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Are Digital Ad Spends Overtaking Traditional Media?

Thanks to technology, today, content is platform agnostic and can be consumed in a click. This has had a huge impact on ad spends. In light of this trend, marketers are reevaluating the media that will give them the best bang for their buck. Addressing this confusion that exists in the advertising space, Rohit Gupta of Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) expresses his views

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A few years ago I was at Cannes which was at the centre of a debate for terming 30-second spots had run their course. I guess the imagination was overstretched. Years later, a super bowl ad spot still fetches a $5 million tag for a “30 second” spot! Closer home, the IPL Finals fetched almost $100,000 for 30-second spots. And I don’t see this changing soon, not with the eyeballs television  (TV) can provide at one go.

TV today reaches out to nearly 780 million individuals across the country, more than twice the number of individuals owning smartphones (300 million). In addition, at a penetration of only 65 per cent, it is yet to cover the total population. The TV industry, to its credit, has grown over decades and hence, has matured in every aspect of the business.

In the digital ecosystem, Facebook and Google are rewriting the way the world advertises. We have come a long way from static stamp ads to video ads, while experiencing everything in between. Like other mediums, digital also has its share of USPs that make it a very important tool for advertisers. With the estimated 1,000 million internet user mark to be reached by 2021, digital visibility is crucial.

With the digital wave expected to overshadow every other form of media, digital advertising is set to disrupt the marketing mix. India is a mobile-first market; and internet consumption is primarily on hand-held devices. Driven by increasing mobile internet penetration, falling data prices and the availability of low-cost handsets, mobile will be a major contributor to the growth of digital advertising in the years to come as marketers embrace this channel to reach young and digitally savvy consumers.

Another reality to be noted is that although digital ad revenue is on a growth swing, it seems to be eroding the print revenue pie and not much of the television revenue. TV will continue to hold 37-38 per cent of the total share of media revenue in India.

Advertisers these days have started complementing their TV spends with digital campaigns. Although both mediums have common sets of audiences, the way they are consumed is completely different and therefore provide different opportunities. Interestingly, the percentage of growth in digital advertising versus TV is 28 per cent and 11 per cent as per the KPMG 2016-2017 report.

TV and digital have their distinct sets of attributes. One does not compete with the other. In the endeavour to cut down cost and increase efficiencies, one must not forget to read beyond the numbers. Both mediums have different audiences with some overlap, the way they are consumed are completely different and hence, provide different opportunities. At the end of the day, both in their individual capacities are enjoying a duopoly. However as they say, the future is always in motion.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Rohit Gupta

The author is president, Network Sales and International Business, SPN

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