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Despite slowdown, Digital to show growth of 28-30% - Kosal Malladi, Madison Media

Kosal Malladi, General Manager, Madison Media, highlights some of the major changes in the media & Advertising industry in 2019, as well as the industry defining trends expected in 2020.

What were the few big changes that you think were of importance in 2019 for our industry?

3 things that made waves in 2019 were:

  • The Rise of Social platformsand Influencer marketing
    • From being banned to being one of the highest downloaded apps- TikTok has had an interesting journey in 2019. It will be interesting to track if TikTok sustains this user growth in 2020 and possibly eat into Facebook revenues.

With this, Influencer and other content marketing platforms that have been around for many years are seeing a renewed interest. 2019 has seen a steady attempt at putting a structure to this. There are tools that allow us to identify the right influencers. Facebook is also catching up by launching multiple beta programs for Facebook groups and Whatsapp. 

  • Sports- boosting the OTT growth
    • India is a cricketing nation. Hotstar claims to have attracted 300 million users on the back of IPL 2019 and World Cup. Hotstar had more number of advertisers on Hotstar IPL compared to IPL on TV. Other sports like Football and Kabaddi also saw double the users compared to previous year. SonyLiv sees a spike in traffic during the cricket season. 
  • Digital penetration in Bharat
    • With Jio going mainstream and the fall in data costs- 90%+ drop over pre-Jio rates, Digital has moved beyond metros and tier 1 cities.

Today, Digital has penetrated across tier 2, tier 3 cities in India. Apps like ShareChat, DailyHunt and TikTok are a directly targeting these markets and their growth curve clearly tells usthe story. 

What are the big changes you are expecting in 2020?

3 trends that will we should track in 2020 are:

  • The tipping point for Voice
  • Voice has seen a surge in recent times. As per industry estimates, approximately 50% search traffic will be through voice by 2020. Assistants like Google Home and Alexa are slowly finding their way into homes. There are multiple start-ups like Oakter and HomeMate that are already working towards making regular homes smarts. They work with Google Home and Alexa, thereby enabling us to control our homes with our voice.
  • With new international players like Spotify coming in, and JioSaavn merger, music players are garnering renewed interest.
  • Also, Podcast has been seeing a steady growth in the last few years. Standalone Podcast apps like Storiyoh and Audible Suno are gaining traction. It will be interesting to see their monetizing strategies going forward. 
  • Content play on OTT
    • Netflix started 2020 with Ghost Stories - a series of short films directed by Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap and Dibakar Banerjee. A few years ago, none of these names would have possibly considered making a film that would release directly on Digital.

Original content is going to drive the OTT growth in 2020 and all players seem to be focusing heavily on it.

Today, there are 40+ OTT players in India. While this number grows, we will possibly also start seeing a consolidation story starting to emerge in 2020. With Disney+ global launch, it will be interesting to see the synergies Hotstar and Disney+ drive in India. 

  • Multi-medium advertising via Programmatic
  • In 2020, Programmatic advertising will grow, not just through Digital advertising, but also through TV and Outdoor advertising.

Today, we have an estimated 20 Mn homes that can be targeted through advertising via Smart TVs. This number is only set to grow.

Programmatic allows us to target these connected TVs, allowing us to control the visibility of these ads.

Even outdoor hoardings can be controlled programmatically today in certain locations. The number of such locations will see a boost in the coming year.

How has the consumer behaviour changed with the introduction of tech based marketing?

  • Vodafone said a few years ago, ‘Wherever you go, our network follows...’ Today, wherever you go, Google follows, Facebook follows, Amazon follows and every other tech platform follows. Consumers are aware of this. They react positively to communication that is relevant to them. At the same time, any communication that is not relevant to them at that point of time leads to a very negative impact for the brand in the minds of the consumers.

Marketers need to focus on a leveraging the technology that is available and sharp shooting the right communication at the right time.

Are we expected to see some big shifts around data regulation in India?

  • The Indian government has proposed a Personal Data Protection bill on the lines of GDPR in order to ensure data privacy. While the bill largely follows the GDPR framework, there are certain conditions that vary.

It will be interesting to track the movement of this bill and its implication on data privacy in the coming year.

And finally, how do you anticipate the Adex growth across platforms in 2020

  • While the overall industry is expected to slow down, Digital will still show a growth of approximately 28% - 30%. This will be on the back of video spends and growth of Digital in smaller markets.

Also Read:

Trends 2020: AdEx to grow triple-fold in the next three years

Trends 2020: Gear up for consolidation in the media eco-system

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