MUMBAI: Mobile is set to take a significantly increased share of advertising expenditure in India over the next five years and could account for a fifth of the total by 2020, according to a new report.

Currently, this channel's share is only between 2% and 4%, but the latest Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) report from consulting firm Deloitte India, suggests this will rise to between 15% and 20% as more consumers go online via mobile, Business Standard reported.

With the number of smartphone users set to grow almost fivefold between 2014 and 2019, advertisers will follow them. Deloitte noted that mobile advertising was already growing at 60% to 70% a year.

Further, many of the new wave of smartphone owners are joining social networking sites.

"Mobile advertising and social media are going hand-in-hand," according to Ashesh Jani, a partner at Deloitte India.

"There are media planners working overtime for their clients to get the mobile ads in place, also ensuring that their presence is there on social media platforms," he added.

Jani cited the fact that there have been 9bn app downloads in India and that among consumers researching a product online around half had seen it at least once on Facebook or another social media site.

Consequently, the report expected that brands would push for larger in-app budgets in future, with spending here exceeding that on mobile videos and mobile ads.

PN Sudarshan, senior director, Deloitte India, observed that the launch of 4G and high-speed wi-fi services would also boost online and social media usage.

"More and more consumers in India are accepting the idea of buying products online through social media," he noted.

"Accordingly, e-marketers will have to devise their strategies factoring in the digital surge."

In keeping with that trend, the report also anticipated growth in "digital-first brands" that can only be bought online, particularly in those categories where India possesses strong design and manufacturing capabilities, such as budget fashion, furniture and jewellery.

Data sourced from Business Standard, Deloitte India; additional content by Warc staff