India’s media industry went through a lean patch in 2017, with demonetisation and sluggish growth in the e-commerce sector—one of the largest advertisers—forcing many traditional players to trim their operations or reduce the wage bill.
But 2018 could be better, says a report published by GroupM, a media investment management company.
According to the report, titled This Year, Next Year, India’s advertising investment could reach Rs 69,346 crore this calendar year—a growth of 13%. It forecasts a growth of 4.2% in the newspaper segment, with events such as the upcoming general election expected to boost ad revenue.
To be sure, the report is not predicting a return to traditional advertising modes. In fact, it sees digital advertising expenditure to grow by 30% in 2018 to Rs 12,337 crore—18% of the overall expenditure. In particular, video advertising would see the highest growth, 54%, as cheap data and increasing smartphone adoption driving digital viewership. Television, however, will continue to have the largest share of ad spends, the report said.
“As consumer sentiment stabilises and spending increases, we estimate 2018 to be a relatively better year from an ad-spend perspective. Growth in digital media will continue to outstrip other media but unlike most markets, India continues to see traditional media formats grow,” C.V.L. Srinivas, country manager, WPP India and CEO, GroupM South Asia, wrote in the report.
Decline in ad revenue in India’s media industry was reflected in the 2018 Fortune India 500, with print-focussed companies such as HT Media, publishers of Hindustan Times, and Jagran Prakashan recording a drop in operating profit.
Indian government’s economic survey had forecast a growth of 7-7.5% in FY19.