Looking Ahead at 2022

03 Jan,2022



By Indrani Sen


Indrani SenThe Indian advertising industry showed a strong trend of recovery in the second half of 2021. The market became quite buoyant and industry experts began to predict a strong double-digit growth in advertising expenditure in 2022 with digital and TV driving the growth. Print, radio and outdoor were expected to recover their revenues faster than what was envisaged earlier. The experts making these predictions assumed that we would not have a Third Wave of Covid-19 in 2022 and there would not any major economic disruption.


But, before 2021 ended, our world again became under the shadow of Covid-19 and its new variant Omicron. Over the last two days of 2021 and the first two days of 2022, almost all the states where the cases are rising, have taken various measures from partial lockdown to night curfew to stricter vigilance by the authorities. Though national health authorities have not yet declared this upsurge as the “third wave”, we need to recall that AdEx had a degrowth of 25% to 30% between April-June 2021 due to the effects of the second wave on our economy. As per our AdEx, the April to June quarter has the second highest level of advertising expenditure after the October to June (festive) quarter. The number of Covid-19 cases are increasing on a daily basis and according to an announcement made by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on the first day of the new year in 24 hours India registered 27533 new Covid cases, a substantial spike in the ongoing resurgence of the pandemic. The current situation makes it extremely difficult to predict the trends of AdEx in 2022.


The traditional media will bear the burnt of various regulatory guidelines if the situation becomes serious, particularly if Maharashtra and Delhi declare a partial or full lockdown. However, it is quite certain that digital media would be growing in spite of the resurgence of Covid-19 in India and certain new trends are going to emerge in 2022.


We have been hearing lately a lot about NFT, the short form of Non-Fungible Tokens which are used to denote digital assets or cryptographic tokens available through the blockchain. The key idea on which NFT is based is non fungible, which means that it is a unique item which cannot be replaced with another similar item. Non-Fungible Tokens can be understood as basic digital assets, which are ‘copies’ of real or tangible objects/ actual instances and they come encoded with the same infrastructure of blockchain which enables the cryptocurrencies. NFT can be sold or bought between two different parties online, just like the cryptocurrencies. However, non-fungible tokens and cryptocurrencies have many differences. Although NFT has the word ‘token’ in its name, it’s not a virtual currency like Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH). But they both operate on the same underlying technical mechanism, the blockchain technology.


NFT has unique identification codes and metadata which cannot be copied or replicated. NFT can be used to represent various types of digital assets like music, audio, video, photos, artworks and other digital files. It can be considered as a certificate of ownership of any digital content or digital asset owned by any company which has invaded not only the blockchain industry, but also the other media and our popular culture.


Read a useful article in May, 2021( https://www.jpmorgan.com/commercial- banking/insights/future-blockchain-media-entertainment ) which discussed why blockchain is going to play an important role in Media and Entertainment industry. “Media and entertainment places a premium on protecting and monetizing intellectual property. For media companies, blockchain has industry-wide applications that can transform the way content is created, consumed and protected.” If the pandemic persists globally in 2022, then in media & entertainment industry 2022 will perhaps be known as the year of NFTs driven by the blockchain technology.


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