Indian adspends to see +8.7% growth in 2012: MPA study

15 Feb,2012

By A Correspondent


Media ad sales will grow by 8.7 per cent in net terms this year, against the background of a slowing economy (~7 per cent real GDP growth versus historical range of 8-9 per cent) and the high first half of 2011 base last year resulting from the Cricket World Cup (which happens once in four years) plus an extended IPL season according to Media Partners Asia.


The growth will be primarily driven by MNCs investing inIndiaand stronger MCG sector, and there could be upward revisions made in the second half of 2012. The outlook for advertising growth across key categories is mixed.


Some of the highlights are:

  • FMCG 

Media buyers expect robust growth from the FMCG sector, which is the largest advertising category, contributing 30-35 per cent to total ad spend. MNCs are expected to report robust numbers, while a few large MNC accounts (with annual ad budgets in the region of Rs2-3 billion) are looking to increase spends by 50-70 per cent for the coming year. Domestic FMCG companies are expected to see only marginal growth as the profits of these companies have deteriorated due to rising input costs.


  • Auto 

Traditional companies such as Maruti and Hyundai have reduced their spends; but global car manufacturers investing inIndiaare driving the overall growth for the sector. As suggested in the recently held Auto Expo 2012, the sector will benefit this year from new launches in the two-wheeler and utility vehicle segments in subsequent quarters.


  • Life insurance

The forecast is for a steady growth, a prevailing trend seen in this category since 2008. A reversal of interest rates will be the underlying factor influencing consumption and ad spend across sectors. The rising interest rate cycle seems to have peaked out. After raising interest rates by 13 times since March 2010, RBI (Reserve Bank ofIndia) may shift its approach towards the country’s monetary policy. Inflation is likely to fall considering the high base last year, and in order to bring the country’s economic growth back on track, the RBI is likely to reduce interest rates gradually in 2012. This will encourage investments and spending, in turn benefiting the ad market.

Consumption demand has held up reasonably well though rural demand may be a concern, highlighted by a recent slowdown in sales of two wheelers and durables.


Other key factors that will have an impact on the ad marker include:

  • Competition in Hindi GEC

Competitive intensity in the Hindi GEC space is nothing new, though new competition is accelerating amongst second-tier channels. There has been a change in the pecking order of top three Hindi GECs, with Sony climbing up to the No. 2 spot while incumbent Zee TV has now slipped to No 4. Based on discussions with some of the major media buyers, the genre currently has limited supply of inventory, which should keep ad rates healthy.


  • Digitalization to create new niches

Before the first phase of digitalization is implemented in June 2012 (it may be delayed to December 2012), broadcasters are already rolling out new niche channels in various genres like action and comedy. This will attract advertisers who are willing to target and segment their audience, not just from demographic but also psychographic parameters.


  • FDI in single-brand retail

Opening up of FDI in single-brand retail (precursor to opening up multi-brand retail) will benefit regional print companies.


  • State elections

In the near to medium term, print media will benefit from the upcoming closely contested elections to be held in five states: Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab,Goaand Manipur.


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