Indian adspend to rise

01 April 2011

NEW DELHI: Adspend levels should rise by at least 15% in India this year, taking the market to a value of over $6bn (€4.2bn; £3.7bn), a new forecast has argued.

Media Partners Asia, the consultancy, has assessed likely expenditure rates in the country during 2011, after discounts.

"India's dynamic ad market promises another bumper year for media owners," the company argued.

"But the real beneficiaries of this boom may be Bollywood starts, enticed over to the small screen with inflation-busting paychecks from Hindi entertainment channels battling for eyeballs and ad revenue."

One example of such a trend in action is Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan, who recently agreed to appear in high-profile reality series Just Dance.

In an indication of the increasing importance attributed to reality shows, the share of airtime dedicated to the format has climbed by 25% year on year, MPA said.

However, celebrity-driven approaches have not always been successful, as Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan signed up to host Zor Ka Jhatka, a local version of game show Wipeout, on NDTV Imagine, with mixed results.

"Though this was the biggest launch of this quarter, and was advertised furiously by the channel, it disappointed the viewers and was not able to guarantee viewerships as expected," said Dinesh Vyas, of media network MEC.

In all, Media Partners Asia projected that television revenues will expand by 15.1% in 2011, attaining around $2.7bn for the 12 months as a whole.

A major fillip for broadcasters comes in the form of cricket's ICC World Cup 2011 and Indian Premier League, and these two events are predicted to take 20% of the medium's annual outlay.

"Cricket has become a regular phenomenon, with more than 150 days of India playing of India playing cricket," said Vyas.

Such is the interest in the World Cup, estimates suggest the ad rates charged by ESPN Star for the semi-final between India and Pakistan stood at $38,000 for a ten-second spot, up from $7,700 when the tournament began.

"It is exorbitant, opportunistic," said Shiveshwar Raj Singh, group creative director of agency FCB Ulka.

"Since the ad space is so cluttered, only big brands can afford the number of slots required to get noticed."

Elsewhere, Media Partners Asia reported that newspapers should enjoy a 13.1% leap in ad sales, reaching $2.5bn, while outdoor grows 13.2% and tops $300m, with radio close behind following an 18.6% improvement.

Magazines are anticipated to witness a 14.8% lift, crossing the $200m barrier, coming in ahead of the web, as online returns jump 33.6%, but still fall just short of the same benchmark.

Data sourced from Media Partners Asia; additional content by Warc staff