4% to Rs 9,314.8 crore on the back of digital, Cricket World Cup and elections, which will drive ad sales.
Other mediums like TV, digital and radio, OOH and cinema are expected to grow at 14.2%, 32.8%, 12%, 11.4% and 15%, respectively.
“Digital is leading with 32.8% growth in 2019. Massive expansion in smartphone usage is shifting the consumption from collective to discrete. Streaming video will be the biggest gainer in terms of format and is estimated to double its revenue in 2019,” said S Venkatesh, SVP, Magna India.
The market share of digital will go up from 21% to 24% of total advertising spends with revenues touching Rs 18,802.3 crore in 2019.
“There are 2-3 factors which are driving the growth in digital. Data has become cheaper and it is expected that prices will reduce further. As a result of that, consumption of TV will start happening through data, which currently happens through cable. We are already witnessing that consumption of TV through data is on the rise,” Amardeep Singh, CEO, Interactive Avenues, said.
The report notes that India faced headwinds from two successive regulatory distractions in the form of demonetisation (November 2016) and Goods & Service Tax (July 2017). This held back economic growth to 6.7% in 2017 (as compared to 8.2% in 2015 and 7.1% in 2016) and its lingering effects continued in the early parts of 2018. With the negative impact fading, the economy is on the recovery mode and IMF has forecast in its October 2018 report a growth of 7.3% in 2018 and a consistent 7+% growth till 2023.
Advertising expenditure per capita continues to grow from Rs 515.3 in 2018 to Rs 586.7 in 2019.
Television, meanwhile, has immense headroom to grow with 34% of homes still being non-TV as per BARC. While organic growth is absolute, cyclical events like ICC World Cup and national elections will generate strong advertising demand, the report said.
Despite digital growth, the report said TV continues to be a dominant medium with an unmatched share of audience. With 40% allocation of advertising spends, TV will expand 15.4% in 2019 and will continue to grow CAGR 12.5% till 2023.*Originally published on: The Economic Times
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