New Delhi: Broadcaster Star India Pvt. Ltd on Tuesday appointed media agency veteran Punitha Arumugam as platform evangelist to promote its digital entertainment unit Hotstar as an advertising platform.

Arumugam will work with the leadership team at Hotstar in an advisory capacity. She will work closely with Hotstar chief executive Ajit Mohan and Prabh Simran Singh, consumer and revenue sales head at Hotstar.

At present, the digital advertising market in India is dominated by tech giants Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. She will work out of the company’s Mumbai office.

Arumugam was at Madison Media Group for over 13 years, and left as group chief executive. She was later at Google, where she led the firm’s agency business as managing director, APAC (Asia Pacific) for over five years. Arumugam is also setting up her own firm in the communications tech space.

“Punitha is a leader in digital advertising and has a fantastic track record of having aided the creation of many agency and brand partnerships in India and around the region. Hotstar is a special place for brands. We are delighted that she is coming on board to help us introduce the unique power of Hotstar to marketers around the country," said Mohan in an emailed statement.

The rise in mobile advertising will help boost overall digital marketing spending to around $1.21 billion this year, according to the latest media ad spending forecast by marketing research firm eMarketer Inc.

Additionally, the research firm predicts double-digit growth for mobile ad spending in the next few years in India. By 2021, mobile phones will account for more than half (~62.0%) of overall digital ad spending, which is expected to hit a total of $2.8 billion.

Globally, mobile ad spending touched $36.6 billion in 2016, accounting for 51% of overall digital advertising spending, according to IAB’s Internet Advertising Revenue Report. Video ad spending grew 53% to $9.1 billion, social media spending grew by more than 50% to $16.3 billion and search engines spending by 19% to about $35 billion in 2016, the report added.

Arumugam said Hotstar is one of the few video platforms in the world that has tremendous scale, very engaged audiences and remains open to advertisers.

“I believe the world of marketing is evolving quite rapidly and Hotstar has the unique ability to marry the scale and engagement of television, with the power of audience understanding that digital brings. This is what brands have been waiting for, and I am delighted to play a role in shaping the next phase of the industry’s evolution," she added.

At present Hotstar has a team of about 300 people. The company has made 3-4 key hires from Google, Amazon and Flipkart in the last 18 months.

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