Print AdEx: The writing is clear on the wall

04 Mar,2019


By Indrani Sen


According to a report published in Brand Equity on February 27 based on TAM AdEx data based mainly on display ads, print advertising volumes are up by 8% from 2014 to 2018, though after 2016 there has been a decrease in print advertising volumes in the next two consecutive years. (


Source: TAM AdEx/ ET Brand Equity


If we compare this growth in volume with the growth in value as reported In PMAR 2019, we find that though there has been a growth in the print advertising Value by 27% from 2014 to 2018, the share of print Advertising in the total advertising pie has been decreasing steadily.


Source: PMAR 2019


As shown by PMAR 2019, from 2014 to 2018, the share of print advertising in the overall advertising pie reduced from 41% to 32%, a 9% drop in 5 years. In another five years, the share of print advertising in rupee value may come down to below 20% in India. The writing is clear on the wall as reflected in the diminishing/ stagnant growth rate of print advertising value.

If we compare the above two charts, then we find that in terms of value, print advertising has grown by 27% from 2014 to 2018 as against only 8% increase in volume. Over the next five years, there may be still a growth in value of print advertising, but in terms of volume it may show a diminishing trend as reflected in the TAM AdEx comparative analysis of ad volumes across media in 2017 and 2018 where we find that magazines have lost 6% of ad volume from 2017 to 2018.


Source: TAM AdEx/ ET Brand Equity


So, print media needs to work out a strategy for survival which lies on one hand in promoting and monetising their online editions and on the other hand in innovative ways to tie up with other media which are still showing growth in both volume and value.

In another recent article, Vanita Keswani, CEO of Madison Media Sigma, suggested that “Print ads will be more effective if they complement digital campaigns and entice readers to interact with brands online” ( This solution however requires active support from the creative and media agencies which may not work out across categories and brands. It may be worthwhile for the newspapers to look at categories like Two-Wheelers, Cars & Jeeps and Services which are the leading contributors to the Print AdEx volume and experiment with strategic integrations.



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