Back to 2019 levels, as AdEx to grow 26%: Pitch Madison report

18 Feb,2021


By Our Staff


It is the most respected of the forecasts of advertising expenditure in the country. We are referring to the Pitch Madison Advertising Outlook report that was unveiled virtually on Wednesday by Sam Balsara, Chairman, Madison World. According to the report, AdEx degrew 20% in 2020 and is expected to grow 26% in Calendar Year 2021.


Sam Balsara

Sam Balsara

Said Balsara, Chairman, Madison World: “A number of macro-economic factors, study of AdEx historical behaviour and stupendous growth in Q4 leads us to make a high projection of 26%. Our full report gives you more details of the basis of our projection and some Advice to Advertisers.”



Key findings of the report:

A. Overall:

1) In 2020 total Adex has degrown by 20% and Traditional Adex by as much as 29%.

2) In absolute terms ADEX has degrown from Rs. 67,603 crore to Rs. 54,151 crore, a drop of a whopping Rs. 13,452 crore, the highest drop in one year ever, in Indian ADEX’s history. Adex is now at 2017 levels, but is expected to reach 2019 level by end of 2021.

3) Although Traditional Media declined by 29% in 2020, its share in total Adex is as high as 69%, whereas the global average is 41%.

4) Covid’s negative impact on Indian ADEX has been more severe compared to Global Adex  and many other countries of the world including US where the drop was only 4%.

5) Q4 2020 has registered a whopping 61% increase over Q3 2020 and a 16% increase over Q4 2019. And this gives us a lot of confidence and hope that both Market and ADEX is going to bounce back sharply in 2021.

6) Many Advertisers deserted TV, Print and Radio in Q2 2020, but by Q4 almost all Advertisers have returned to the Advertising fold.

7) FMCG continues to be the main category spender and its share moved up to 38% compared to 33% in full year 2019.

8) E-commerce and Education are the only two categories that increased spends, by 30% and 9% respectively.

9) 10 new advertisers entered the Top 50 list of advertisers, key ones being Phone Pe, Pepsico, facebook and Disney Hotstar.


B. Television

1) Television media degrew by a mere 11% to reach Rs.22,508 crore, its 2018 level, but has further consolidated its position as the No. 1 medium with 42% market share.

2) FMCG, continues to be the largest contributor for TV ADEX and further increased its share from 49% to 51%, though in value terms, the category de-grew by 9% almost in line with the TV degrowth of 11%.

3) The only 2 categories to show a growth in absolute terms are E-commerce, which registered a 95% growth over 2019 and Education, a 193% growth over 2019.  Within e-commerce, in addition to online shopping, mobile wallets and media / entertainment / social media / OTT were the leading categories.

4) The impact on regional channels has been the least, implying that national brands prioritised campaigns in their strong markets and regional brands came back to ADEX faster than national brands.

5) TV Adex is expected to grow by 17% in 2021 to reach Rs. 26,350 crore, 4% higher than 2019.


C. Print

1) Covid damage to Print has been massive and Print ADEX lost as much as Rs. 8,120 crore or 41% and has gone back to a level it had reached in 2012.

2) With a drop in share from 30% to 22%, Print lost its No. 2 rank in ADEX.

3) However, a spike in ADEX during the festive season (Q4 20) has resulted in highest Volume and Ad  revenue.

4) Print Adex grew by 59% in Q4 2020 vs Q3 2020, however, this is still 15% less than Q4 2019.

5) All categories in Print seem to have got affected including E-commerce (-57%), Education (-14%), Auto       (-29%) and FMCG (-30%). Education increased its share of Print ADEX by 5 percentage  points, from 10% to 15% and Auto and FMCG by 3 percentage points each, from 13% to 16% and from 14% to 17% respectively. These 3 categories accounted for 47% of Print ADEX.

6) Newspaper circulation in metros got affected a little more deeply and recovery seems to have taken longer. Because of which contribution of Hindi, in terms of volume has increased from 35% to 38% with English trailing at 24%. Kannada and Malayalam newspapers showed highest resilience and least degrowth in terms of volume, whilst Tamil, Telugu and Marathi publications de-grew the most.

7) Print Adex is expected to grow by 35% in 2021 to reach Rs. 16,100 crore, but it will still be at the level it reached in 2015.


D. Digital

1) Digital is the only medium that grew in 2020 by 10% to reach Rs. 16,974 Digital is now the No. 2 medium, having displaced Print with a share of 31%, up from 23% in 2019.

2) Digital has grown in 3 quarters and de-grew only in Q2 2019 by 35% when there was a strict lockdown. This drop of 35% must be seen in comparison to the drop of 79% in Print and 61% in Television in the same quarter.

3) Share of Search has come down significantly by as much as 5 percentage points and now stands at just 18%. This is not because Search has degrown, but other verticals have grown much faster. Video, not only is the largest contributor but has further increased its share from 30% to 32% during the year. Both Social and Display have marginally improved their Share and all three have grown shares at the expense of Search.

4) Programmatic has taken firm root in Indian Digital Adex and now almost 40% of all Digital spends are through Programmatic.

5) Digital is set to grow by 25% in 2021 to reach Rs. 21,200 crore.


E. Other Media

1) Radio ADEX is the third worst affected medium which de-grew by almost 44% and came down in value from Rs. 2,260 crore to just Rs. 1,270 crore. This sharp drop has taken Radio back to its 2014 level. With this drop, Radio has also lost 1% market share and now has a share of 2%. We expect Radio Adex to grow by 38% and reach Rs. 1,750 crore.

2) OOH ADEX also de-grew by as much as 63% to a low of Rs. 1,292 crore and its market share dropped by as many as 3% points from 5% in 2019 to 2% in 2020. OOH Adex in 2020 has gone back to its 2007 level. We expect OOH Adex to grow by 90%, to reach Rs. 2,450 crore.

3) Cinema is by far the worst affected medium because of Covid and in our estimate, suffered an 83% drop, capsizing its low base of around just a little over Rs. 1,000 crore to under Rs 200 crore. We expect Cinema to grow by 161% to reach Rs. 475 crore.



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