SINGAPORE/LONDON: The Indian ad market is forecast to expand by 13.0% this year and a further 12.4% in 2017, by when it will be worth INR536.4bn (US$8.0bn), new research has found.

The data included within Warc's India Ad Forecast 2016/17, released today, show that while India is expected to be the fastest-growing major ad market over the next two years, the rate of growth will gradually slow from that recorded in 2015.

Drawing from data supplied by Pitch Madison and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Warc calculates that total Indian adspend rose 18.6% to INR442.3bn in 2015, the strongest growth rate since 2007.

Much of the headline growth was driven by a 23.6% rise in TV adspend last year, which in turn placed TV as the largest single ad channel in the country for the first time.

TV's total of INR162.3bn was marginally higher than that for newspapers (INR162.2bn), although when including magazines, the combined print total was still greater than that for TV in 2015.

TV adspend is expected to rise 11.2% this year, buoyed by the completion of digital switchover, high cost per thousand (CPT) inflation, and new channel launches from existing networks increasing ad inventory supply.

However, this growth rate represents a downgrade from the 16.0% growth forecast in December, following a weaker-than-expected performance over the first six months of 2016.

Print is expected to keep pace with TV over the next two years, with newspaper ad expenditure rising at an average rate of 10.5% and magazines at 4.1%.

Print is expected to account for almost 40% of all Indian adspend by the end of 2017, on a total of INR207.2bn.

However, this share is being progressively eroded by internet, which is growing rapidly in the country thanks to increasing coverage and more local language content online. Internet adspend reached INR46.2bn in 2015, of which some 17% was thought to be mobile-specific.

Meanwhile, mobile is expected to boost the headline internet total this year and next, as 4G rollout continues apace and new telecom spectrum is auctioned off next month.

Total internet adspend is expected to rise at an average rate of 28.9% over the forecast period, culminating in spend of more than INR67.5bn (US$1bn).

Data sourced from Warc