Online video streaming, social media & gaming are likely to be most lucrative avenues for brands

Girish Menon, Partner and Head – Media and Entertainment, KPMG in India, opines that online video streaming, social media & gaming tend to have a higher adoption rate among millennials and are often the only places to reach out to a lot of millennials who don’t consume much of the traditional media.

Girish Menon:

IBT: What have been the major drivers of the shift to digital advertising over the past few years across the world? How is India similar or distinct in this context?

Girish Menon: The shift towards digital advertising has been seen globally in the last few years, while in India, the shift hasn’t started to take shape in concrete terms yet. Traditional media such as TV and to a lesser extent, print, remain relevant, and digital advertising till now has added to the overall pie. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic having seen an acceleration of digital consumption, this shift is likely to get augmented in the long run, and the green shoots of the same are already being seen, as based on our estimates, Digital advertising will overtake TV advertising in FY21.

On an overall basis, increasing consumption on digital, the ability to target a specific user base, availability of deeper and more insightful data compared to traditional forms of advertising coupled with the ability to measure ROIs more easily has been driving the shift to digital advertising globally. The story has been similar for India with performance advertising being the preferred mode for advertising on digital media.

IBT: How has COVID-19 shifted the consumer approach towards consumption of digital mediums like OTT, social media, gaming, etc.? How have advertisers responded to the same, in order to maximise ROI of their marketing investments?

Girish Menon: The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital mediums among consumers as outdoor entertainment options like cinemas, theme parks, etc. are not available to most users. As a result, the average time spent on gaming, social media and video streaming peaked during the months of the lockdown. While the average time spent on these mediums has come down post the lockdown, it has still settled at higher levels than that seen before the lockdown. Average time spent on gaming was higher by 24 per cent in the last week of June as against that observed before the lockdown.

Ad volumes on digital, as with other M&E segments, had declined in the aftermath of the pandemic with most advertisers reining in spends as business activity came to a halt. However, companies from some categories like EdTech, Gaming, etc. made the most of the low CPMs (Cost Per Mille) available to reach out to their target audiences via digital. As economic activity starts to move towards pre-COVID-19 levels, digital advertising is expected to recover and grow faster than the traditional formats.

IBT: Now that the economy is opening and people are stepping out of their homes, how do you expect media consumption habits to change in the next few months? What are the most lucrative avenues for B2C marketers to promote their brands among the millennials in India and why?

Girish Menon: Media consumption habits have changed over the last few months and some of these habits are likely to persist in the long run. Digital has been the clear winner with more users starting to consume content via the digital medium – news, video, social media and gaming. However, as people start to step out of homes and get back to work, the active users and time spent on these mediums though higher than pre-COVID levels, is likely to be lower than the peaks seen during the lockdown.

Online video streaming, social media and gaming are likely to be the most lucrative avenues for B2C marketers to promote their brands among the millennials in India. These mediums tend to have a higher adoption rate among millennials and are often the only places to reach out to a lot of millennials who don’t consume much of the traditional media.

IBT: What advantages do sharing ads over digital mediums have in comparison to their other counterparts? What key criteria should brands keep in mind as decide their digital marketing mix, i.e. SEO, SMO, e-mail marketing, video marketing, etc?

Girish Menon: Ads shared over digital mediums can be customised, narrow-casted and targeted to a desired consumer. In addition, some digital mediums also allow an element of sharing that could create virality for brands. Brands need to have a pre-defined purpose before deciding a digital marketing mix. The approach to digital marketing and the marketing mix will differ according to the purpose of the campaign, the product, the target consumer and the sales channel.

IBT: Video is considered a major digital engagement tool for brands in the present context. How is it working out in reality from a content marketing perspective and what are the key elements of a successful engagement strategy through videos?

Girish Menon: Videos have been working really well for brands as a tool for digital engagement and advertising. Video content that is creative, catchy and establishes an emotional connect is key to audience engagement. In addition to catchy commercials, brands can use product placement and deeper integrations with the digital content story (on platforms like video streaming, gaming, etc.) to create successful campaigns.

Girish Menon has significant experience in the media and entertainment (M&E) sector. He has advised clients across major sub sectors, covering both international and national players. Hehas more than 15 years of advisory and M&A experience and, he has advised on more than 150 M&A transactions. He has an extensive experience on buy-side and sell-side mandates and assisting clients in evaluating the risks and opportunities of their intended transactions. He has led a number of high profile and complex transactions and therefore has a deep understanding and practical experience of dealing with issues that arise on Indian transactions. He has also been a speaker at various events industry organised by FICCI, Economic Times, India Mobile Congress etc.

He leads KPMG in India’s annual publication on Media and Entertainment industry which is one of the key reference materials for different stakeholders in the M&E industry and the ones who are interested in the business of media and entertainment.

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