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1. In which aspects has macro-economic environment impacted India OOH advertising industry in 2011?

The Indian OOH industry has been on a growing path since past couple of years riding primarily on the telecom industry. Telecom occupied more than 40% of OOH media on an avg. of the Indian OOH industry. The exact volume of the OOH industry is very hard to pinpoint in absence of any official data available. A guesstimated value would be fractionally more than 6% of the total advertising media spend which would mean more than Rs. 20 bn. (approx.). After 2009, the growth was based mainly on the new telecom licences awarded across whole of the country. OOH has been one main media to the telecom industry. But with rising competition in the telecom market, falling ARPU (Avg. Revenue per user) nos. and surfacing scams in the system, the telecom operators have started to see red and have drastically cut on the OOH spend. The macro-economic environment developed out of these events has hugely impacted the OOH advertising industry. The main aspects have been: Agency commission structure has come down drastically to as low as 1.25% in some cases. Many agencies have turned back to vendors for support, surviving on vendor discounts on volume business. Media owners, who had procured media assets from different authorities as advertisement rights based on the boom time market readings now find it difficult to stay afloat.

2. Whatre the major events in India OOH advertising industry in the past 3 quarters of 2011? And the challenges and opportunities respectively? Rapid decline of the OOH telecom business is the major event of 2011. Also crumbling OOH agency commission has been a major event within the past 3 quarters of 2011. These factors have given rise to a trend of vendors emerging as fallbacks to agencies for survival. The vendors offer discounts to agencies on business volumes. On the other hand within the first two quarters of 2011, media properties have been procured at high valuations by media owners according to peak market rates. Now, these properties are unable to fetch prices even to cover their costs. The main challenge of Indian OOH industry is not new but quite old. Indian OOH has traditionally operated on quantity rather than quality. The growth has been unplanned and haphazard more so in times when markets boomed. This has given rise to cluttering of the OOH space every time a boom happened. Also unlike other countries, in India there is no acceptable syndicated traffic data or audience data. In current times of emerging social media, competition gets tougher within various media spaces. Media planning thus becomes difficult without available OOH research data. By far unplanned media and quantity of media is the main challenge for the Indian OOH industry. Opportunities are galore for the Indian OOH industry. The economy of the country has grown leaps & bounds but the major share of media formats is still in a primeval stage. With foreign funds and international brands, contemporary international OOH media standard is sought for by the advertisers which is locally not available as per demand. This gives ample scope for development of

new media formats and revamping the OOH industry as a whole. The current trend of the Indian OOH dependency on rickety billboards is to end with the changing outlook of the advertisers. This void can be filled up by digital media, projection media and other new formats.

3. What developments has India OOH industry (market size, industry structure, media formats, etc.) presented during the recent 4 years (from 2008 till now)? Whats the development trend in the year to come? Indian OOH industry that was growing @ 5% p.a. since 2006 has grown to INR 20 billion industry since 2008 with a spurting growth of 15% over 2008. It is projected to grow at a compounded rate of 12 percent over the next 5 years and reach a size of around INR 24.1 billion by 2014. The industry structure has shown tilt towards organised media agencies over unorganised vendor houses. 60% of businesses are now being done by specialist media agencies who purchase consolidated media from various media owners and resale these to the advertisers charging a commission which has been dwindling from 15% to 1.25% currently with growing competition. Indian OOH traditionally had been dependent on billboards or hoardings as they are locally called. With influx of foreign funds and international brands some Unipoles and digital media have sprung up though very few in numbers and that too in very small pockets of major metropolitan towns. The Indian OOH industry is poised for a major OOH media transformation. Traditionally it has been dominated by billboards which are losing the media attention due to lack of aesthetic appeal. With economical growth, lifestyle is changing giving rise to modern town planning as per international standards. So modern OOH formats cannot keep away further. Contemporary structures like unipoles, cantilevers, street furniture, utility media, inflatable media & wallscapes will take over the void left by billboards. Also, media having social utility i.e. branded urinals, waste bins etc. will be preferred by the town municipal authorities. Totems & scrollers inside mall boundaries is another media that would gain popularity with modern town planning & design. With towns gaining in height Success of digital formats is a bit uncertain due to couple of factors. A) Being a hot, humid & dusty land, maintenance is matter of serious concern for digital signs. B) Traffic controlling authorities perceive digital signs to be distraction for vehicle drivers so at many places animated digital screens are prohibited. C) Indian media owners have mainly explored the Chinese digital panels of cheaper quality to keep a low cost resulting in inferior display and high maintenance causing a misconception about digital media. D) Indian OOH workforce is skilled in simple formats of flex based displays. The digital media has not flourished so much that skilled support staffs will evolve.

Billboard jungle

Cluttered structures

Rickety structures creating visual pollution

New developments - Branded Urinals

Typical OOH media in Indian towns

New developments

New developments

Unipoles 4. How has new OOH media been recognized and used by advertisers in India? By far Unipoles have been the most popular new media accepted very well by the OOH advertisers in India. Bus shelters, Mall display signs come next amongst the new types of OOH media in India. Digital media is still at a nascent stage. But billboards still rule the industry as advertisers do not find newer options at all locations. It is said India lives in villages; quite truly majority of Indian population is in villages. For any nonpremium product advertiser rural markets are a necessity to be covered. Media developments have not reached these parts. Whatever new media has developed is in urban & semi-urban areas.

5. China and India are both developing economies, based on your experience and knowledge, whatre the similarities and differences between China OOH market and that of India? Vast population is one similarity that China has with India. Second being the size of the country. Any advertiser marketing products in these two countries need to plan it on a large scale with a large budget if all round coverage is to be attained. Being a highly populated land, the mass lives in semi urban & rural areas. So advertiser needs to focus also on rural areas for all-round market coverage. In both these countries OOH media has immense potentials in rural areas combined with the urban areas. Population being highest in these two neighbouring countries, the cost per thousand rate will always be low in comparison to other countries making the media rate attractive to advertisers here with high daily effective circulation (DEC). But India and China are different in terms of climate & administration. Due to difference in climatic conditions digital media formats will have high maintenance in India compared to China. The difference in administration creates liberal laws in India compared to the stringency in China. This has given rise to unplanned approach towards the media development. This has given rise to clutter and chaos of the media space. Also indulging in excess supply over demand. Commodity like trading is a general practice negating any standard price mechanism or audience measurement. With tougher laws in China, OOH media is far more disciplined and poised for a healthy growth.

6. In your opinion, what should your Chinese counterparts do to better China OOH industry? Whats your prediction for future China OOH development?

Research in OOH media is of utmost importance which is quite often forgotten. For any advertiser, money spent needs to be justified. With advent of newer media like social media, internet media, any media planner needs authentic syndicated data for effective media plans. At planning stage all available media needs to be justified against available budget and cost /thousand to create effective visibility in the market. Unless OOH media can provide various required audience/visibility measurement data to the planner it will not be able to stand out and prove its worth. Therefore, considerable research like geo tagging of the media, traffic pattern analysis, dwell time analysis, TG gaze analysis etc. is of supreme importance that Chinese counterparts must focus to for betterment of the OOH industry. OOH itself means out of home. So the media format that thrives on the roads and in open, needs to be disciplined and aesthetically designed to perfectly gel with the surroundings. This has not been the case in India thus limiting the possibility of uniform growth and is overkilling the industry. But in China, law of the land being strict, OOH media is expected to grow steadily with next generation OOH media developments like narrowcasting, server based media display etc. Saurav Ghosh Director Zenithmedia India Pvt. Ltd. (0)9903109423