Print advertising still on a high: Madison report

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on February 13, 2020

Even as traditional media faces headwinds, print advertising has defied global trends and registered growth in India.

Though the volume of print advertising in all major markets globally has been declining, with the trend more evident over the last couple of years, print media in India has grown to cross ₹20,000 crore.

Showing tremendous resilience, print advertising has not only maintained its volume and value, but has in fact increased, according to the Pitch Madison report. Print advertising in 2019 grew by a further 3 per cent to cross the enviable ₹20,000-crore mark.

India is also the only major market where print has a dominant share of 30 per cent even in today's engaging times, with the total advertising market estimated by the Madison report at ₹67,603 crore.

Releasing the advertising report in Mumbai this evening, Sam Balsara, Chairman, Madison World, said, “Print continues to draw its strength from its large diversified category portfolio and has as many as 2 lakh advertisers, compared to TV which has only around 12,500 advertisers. It takes as many as 12 categories to contribute more than 70 per cent to print, compared to only four categories to contribute the same number to TV advertising.”

The report further forecasts that print in India will continue to buck the global trend and further grow in India by 2 per cent this year.

The English language contributes 25 per cent to print advertising. Nearly 65 per cent of print’s growth of ₹588 crore is accounted for by four categories — education, e-commerce, real estate and retail.

The FMCG sector, auto, education, real estate and retail were the main categories that contributed almost 50 per cent to Adex (advertising expenditure) in 2019, according to the report. Overall adex was placed at ₹67,603 crore, a jump of 11 per cent.

E-commerce advertising registered as fast emerging and an important category for the print medium and grew 14 per cent over 2018.

Political parties are also estimated to have contributed ₹200 crore to the Adex on account of the Lok Sabha Election.

The report forecasts an overall growth of 10 per cent in 2020 guided by the expectation that the economy should bounce back in the second half of 2020. Though it forecasts a subdued first half for advertising spend, a buoyant second half is in the offing, specially in the fourth quarter.

Speaking to BusinessLine exclusively on the sidelines of the event, Balsara maintains that in order to continue bucking the trend, Print should undertake some bold experiments with their offerings to advertisers and with their cover prices.

Suggesting some experiments, Balsara outlined that advertising rates need to be based on outcomes. “Media houses should also offer a combined rate for print and digital versions of the same title. This would also protect the brand equity of decade-old brands and also give the titles a modern image,” he said.

He noted advertising subsidy to readers needs to be reduced and subscription charges need to be hiked. "Newspapers in India have low cover prices which have remained low despite substantial inflation in raw material prices like newsprint. Attempts must also be made to establish the brand building properties of the print medium by offering package rates for multiple insertions," he added.

Though this is third consecutive year that print advertising has grown less than 5 per cent, the medium continues to be the second highest contributor after TV with a share of 30 per cent.

Published on February 13, 2020

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