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77% of marketers will prioritise mobile, 71% social media in 2022: IAS Industry Pulse Report-India Edition

The report also highlights that ad fraud is a key concern across mobile (78%) and social media (86%) environments

With mobile internet users expected to surpass 600 million in 2022, mobile ad spends are set to grow 27% to cross $ 2 billion, representing nearly two-thirds of overall digital ad spend in India, and it will be the top priority for marketers in this year, as per the Integral Ad Science (IAS) 2022 Industry Pulse Report-India Edition.

The report states that marketers are betting on mobile and social media, with 77% of respondents making mobile a top priority in 2022 and 71% choosing to prioritise social platforms.

The report adds that with over 450 million social media users in India, the medium is rife with opportunities. As per it, YouTube ranks as the top choice for 82% of respondents, closely followed by Facebook (80%), and Instagram (77%).

The IAS Industry Pulse Report provides insights into the emerging trends and priorities that will drive change in digital advertising across India in 2022. The results are based on the responses of 151 Indian digital advertising professionals representing brands, agencies, publishers, and ad tech vendors in November 2021. 

Meanwhile, the report also highlights that as consumers gain faster 5G mobile connections, nearly eight-in-ten (78%) media experts bet on mobile video streaming being one of the biggest opportunities. However, with this growth, the threat of ad fraud looms large; 78% of respondents agreed that ad fraud will be a greater concern across mobile environments this year.

Further, 26% of respondents also agreed that mobile web video environments will be among the most vulnerable in terms of brand risk. As a result, respondents believe contextual targeting solutions (74%) and third-party verification (72%) will be important to ensure brand safety in mobile environments.

About 86% of marketers were concerned about the vulnerability of social channels to ad fraud. Experts also pointed to insufficient transparency and eroding consumer trust, with 65% and 62% of respondents, respectively, citing these key factors as cause for adjusting their spending in 2022.

On the bright side, the report states that the Indian audience continues to transition from linear TV and terrestrial radio to digital streaming channels such as CTV, OTT, and podcasts. As new consumer habits developed during the pandemic, 80% of respondents anticipate an accelerating transition from linear TV consumption to digital video streaming this year, while over 7 in 10 agreed that audio listeners will shift towards digital alternatives. However, 68% of media experts anticipate higher brand risk with audio streaming content as more inventory becomes available. Ultimately, 68% of respondents agreed that third-party verification will be important to ensure the quality of audio streaming inventory.

Lastly, with ad budgets at stake, brands and verification tech providers play a pivotal role in mitigating ad fraud and brand risk. 45% of respondents noted that verification tech providers are responsible for ad fraud mitigation, while 38% say brands should lead these efforts. 

“As the ongoing pandemic has driven consumers to embrace hybrid lifestyles and digital experiences, digital advertisers pivoted their strategies globally to emphasise mobile, social media, CTV, and digital audio. This scenario is similar in India. However, in a market as large and dynamic as India, brands are becoming more conscious of the importance of quality impressions and safe brand environments. As a result, the role of verification partners is gaining prominence in creating a safe and transparent setting for brands,” said Saurabh Khattar, Commercial Lead, India, IAS.

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