New Delhi: GroupM, the media investment group of WPP Plc, expects Indian advertising spending to grow 14% to 80,678 crore in 2019, the fastest pace in four years, driven by the cricket world cup and national elections.

Consumer goods, auto, retail, e-commerce and technology/telecom sectors are expected to account for 66% to the overall advertising expenditure (adex) this year, GroupM said on Tuesday.

India is the fastest growing ad market in the world and the third highest contributor to incremental ad spending, behind China and the US, the report said.

“While we are estimating the global advertising expenditure to grow at 3.6%, India would be witnessing the fastest growth at 14%. We expect sustained and stable media investment growth across categories in India," said Sam Singh, chief executive, GroupM South Asia.

In 2019, 37% of incremental ad spending will go towards digital. GroupM estimated the digital adex will grow by 30% to reach 16,038 crore this year. Meanwhile, television will continue to grow at a steady pace of 15% while radio is predicted to grow faster than the previous year’s 15%.

Print is estimated to grow by 2.2% and the share of print to all media is expected to be at 23%. While it is expected that both English and regional languages will grow, the latter will see faster growth.

Cinema advertising growth is expected at 25% in 2019, as 2018 saw more titles winning audiences at the box office.

“India is unique among key markets and will witness growth in all media segments and not just digital. Offline media is poised to continue to grow and will contribute to being around 80% of ad spends in 2019," said Prasanth Kumar, chief operating officer at GroupM South Asia.

Rohit Gupta, chief revenue officer (ad sales and international business) at Sony Pictures Networks India, said the forecast is an aggressive one. “We’ve seen trends where every year the estimates have always been pegged downwards and there is a reset midway," he said.  

With over 400 million internet users, and 300 million smartphone users, digital advertising has truly reached scale in India noted Vikas Agnihotri, country director - sales, Google India.

"The incredible growth of digital advertising is reflective of its emergence as a strong branding and performance driver. From search to display to YouTube, digital advertising is enabling brands to achieve marketing and sales outcomes at unprecedented scale and unparalleled levels of efficiency. Its great to see the strength of these platforms reflected in GroupM's This Year, That Year Report that forecasts a 30% growth rate for digital adex in India in 2019," he said.