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Indian ad spends to grow by 23.2% in 2021: GroupM’s TYNY report

By M4G Bureau - February 17, 2021

India is expected to regain its 9th ranking on global ad spends in 2021 and the OOH medium will touch INR 1,570 crore in 2021 with a CAGR of 69%, says the report.

GroupM India has announced their advertising expenditure (adex) forecasts for 2021. The report named ‘This Year, Next Year (TYNY) 2021’, states that India will see a major ad recovery in 2021 after the downfall of ad spends in 2020 due to the pandemic. TYNY forecasts India’s advertising investment to reach an estimated Rs. 80,123 crore this year. This represents an estimated growth of 23.2%, for the calendar year 2021. India is the 2nd fastest growing market in the top 10 countries and will be the 6th largest contributor to incremental ad spends in 2021 globally. While India was ranked 9th in the global ad spend rank in 2019, it dropped to 10 in 2020 and is likely to regain its 9th rank this year.

Highlighting the outdoor medium, the report predicts that the medium which fell to INR 930 crores in 2020 will touch INR 1,570 crore in 2021 with a growth rate of 69% CAGR. In 2019, the OOH ad spends were INR 3394 crore. Also, the OOH will be merely 2% of total India’s ad spend this year.

Similarly, cinema, a highly impacted advertising channel dropped the lowest to INR 175 crore in 2020 from INR 1008 Crore in 2019. But it is expected to witness an improvement with the growth of 197% CAGR and touch INR 520 crore of ad spends in this financial year.

Commenting on the TYNY 2021 report, Prasanth Kumar, CEO - GroupM South Asiasaid, “2020 was an unprecedented year. The pandemic impacted across sectors and it, therefore, affected the media investments too. As we are aware, the year that went by had a mixture of lockdowns, many restricted market momentum and overall threw a challenge and impacted multi-industry economies. The ad industry too had its challenges and 2020 witnessed a steep drop in the overall media investments. However, we have witnessed a month-on-month upturn in the industry starting Q3 last year and we are quite optimistic about the revival that 2021 will see. With the gradual easement of the lockdown backed by seasonal spends and big-ticket events like IPL, we expect 2021 to continue to build on that momentum. While the global ad spends are estimated to see a rise of 10% in 2021, digital is expected to take 67% of ad spends. With the help of technology, marketers have adapted to pandemic-proof ways by constantly innovating, staying relevant and offering digitally charged solutions to brands.”

Tushar Vyas, President  - Growth and Transformation, GroupM South Asia said, “2021 will see 90% incremental ad spends on digital globally.  The massive switch to digital reliance over the past 1 year has been a major driver for this shift. Brands have been forced to think big and different to transform their businesses, match the newer expectations and overcome the challenges faced. The post-pandemic era will continue to see this upsurge in digital demands. The crisis has brought about a sea change in mindset, adoption, and role of technology in doing business. Brands are seen renewing their business models and are constantly ideating to find better ways to connect with the consumer on a digital tangent.”

While COVID-19 resulted in an overall slowdown in the global economy, Indian ad spends will continue to see a month-on-month recovery considering the overall media landscape.

Ashwin Padmanabhan, President – Partnerships and Trading of GroupM India said, “Based on a strong foundation built on the back of FMCG and e-commerce, 2021 is expected to see growth across sectors like auto, telecom, consumer durable, retail and education. Manufacturing, which was severely impacted by the pandemic, is now stabilizing and moving toward a positive outlook enabled by automation, technology and supply chain optimization. 2020 has accelerated the adoption of agile, cost-effective business models, which will help brands and marketers offer better products, services and experiences to consumers.”

Sidharth Parashar, President - Investments and Pricing of GroupM India said, “Along with digital, television saw a spike in consumption during the lockdown. With acceptance on the subscription bandwagon increasing, OTT will continue to witness a constructive growth and is likely to develop with more players attracting users by investing in content. Print & Radio expected to be backed by local advertisers and certain categories with marketeers leveraging the brand solutions that these media offer.  We expect OOH and cinema to see double-digit growth after a difficult year.  Given the uncertainty and cautiously spending consumer, brands are realizing the importance of being present wherever consumers are. Hence along with continued relevance of television & other mass media, we will witness advertisers leveraging relevant platforms to reach out to its audience.”

GroupM also shared some of the top watchouts that will shape the Indian consumer & therefore industry in the coming years. The trends presented were around consumer behaviour, sports and e-sports, growth of OTT, connected commerce, the ecosystem of fragmented social media, digital transformation, innovations in audio, etc.


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