Madison revises down 2019 advertising expenditure

Print adex forecast remains unchanged


The Pitch Madison Advertising Outlook Report 2019 has revised its forecast for advertising expenditure (adex) for 2019 downwards, mainly due to a decline in television adex in the first quarter of 2019. The forecast for print adex has, however, remained unchanged.

Adex is expected to grow at 13.4% to touch Rs 69,073 crore with television and outdoor registering a sluggish growth according to a revised forecast report. As per the original report published in February this year, adex was forecast to grow by 16.4% to touch Rs 70,888 crore.

Whilst there is no change in the growth forecast for print, digital, radio and cinema, there is a downward revision for television and outdoor, which has led to an overall downward forecast of adex for 2019. The major reason for the drop in television adex is the decline faced in the first quarter (January–March 2019), because of the new tariff order (NTO), which caused chaos in the television market and led BARC to issue an advisory, not to use ratings because of major changes in availability of channels, Madison said.

The Pitch Madison Advertising Outlook revised forecast says television adex will be Rs 26,050 crore versus Rs 27,649 originally forecast in February. Print adex remains unchanged at Rs 20, 429; digital adex stays the same at Rs 15,612 crore; radio adex remains unchanged at Rs 2,401; while outdoor adex has been revised to Rs 3,533 crore as against Rs 3,750 crore in the original report. Cinema adex also remains unchanged at Rs 1,047 crore.

In its original February 2019 report, Madison said that India is perhaps the only major market where print adex is actually growing year on year, although its growth rate is rapidly declining. India is probably the only country in the world where print still commands such a high percentage share of adex.

Print adex grew 4.4% in 2018, marginally lower than Madison’s projection of 5%. Despite this, it continues to be the second-highest contributor to adex, following television, with a share of 32%. The print share of adex in India is probably the highest in the world, according to Madison. In 2019, the print advertising market is expected to grow by 5% to come close to Rs 20,500 crore

Another interesting fact that brings out the resilience of print is that it has 200,000 advertisers and the number is growing, compared to television which has only 12,000 advertisers, the February 2019 report said. However, just five categories – FMCG, education, auto, retail, and eCommerce – dominate the print adex. In terms of category contribution, FMCG and auto are also the largest contributors to the print pie, with a contribution of 14%, followed by education at 10%. Contribution of eCommerce is way low at just 4%. Telecom, BFSI, and travel & tourism categories saw a fall in growth in 2018. It is significant that despite the sluggish real estate sector, this category has maintained its 6% share, Madison said.

In terms of volume, Hindi publications continue to be ahead of English publications, contributing 35% of the total volume while the share of English publications dropped by 2%, and now stands at 25%. In terms of growth too, volume of English publications has declined by 7% while Hindi publications grew by 2%. South publications, except Kannada, show a decrease in volume, the February report stated.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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