#DANe4mreport – Video: the cheerleader of Indian Digital Advertising

Video will overpass social media in the coming future on digital spends. However Digital still contributes 15% of the total ad industry, DAN's report on Indian Digital Advertising informs

“This is the golden era for content creators. Earlier it was just one print and TV ad but today with so many screens, the opportunities are nothing short,” remarked Raj Nayak, COO, Viacom18. The gentleman who has one hand in TV and other in digital shared his candid thoughts to a room full of advertisers and marketers seated in the ballroom of ITC Grand Central, last evening.

We had all gathered post lunch to be a part of the Dentsu Aegis Network Exchange4Media Digital Advertising Conference. The conference also witnessed the unveiling of the annual digital report.

Today content is equated to video. Seated in the same panel that was discussing about traditional media vs digital media – Arnab Goswami, MD & Editor In Chief at Republic TV emphasized that video is the form where Indian consumers are consuming content and the growth is only going to increase.

The same is captured in the digital report that was launched last evening in the presence of the industry. “Digital video has seen a tremendous growth of around 49 per cent. The penetration of digital video among Internet users has increased from a mere 40% in 2016 to 54% this year. Growth of this magnitude will impact advertising spends on video across all platforms.”

The report further informs spends on video will increase. Industries like Auto, BFSI and FMCG are leading the bandwagon – “Spends on digital video is expected to see the highest CAGR of 38 percent from 2016 – 2020. Its share of spends is expected to increase from current 19 percent to 22 percent by 2020.”

But for the moment, social media takes the lion’s share of digital ad spending with 28 percent of all digital media spends made on social media (INR 2,309 CR). This is followed by search at 26 per cent (INR 2,128 CR) and display at 21% (INR 1,714 CR). Spends on video stands at 19 percent (INR 1,598 CR) while that on classifieds stand at 6 percent (INR 452 CR).

Spends on social media is expected to grow but search might see a slower growth, states the report.

Digital, over the last few years, has seen a handsome growth – from 12% in 2016 to 15% in 2018 and now predicted to be 24% by 2020. However Raj was pretty straightforward in stating that the money resides with TV. “Digital gives an opportunity to experiment but the biggest challenge is monetization.”

Raj isn’t wrong – the Indian ad industry that is pegged to touch INR 77, 623 CR mark by 2020 is still ruled by TV with spends at 40% (INR 22,526 CR) followed by Print at 34% (INR 18,981 CR). In India, TV continues to be a key medium for both advertisers and broadcasters owing to the medium’s unmatched reach. Digital media still contributes 15% (INR 8,202 CR) to the overall ad spends.

The big chunk of money definitely stays with TV and digital still has to cover miles. However India is a market that will allow both TV and digital to co-exist happily. Mobile, which has seen a huge proliferation in our country, will play a key role here. While current digital media spends on mobile stands at 43%, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 49% to reach INR 11,392 CR by 2020 (60% of the spends share). It will overtake spends on desktops by 2019.

The evening saw some more panel discussions and talks that pretty much kept the audience engaged. More or less every one spoke about the importance and growth of video and its different forms. Talking in another panel Uday Sodhi, EVP & Head, Digital Business Sony Pictures Networks India shared how live video on its platform is touching the roof. The ongoing South Africa – India test series is a perfect example, the Sony LIV app is broadcasting the live game for free with ads. There is also a premium version of the same broadcast.

He also added that video content is making monetization easy for marketers on digital. The report also states similar prediction for on demand digital video players – “An OTT platform provides marketers with the important measurement metrics viz. reach, frequency in addition to targeting the content to the required profiles on their preferred device and location of access. This in turn increases the engagement and eventually advertisers’ ROI.”

“In addition to all these benefits, OTT specifically addresses the major concerns marketers have with digital advertising: Viewability and Brand Safety. Brand Integration in video content has been proven to increase the brand health,” informed the report.

2017 was actually the year of digital challenges, social networking giants like Facebook and YouTube had to address problems like Viewability and Brand Safety. In addition, ad frauds, ad blockers, ROI on programmatic and slow pace of digital transformation are some of the challenges facing the Indian digital industry.

And one trend that will continue to explode is video and I don’t see it going anywhere especially in India where digital is booming and regional is still pretty much a large untapped market. Here is a quick recap of the report in video (in keeping with the times!)

The evening ended with cocktails and dinner, followed by the much-needed networking session for  marketers and advertisers. For me the take home was a thought shared by Kunal Shah, Founder FreeCharge during his speaker talk – “Don’t put things on digital to make it efficient.”