Ad space in print media drops 6% in Q1 2019

Auto sector remains the dominant advertiser

Maruti Suzuki with 2% print advertisement share was among the top three print advertisers from the auto sector.
Maruti Suzuki with 2% print advertisement share was among the top three print advertisers from the auto sector.

Advertisement space in print media during Q1 2019 (January-March) dropped 6% compared to Q1 2018, according to the latest TAM AdEx India, a division of TAM Media Research, report. The number of advertisers has also seen a decline in Q1 2019.

According to the report, during Q1 2019, 71,265 advertisers advertised in print media compared to 74,693 in Q1 2018. The number of brands advertising was 85,611 in Q1 2019, lower than 90,009 seen in Q1 2018. The number of categories has also dropped to 657 in Q1 2019 from 678 in Q1 2018, according to the Tam Adex India report.

The top three categories contributed 17% share of overall advertising in print in Q1 2019. Cars, two-wheelers and hospitals/clinics were the top three categories with 7%, 5% and 5% share, respectively. In Q1 2018 also the top three contributed 17% share of overall advertising in print. In Q1 2018, top three categories were two-wheelers, cars and real estate with 7%, 6% and 4% share, respectively.

Top three advertisers in the print media were from the auto sector. Maruti Suzuki with 2% share was at the top, followed by Honda India in the second and Mahindra & Mahindra in the third spot, both with 1% share each. In Q1 2018, Honda was the top advertiser with 3% share, while Maruti and Hero were in the second and third spots respectively with 2% share each.

There were some new brands who appeared in an advertisement in the Q1 2019. The top five new brands were Bajaj Pulsar Neon Edition, Mahindra XUV 300, Hyundai Santro, MX Player and TVS Radeon.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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