The print industry was severely impacted during the pandemic and it went through thick and thin to survive the phase through innovation and resilience. However, the year 2022 brought the industry some much-needed relief.
Top print publications have said that their performance in 2022 has exceeded expectations and they expect the momentum to continue. Talking about how 2022 has been for the Times of India Group, Sivakumar Sundaram (Siva) the Chairman of the Executive Committee of Bennett, Coleman & Company, said that the recovery has been promising for the company.
“2022 marked the return of normalcy to Print advertising. We had more than 32 thousand clients who advertised with us this year, very close to pre-Covid levels. This confidence, credibility and trust in the medium has made this happen and it augurs very well for the coming year. Our growth in ad volumes, now higher than pre-covid year volumes, marks the comeback of the medium of our power brands Times of India and Economic Times,” Sundaram said.
According to Sundaram, they have seen strong growth in ad volumes from traditionally strong verticals like real estate, BFSI, e-commerce, retail and education which underscores their trust and faith in print advertising. He added that ET has done exceptionally well on the back of a significant increase in circulation resulting in strong demand from BFSI clients and IPO advertisers.
“Festive advertising saw good volumes from Consumer Durables, Auto and Telecom clients on the back of new product launches. Lastly, but very importantly, we are seeing the re-emergence of local retail, entertainment, and classified advertisers. We expect strong growth to come from this sector in the coming year as well,” he said.
Sundaram went on to state that verticals like retail, real estate, classifieds, clothing, and F&B have grown above 25% indicating the return of local advertisers. He said the biggest growth has come from their metro supplements which are mainly used by local clients L2L for advertising in the top three cities.
Talking about the expectations from 2023, Sundaram said, “We are optimistic about 2023. We expect consumer spending to rise in physical experiences and to see smaller advertisers return as local businesses begin to recover from the impact of Covid. In the most recent quarter, we are already beginning to see their return.”
“A rise in consumer spending on tangible goods and services would increase spending on real estate, cars, travel and tourism, retail, clothing, appliances, and consumer durables, among other things. The current social media upheaval and the widening gulf of trust between users of existing digital platforms present a chance for print to improve its product offerings and enhance consumer engagement.”
Upon being asked if publishers are worried after looking at the global trends of inflation and recession affecting ad spends, Sundaram said, “Due to the likelihood of a recession in the developed economies in 2023, we may witness increased investments in developing economies like ours, which would increase demand for consumer goods and boost advertising.”