The second day of the Indian Magazine Congress 2014 opened with a keynote by Rajan Anandan, VP and MD, Google India. He highlighted the digital trends in India that magazine publishers could manifest their strategy around.
He noted that consumption of internet was growing, more so on mobile devices. The second big trend he cited was e-commerce. “The online travel market was $10 billion last year. 45 per cent of airline tickets are bought online. And non-travel (e-tail) is also growing hugely. In another few years, it will stand at $16 billion. 20 million of the 200 million Indians online are buying online,” he noted.
He also noted that the growth of online video, on Youtube, was growing. “And about 80 per cent of people are logging into Youtube with a 2G connection, which will grow exponentially once 3G and 4G make inroads. Next, there has been an explosive growth of Facebook: 100 million would be accessing it soon,” Anandan said.
Anandan further noted that news was the fastest growing content vertical online standing at five per cent currently, growing at 67 per cent. According to him, publications with large offline circulation, such as The Times of India and Jagran, were big online too - more pronounced in case of English media. But he was quick to add: “Vernacular consumption is growing at over five times as compared to English. While English is growing at 11 per cent year-on-year, vernacular is growing at 56 per cent.”
Quoting data from eMarketer, Anandan noted that digital advertising was growing at 30 per cent year-on-year, and this number should double, since the number of users would double. “When you think about advertising, the multi-billion opportunity is around small business opportunities,” Anandan explained.
He added, “This is the right time to double down. For internet companies like us, India is a strategic market. The only issue is monetisation for publishers, and we are sure that is changing very quickly.”
He further added that CPMs of internet were comparable to TV already, and it was important to be online with ‘great products’. “If you have three to five-year view of your business, this is the medium to be on,” he surmised.