MUMBAI: 2014 was a good year for TV advertising in India and its continued growth will see it overtake print in the next four years according to a new report.

The Indian Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2015, produced by consulting firm KPMG in association with trade body FICCI, said that TV ad revenues had grown 14% in 2014 to reach a total of Rs 154.9bn. This compared with print's 8.5% uplift to Rs 176.4bn.

But TV's projected compound annual growth between 2014 and 2019 is 14.1%, or roughly 50% greater than that for print (9.7%), so it is expected to overtake print as the largest advertising medium in 2018.

Together these two media currently account for 80% of all advertising revenues in India. Digital is growing fast, however – up 44.5% in 2014 – and its current share of 10.5% will almost double by 2018, most of that gain coming at the expense of print and TV.

Election spending in 2014 was a significant factor in TV's performance, with the Business Standard noting that "electoral spends were among the highest in the world, second only to the 2012 US presidential election."

Other reasons cited in the report included a positive shift in the macroeconomic environment, the general election spends, and "the emergence of e-commerce as a significant new advertising spender".

In print, most of the growth was seen to come from tier 2 and tier 3 cities where regional language editions outperformed national editions and English-language dailies.

KPMG said that the print sector was not yet following the global trend where revenues have been cannibalised from digital media, but it added that "it is clear that the time has come for players to embrace digital strategies that complement the existing physical product and support brand building and penetration efforts".

That reflects the rapidly growing numbers of internet-enabled smartphones in use – predicted to almost quadruple in the next five years from the current figure of 116m – as well as the government's Digital India programme to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.

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