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Digital ad spends in India make it to the USD 1 bn mark

India may be riding high on digital with the Digital India initiative by the government but has a long road ahead in the digital advertising ecosystem. According to a study released by eMarketer, India’s contribution to the digital ad world will be worth just USD 1 billion in 2015. “India is the second most populous country on earth, but total media ad spending in the country only amounts to 1.1 per cent of the global total,” the report said.

Marketers are betting high on digital advertising to pick up in India in a big way as total ad spends are projected to jump 8 per cent to 6.60 billion in the year. While the slack for digital ads in India will continue, the growth of 27 per cent in the digital ad spends will step-up the share of digital against total ad spends to 14.2 per cent in 2015 from 12.1 per cent in the previous year.

“That’s still the third-smallest share worldwide, ahead of only Argentina and Indonesia. But by 2019, when more than a quarter of ad spending in India is digital, the country will have pulled ahead of several others, including France, Spain, Italy and Brazil, by this metric,” the report added.

Despite several innovations in the digital marketing formats such as interactive media and rich media content; display ads continue to rule the roost with 60 per cent digital ad spends against other formats in digital media. In 2016, digital ad spends in India are expected to cross the 1 billion mark with 35.2 per cent going to search and 3.5 per cent to email, mobile messaging and lead generation.

However, mobile story in India awaits a bright future as ad spends in the mobile internet ad category are expected to double this year and next, tracking the growth in mobile penetration in India. In 2018, more than half of digital ad spending will be going to mobile, according to the report by eMarketer.