New Delhi: HT Mobile Solutions, part of HT Media Ltd, on Monday said it had acquired Webitude, a four-year-old digital marketing agency with a focus on social media. The deal value was not disclosed.
“As a media house, the HT group is also now well-positioned to offer advertisers not only the large reach of media like print and radio, but also the engagement possibilities of mobile and social media,” said Vinish Kathuria, chief operating officer, HT Mobile.
“Social forms one of the biggest aggregator for audiences. Any media company cannot ignore it,” said Amit Garg, business head (digital), HT Media.
HT Media is also publisher of Mint.
India has 78 million users on Facebook and 20 million on Twitter, requiring media employees to be skilled social media managers as well.
But “to scale up such skills is not easy for traditional media houses. It is a question of staying relevant and one of the quickest ways to achieve an integration is by acquiring a social media agency,” said Rajesh Lalwani, founder and principal, Blogworks, which helps brands and organizations in social media strategy.
The size of digital advertising in the overall advertising pie increased from Rs.1,750 crore in 2011-12 to Rs.2,260 crore in 2012-13, show data from the Internet and Mobile Association of India. Of this, Rs.300 crore was spent on social media in 2012-13, up from Rs.94 crore in 2011-12.
Digital media is drawing an increasing share of advertising budgets thanks to the popularity of social media, the ability to monitor online campaigns in real time and the potential of Indian mobile services to quickly ramp up to high-speed fourth-generation, or 4G, spectrum.
In the past one-and-half years, a number of digital media agencies have been bought by media conglomerates. In May, Dentsu India Group acquired an 80% stake in Webchutney, a digital agency. Last year, JWT, part of WPP Plc., acquired a 51% stake in Hungama Digital Services, the digital and promotions marketing division of Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.