MUMBAI: The share of Indian adspend allocated to magazines is set to rise in the years ahead, according to the president of the Association of Indian Magazines.

Speaking to delegates at the Indian Magazine Congress, Tarun Rai, compared the current share in India to that in more mature Western markets.

He pointed out that in the US this figure stood at 17%, while in parts of Europe it was even higher, with Germany recording an 18% share. In France, magazines account for 15% of adspend and in Italy 11%.

"At 4% of adspend, share of magazines in India can only go up," Rai said.

In this context, Rai also noted a recent prediction by FIPP, the worldwide magazine media association, that more magazines will be launched in 2013 than in 2012.

Referring to the extraordinary global growth of tablets – with 20m sold in 20 months – Rai argued that this presented new opportunities for publishers.

"Readers have been found to spend 45 minutes on the print version of a magazine, versus 160 minutes on the tablet," he said.

Speaking in his capacity as CEO of Worldwide Media, late last year Rai declared: "All our magazines are available in their digital versions. We are also aggressively developing various magazines' apps and will be launching them soon."

"We see an opportunity in reaching a new younger audience through our digital initiatives," he added.

Elsewhere at the Congress, Nitin Paranjpe, CEO of Hindustan Unilever, referred to the pace of innovation in the Indian magazine sector in his keynote speech to delegates.

"The things that we feel we cannot live without will become redundant within our lifetime," he said. "The only way to deal with it is to embrace change."

Data sourced from Campaign India/MxM India/Exchange4Media; additional content by Warc staff