Ashwini Gangal

"Ad-supported OTT will take the largest pie of digital advertising": Kedar Gavane, comScore

Trends in the Indian digital media sphere - and some projections.

At Digipub World 2018, Kedar Gavane, vice president, comScore, Inc. (a cross-platform measurement company), spoke about some prevailing trends in the Indian digital media industry. This article outlines the highlights of his talk; watch the video embedded below for details.

The business of digital advertising has changed massively over the past couple of months. Publishers are trying to increase mobile consumption of their content, up their monetisation game and better leverage the opportunity that programmatic brings. Agencies, in turn, are busy restructuring and up-skilling in a bid to better embrace the digital world.

"Ad-supported OTT will take the largest pie of digital advertising": Kedar Gavane, comScore

Kedar Gavane

Brands are either "too complacent" or over-enthusiastic in their attempt to participate in the consumer's digital journey. The biggest deficit, in Gavane's view, lies on the brand front. "Where is maximum education required? I would pick brands," he said. Brands that don't participate in digital today, will "miss a generation," he cautions. About 70 per cent of today's internet population comprises millennials (broadly, people who're less than 35 years of age today) including members of Gen-Z (15-18 year olds). What characterises these young netizens? They're people who spent a lot of their time online, they prefer brands online, they shop online, technology influences the way they make their choices (for example, they prefer online banking to offline banking), etc. "Around 75 per cent of the (total) time spent on digital is spent by the millennials," he said.

These millennials are making brand choices today that will remain with them over the next two decades. So for brands, it's very important to connect with them in different ways today. Social media, OTT advertising and online retail are some doors through which brands can enter the world of these prized millennials. In fact, many millennials (erroneously) believe that the brands they see online are the only brands that exist in the market today!

"In the coming days, ad-supported OTT will take the largest pie of digital advertising... this category is closer to taking away television dollars (than any other category)," said Gavane, before going on to share some data points and examples.

Mobile, as we know, is the device of choice to access internet content, but apps, finds Gavane, have not been commensurate with the extent of mobile usage. When it comes to advertising trends so far, "mobile web has been greater than mobile app". This trend will play out in reverse in the days ahead, Gavane predicts: "Mobile app advertising will overtake mobile web and desktop advertising... reasons include - increasing storage space on mobile devices, better in-app user experience, engagement time is higher on apps, good connect with DSPs hence better monetisation options through programmatic advertising..." At present, the retail (e-commerce) and entertainment (OTT) categories are better suited to be consumed through apps (as opposed to mobile web), than content categories like news and sports.

While on the subject of monetisation and digital advertising, Gavane shared his view on the Facebook-Google duopoly, one mentioned several times through the two-day convention: "It can be fought through a publisher coalition. Nobody's done it, but I see rumblings in the market already..." Of course, a coalition presupposes a majority, which, in turn, is contingent upon reach.

Lastly, he spoke about an upcoming category of digital-outdoor advertising at the hyperlocal/city level, spurred by the increasing usage of on-demand apps: "Get ready to see ads in your Ola, Swiggy apps, or even on your Oyo Rooms television set."

Event partners - (platinum partner), Akamai and Facebook (silver partners), and Freshworks, Vidooly, comScore, Quintype, Times Internet and 24 Frames Digital (bronze partners).

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