At the launch of The South Side Story and MediaNews4U “Game Changers 2019” in Chennai today LV Krishnan, CEO TAM Media Research, gave an enthralling keynote address on the Media Landscape of South India
Setting the context for the evening LV said, “To look at how the South of India as a market and Media has behaved in the last one year, the report throws up a perspective. The report is divided into two parts, one is to look at an overall view of what’s happening in the industry and the second is the deeper insight into how the spends have been in the last year across the traditional media.”
A small perspective of what is the buzz surrounding the ad spends in the time of recession, consumer spending slowing down, funds not being available for future expansion and projects etc. looks interesting.
Reflecting on the spends of 2019, Krishnan said, It’s a basic exercise of putting together a simple synopsis of how the ad spends looks like in 2019 between the all India market vis a vis the four south markets; if you look at the All India picture, we have around Rs. 70,000 crores of advertising spends that have happened in 2019 across all media put together with the large platforms like television, print, radio, digital, outdoor, cinema etc. Obviously spend on television is the bulk with spends of Rs.27,000 crores and the year on year growth we see from 2018 -2019 is 7% to 9%. If you contrast that to the south the media spends, it is 1/3rd of the total all India spends as against the proportion to viewers or the Television sets, where South represents 25% to 28% of the total viewers and total homes. But in terms of the total spends we seeing close to 38% of Television spends from the southern states. That’s largely because of the fact that, in South, television is the key medium that reaches out to almost 90% of the population across markets. Therefore, the buoyancy that television sees in South is definitely much better than the buoyancy that you see on television on the rest of other three zones in the country.”
Highlighting digital spends, Krishnan said, “If you look at the National spends it was around Rs.15,000 crores of money that has gone to digital media and it’s one of the fastest-growing platforms across all the mediums. But in the South it is a little subdued, at 20%, of all spends actually happening presently on digital platforms. It is approximately Rs. 2900 crores. “If you look at the four south markets individually, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have the largest chunks of advertising spends, accounting for to 58% of the media spends, television being the key driver and contributor to the pie.”
“Karnataka and Kerala are at the lower end with 23% & 19% share respectively of the total South India market. If one goes deeper into digital to understand advertising for display and video, it is display which has the larger share at 70% of advertising spends and the rest to video (30%). Nevertheless, video part is growing at almost 40% and the growth is accelerating at a faster rate in the overall digital platform towards a larger share in the coming years. The top 5 categories that are pushing the digital growth in a big way, are, E-com, BFSI segment, auto sector, cell phone services/ mobile segment and real estate. Some categories like E – Com and cell phone have gone beyond television and print media and have now started focusing on digital advertising too.
While speaking on the evolution and what is driving digital, Krishnan also pointed out issues surrounding Digital Advertising. He said, “While key sectors are driving the digital advertising, given the amazing amount of clutter of Brands advertising in strong Digital platforms, that is the real concern. It is programmatic advertising that’s actually pushing the rising volume, so therefore with programmatic, the cost per connect is actually getting lower for the amount of advertising that’s happening and at the same time, you also see a very high clutter level of Brands advertising in each individual category. The number of brands that are advertising and the number of creatives for Brands advertising in Digital platforms that are going on air in digital, it’s almost around four to five times more than the number of ads that are happening on print or television. he unfortunate thing is that, while digital is the new baby and experimentation can happen in terms of ad spends, they are losing sight of the fact that, what traditional media did for brand building may not be available in the digital platform in an easy way.”
“As per the global web index that’s been published recently, almost 47% of the users are actually using ad blocks, so even if you’re trying to reach out to consumers, the chances are one in every two consumers may be using the ad-block”. Elaborating on this, “Because of programmatic advertising, 50% of advertising on digital is programmatic and is growing. It’s based on serving advertising not based on what the content and its genre is, but it’s based on who the audiences and where the audiences are located geo-demographic information. What is happening is that, content which is not contextually aligned to the brands imagery and positioning is actually getting leverage because the viewer is watching it and the content is getting served.”
The role of traditional media in ensuring brand safety, Krishnan said, “I think there’s a long way in which the traditional media can actually go in helping because, at the end of the day, the audiences look for content. Traditional media can actually provide content that believes in the fact that they are “brand safe” in nature. I think digital media will go a long way in ensuring the fact that the growth that they’re getting now presently in the earnest to get more advertisers is sustained for a longer period of time if a Brand Safe environment is provided for advertisers.”
He added that even in the digital age when more money is being spent on digital media year on year, the traditional media has many advantages that can help in gaining more value from the total Ad spends as the three traditional mediums still continue to deliver 90% across demographics.”