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Advertisers scaling back on spends amid COVID-19 lockdown: KPMG

New Delhi

While traditional media could face some challenges in the near to medium term, the upward shift in integration of digital technologies into our everyday lives is likely to be true across socio-economic groups, according to a new study by professional services major KPMG.
“The differences could arise however with a more granular observation of individual behaviour, as we expect urban areas affected by COVID-19 to potentially show greater affinity for at-home entertainmentsubscription content, cord-shaving and streaming to larger screens in the near to medium term,” it said.
On the other hand, livelihoods of a large segment of Bharat have been severely affected by this pandemic, potentially making entertainment spends into an aspiration.
“Inequity and imbalance in consumption could even be exacerbated in our post-crisis reality,” said the study titled ‘COVID-19: The many shades of a crisis.’
“So while we hope for a quick recovery and look forward to putting the pieces of our lives back together over the next few months, much would have changed in our world. Entertainment across all its forms could provide some much-needed succour.”
Satya Easwaran, Partner and Leader at KPMG in India, said the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a drastic cut in advertising expenditure across all media.
However, with people being home-bound, consumption of media and entertainment — and digital media in particular — has seen considerable growth.
“Post-crisis, we anticipate an even greater integration of technology into our everyday lives with a marked digital progression of Indians across socio-economic classes. Monetisation, however, might remain a challenge in the near term,” he said.
Girish Menon, another Partner and Leader at KPMG in India, said the COVID-19 experience is likely to result in a long-term upward shift in the integration of digital technologies into our everyday lives, with India’s ‘digital billion’ trajectory likely to accelerate materially.
Outdoor entertainment options including — films, events, theme parks — particularly in COVID-19 hotspots could see lingering risk aversion even in the medium term.
With monetisation particularly ad-spend under pressure, the focus for media and entertainment companies in the near to medium term will be on cash management and profit protection with greater technology integration.
“Organisations might need to be risk-focused and innovate existing business models and processes to survive and emerge stronger,” said Menon.

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