Growth slows in India ad market

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NEW DELHI -- Ad spending in India slowed in 2007, growing just 3.5% over 2006, and was dominated by the print sector, a Mumbai advertising company said Tuesday.

Mumbai-based Lintas Media Group released its annual study analyzing various trends in advertising. Indian ad spends reached $4.45 billion in 2007. Print advertising led overall spending at about 50% with $2.2 billion, followed by television at $1.73 billion.

By comparison, ad spending grew 11.8% from 2005 to 2006. Lintas blamed the 2007 drop on lower television advertising for the year.

Strong growth was seen in Internet, radio and outdoor advertising. "Internet advertising grew 43% in 2007 ... reaching $55 million," LMG director of media services Lynn D'Souza said. "Radio, cinema and outdoor advertising capitalized on innovations and saw an increase of 28% ($13.5 million), 16% ($4.9 million) and 17% ($27.2 million), respectively."

With the number of TV channels likely to reach 500 in the next two years from the current 400, India is expected to be the largest pay TV market by 2015, surpassing current leader Japan.

The report predicts that with increasing media reach among rural masses, "2008 is set to offer enormous advertising opportunities as well as tremendous challenges."
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