Digital is way forward but auxiliary for top brands: Reports (updated)

MUMBAI / BENGALURU: Two separate studies by unrelated parties have been used in this report. Mobile internet has excellent future prospects in South East Asia, and more so in India says the Indian Digital Advertising Report 2017 (DA Report) by Cheetah Global Lab.

India has, as a country, skipped right over PC and entered the mobile internet age. Although India’s mobile internet penetration remains low, the accelerated development of its infrastructure and support from local carriers have made India one of the fastest growing internet populations in the world. 4G coverage in India continues to rise, and the rural market there has considerable potential.

India differs from markets with more mature digital ecosystems, in that traditional media, especially newspapers, have not yet been seriously challenged by digital content channels. Traditional media would continue to enjoy high popularity and profit margins. Indian newspapers; revenues have continued to grow, and newspaper is still the most effective way for advertisers to reach a great number of users.

However the DA Report says that India's digital ad market development has been hindered by insufficient infrastructure and limited internet speed, but these factors aside, digital ads are not the main advertising channel for top-tier brands. From the data it has obtained, Cheetah Lab says that it is clear that even if brands had bigger advertising budgets, Indian advertisers would retain a preference for traditional media and the non-mobile internet. According to Cheetah Global Lab, one of the main reasons for this is that at present, the Indian ad market lacks industry standard, widely accepted performance evaluation standards. Compared to digital ads, print media and television ads can provide clearer statistics for reaches and digital ad performance is harder to determine.

In terms of the distribution of spending on digital advertising across all vertical industries, e-commerce, accounting for 19 per cent of all digital ad spending, leads the pack. FMCG comes in second with a 14 per cent share, while banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) follow closely behind. Consumer durables, automotive, and media & entertainment are not separated by wide margins.

When comparing vertical industries in terms of the percentage of marketing budget spent on digital advertising, e-commerce companies spend the highest percentage at 25 per cent, less than the percentage of advertising budget allocated for television advertisements (38 per cent) and print ads (28 per cent). Number two telecommunications companies allocate 22 per cent of their marketing budgets for digital advertising, followed by BFSI and media & entertainment, in which about one-fifth of advertising budgets are allocated for digital advertising. In the durable consumer goods industry, 17 per cent of advertising budgets go to digital advertising.

The major developments and conclusions of the DA Report are: In the digital age, traditional media continue to thrive in the Indian ad market; Spending on digital advertising in India will be increased in social and video; Standards for measuring ad performance, data, independent third-party verification, and visibility rates: spending on digital ads in the Indian market revolves around these keywords.

A separate report unrelated to the DA Report of Cheetah Global Labs, found, confirms the analyses of India Mobile Video Report (a joint study by Kantar IMRB & Culture Machine) June 2017 that mobile equipment manufacturers, mobile advertisers and OTT players will be investing in mobile technologies to expand their business, explore new avenues in terms of monetisation, especially broadcasters, production units to create new content on OTT, advertisers who are ready to spend on mobile ad placements as they are exploring new opportunities in mobile marketing, where there is a surge in data traffic and addition to mobile video consumers which will open up to new avenues for digital companies.

The Mobile Video Report says further that mobile is the future as most of the data is processed through the small handheld device. Video has adopted a dual role, becoming a means of consumption and expression. There has been a rapid evolution in the way the consumer is expressing her/ his opinion. Hence the brand marketers and digital advertisers are facing distraction as there is an oversupply in data which is confusing them and depriving them from making new opportunities.

But video is future of the content marketing. The Mobile Video Report says that, mobile screen will be attracting more engagement than any other media, likely to be 37 percent higher than TV. Not only are more people turning to the mobile for entertainment, they are also watching and engaging more deeply online.

The report unfolds that daily engagement time on mobile hovers around the four-hour mark, as per the report, it has estimated that the average time of the consumer spent on entertainment is 23 per cent in the last 9 months. And it will register a hike in data traffic from 1.4 GB in 2015 to 7 GB in 2021, which is measured in data traffic per active Smartphone.

The market will grow from Rs 1,700 million in 2016 to Rs 12,300 million in 2020. The digital video subscription market is estimated to cross 12,000 million by 2020. The OTT (over the top content) is growing rapidly; already 3 out of 10 users are across on OTT video platform.

The Mobile Video Report also suggests that 65 per cent of the video surfers on the mobile belong to non-metro towns. And while most of the users are likely to be women accounting for 30 per cent to be avid consumers of mobile video.

While the report also indicates that most of the users spend 3 hours/ week on consuming mobile video, while 90 per cent of this is spent on. It means that the 2 platforms are popular with the consumers that are YouTube and Facebook.

The other indications are, that the medium is popular across the age groups, not just the young, and over half the viewers are above the age group of 25 years. In fact India has more than 20 million avid video consumers who spend more than 22 hours a month consuming video. Mobile video consumption is not just for affluent homes, more than 40 per cent of viewers belongs to SEC C/D/E homes.

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