MUMBAI: India's mobile adspend is set to more than double over the next two years, according to a new report which notes that the e-commerce and BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance) sectors are leading the way.

The Mobile Ecosystem and Sizing Report, compiled by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), in association with media agency GroupM, puts total mobile advertising at Rs 4,200 crore in 2016 and expects that figure to rise to Rs 10,000 crore by the end of 2018.

Already mobile is the third largest advertising medium the country, after TV and print, but, noted CVL Srinivas, CEO, GroupM South Asia, "[it] is by far the leader in terms of time spent and consumer engagement.

"It is clear that brands cannot ignore the power of the small screen," he said, adding that "India has the potential to become a global leader in mobile marketing innovation".

Mobile subscriber growth continues apace, with 60m added in 2015 and rural subscriber numbers almost doubling.

The report observed that a growth spurt in new technology and smartphone penetration has been coming from the Tier 2, Tier 3 and rural markets, where phones are replacing or supplementing TV as an important entertainment and marketing platform.

Urban consumers, meanwhile, are adopting 3G and 4G technology at a faster rate.

Higher data speeds and more smartphones will lead to changes in how marketers use the medium, with native and video formats likely to dominate in future, the report suggested.

Currently, industry sectors such as e-commerce and BFSI are in the vanguard of mobile advertising, while sectors such as FMCG have moved beyond basic SMS and IVR-based solutions.

"Marketers are aware that mobile is arguably the closest you can get to the consumer with its powerful promise of 'immediacy'," said Preeti Desai, manager at Mobile Marketing Association India.

"The consumer is getting steadily used to everything in the 'now' with regards to content, commerce, information or utilitarian," she noted. "This very concept has transformed the mobile into a tool of action and transaction."

Warc's latest ad forecast for India anticipates total market growth of 13.0% this year and 12.4% in 2017. By the end of the forecast period, internet is expected to account for 14.3% of total adspend in the country.

Data sourced from MMA; additional content by Warc staff