Aug 10, 2017 01:56 PM IST | Source:

DATA STORY: How surging digital ad revenues in India will overtake print in five years

Money goes to where the eyeballs are. Digital ad revenue set to overtake print by 2022

(Starting today, Moneycontrol presents a selection of data-driven stories based on eye-catching Indian and global trends)

For decades, print publications—newspapers and magazines—were the go-to destination for companies to advertise their products and services. The logic: more people were reading print publications than online content.

The trend, however, is fast reversing. Advertisers are now flocking in droves to the online platforms to tell the world about their wares as more and more Indians adopt digital as a way of daily life.

According to data analytics firm Statista, there were 220 million (18 percent of the population) smartphone users in India in 2016. This is estimated to rise 340 million (28 percent) in 2017. There are about 150 million feature phone users who are eligible for an upgrade to a smartphone. Social-media friendly smart phones, which bring the browsing power of the Net to your palmtop, can be bought for as low as Rs 5,000.

The relationship between this rapid rise in mobile phone sales and change in media consumption habits is too obvious for anybody to miss. And, this is playing out in the comparable ad revenue trends of print and digital media.

According to Statista, digital advertising revenues in India are set to reach Rs 29,500 crore by 2021, a few hundred crores behind print media’s projected ad revenues of Rs 29,600 crore in the same year.


Source: Statista

Digital ad revenues are set to consistently grow annually at 30 percent over the next four years, while the growth of print ad earnings are set to fall to 7 percent by 2021. Is this the end of print’s reign? Data suggests so.


Source: Statista

According to the KPMG-FICCI 2016 report on the media and entertainment industry, “advertisers’ interest has been captured by the continuing shift  in consumption towards digital media on the back of rapid growth in internet penetration, mobile devices and falling data costs.”
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