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Telecoms advertising expects to grow at an average rate of 4.5 % per year to 2023

The latest report from Zenith’s Business Intelligence- Telecommunications states that Telecoms ad spends in the 12 key markets will rise from US$17.8bn in 2020 to US$18.7bn in 2021, and then return to its pre-pandemic level of US$19.5bn in 2022. The 12 markets included in this report are Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, and the US, which between them account for 73% of total global ad spend.

As per the report, it is expected that the Smartphone sales will start to bloom this year once the consumers fell more confident in their future. However, the networks will seek to regain customers’ investment in 5G licenses and infrastructure through new services and more expensive data packages. All these trends will contribute to the healthy growth in telecoms advertising over the next three years. Zenith predicts telecoms ad spends will grow 4.7 percent in 2021, 4.4 percent in 2022, and 4.3 percent in 2023.

It is estimated that, Telecom brands spend substantially more on television and radio advertising than the average brand. In 2020 they spent 42 percent of their budgets on television and radio, while the average brand spent percent. But as audiences migrate online, telecoms companies are refocusing on communicating their brand narratives to mass digital audiences. Telecoms brands spend less on digital media than average, it is recorded that 49 percent of their budgets went to digital channels in 2020, compared to 56 percent for the average advertiser.

Zenith predicts that telecoms brands will increase their digital ad spend at an average rate of 5 percent a year between 2019 and 2023, and by 2023, digital advertising will account for 54 percent of all telecom advertising. Zenith forecasts that between 2019 and 2023, telecoms brands will reduce their television ad spend by an average of 2.0 percent a year, compared to a 3.5 percent annual reduction across all categories. They will also reduce their radio ad spend by 2.8 percent a year, compared to 4.1 percent a year for the market as a whole.

The report states that India will be the fastest-growing market for telecoms advertising between 2020 and 2023 by some distance, with 11 percent annual growth. According to e-Marketer, only 31 percent of the population currently has a Smartphone, but due to the launch of low-price handsets such as the JioPhone, this proportion is rising rapidly.

Following India, Russia is another market with relatively low i.e. 57 percent, but fast-growing Smartphone penetration, and here telecoms ad spend is expected to rise rapidly too, by 8 percent a year. It has been recorded that, French telecoms brands increased spending in 2020 by 6 percent in response to the extra demand for data.

Detailing about the evolution of Telecom companies during the pandemic, Ben Lukawski, Global Chief Strategy Officer, Zenith, said, “COVID-19 has demonstrated how dependent we are on good, fast, and reliable internet connections. Telecoms companies have been the unsung heroes of the pandemic, shifting our lives online and keeping us connected to entertainment, work, and commerce. Their challenge is to go from being unsung to being acknowledged and appreciated for their efforts. The spread of 5G and the reality of our new-found virtual lives give telecom brands the opportunity to move into the limelight.”

Commenting on it, Jai Lala, COO, Zenith India, said, “The telecom sector in India in 2021 is anticipating a robust growth on the basis of an increase in tariff pricing, demand for data, a growing number of mobile users, and hopefully the launch of 5G in the last quarter. This will lead to a substantial increase in media investments by the key players especially on Television & Digital”

Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecast, Zenith, said, “The rollout of 5G services will allow mobile operators to supply bundled voice, data, and entertainment services to the home and compete directly with landline broadband. This will spur greater competition to put together the most attractive services at the best prices and help stimulate a sustained recovery in telecoms ad spends to at least 2023.”


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