India ad growth slows in 2009

Growth is 4.7% in 2009, compared with 14.7% in '08

NEW DELHI -- Indian advertising revenue will grow just 4.7% this year compared with 14.7% in 2008, with newspapers being the worst hit segment, according to a report released Tuesday.

Compiled by Mumbai-based GroupM, the media-buying arm of U.K.-based WPP Group, the report says that the current economic slowdown has led to "a steep decline in advertising expenditure" after two years of nearly 20% growth.

Newspapers, the largest segment within India's media industry, will see a 2% drop in advertising revenue -- from $2.07 billion in 2008 to $2.03 billion in 2009 -- while television, the second-biggest category, will hit $1.85 billion in 2009 as its rate of growth shrinks to 7% from 18% the year prior.

Digital media and radio are expected to be the front-runners, growing at 25% and 15%, respectively, thus enabling the total media market to expand to almost $5 billion by year's close.

Cinema advertising revenue will grow 5% in 2009 to $17.5 million compared with last year's $16.6 million, when the segment grew by 7%.

"While the economic situation in India is not as dismal as opposed to some of the other markets, the general market sentiment continues to be negative," the report states. "This is in part due to the global linkages of several key Indian players who are impacted by parent performance in other markets."

The GroupM report covers advertising spending by Indian marketers across eight sectors: newspapers, magazines, television, radio, digital, outdoor, retail media and cinema.
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