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Digital ad space is growing nicely and fetching profits

Print advertising is transforming itself to counter the challenge

Gulf News


Digital media may be making gains within the global advertising space, but there is no indication that print is about to vacate its supremacy anytime soon.

“Print advertising is undergoing changes to keep up with the competition from digital,” said Pawet Kowalewski at the Polish agency Communication Unlimited. “We used to have long texts that came with an image, but now we see shorter texts because people don’t want to read anymore.”

But digital ads are catching up quite fast. One indication is New York Times Co.’s announcement that their net income tripled in the last quarter of 2012 boosted, in large part, by its digital ad sales.

Global online ad spend rose 4.3 per cent in the third quarter of last year, according to Nielson’s latest Global Advertising Trends report.

North America’s ad market was up 10.2 per cent in the third quarter, while Asia-Pacific recorded gains of 3.5 per cent during the same period, the report highlighted.

“This year, Europe’s digital spend crossed the income of print,” said Kowalewski.

In India, digital is growing but print advertising still dominates, said Pradeep Guha of 9xmedia. “It is due to the growing literacy rate — some of the [newly literate] still see the Internet as a technological device.

“In India, the internet has grown by 50 per cent over last year. Currently, it is [worth] $430 million. Next year too, digital business is expected to grow by another 30-40 per cent. In contrast, all other media grew by merely 5 per cent. Internet revenue has been ahead of radio for a few years now. This year, it has crossed outdoor as well.”

What makes digital platforms attractive for advertisers are better control over who sees the ads, and more interaction with customers, Kowalewski said. Brands’ usage of Facebook pages also allows them to communicate with customers at any given time and update them with the latest offerings.

— Sarah Algethami is a trainee at Gulf News.