IMAGE: Mac Keyboard with keys showing Indian flag and 'FUTURE'.

With a new report indicating that India is soon to become the second largest mobile internet consumer on the planet, the Indian advertising industry is undergoing a seismic shift towards mobile.

Boasting the fastest growth in mobile web users across the globe, India is on course to take second place in the global internet consumption tables. And advertisers are cashing in on the increased reach, interactivity and engagement of mobile advertising. As growth and investment in mobile infrastructure continue and more users gain access to mobile data subscriptions, the future of advertising in India is becoming mobile first, video heavy and native.

Worldwide, we’ve reached a point where people spend more time looking at their mobile devices than their television and by 2018, over half of all traffic will originate from non-PC devices. India is one of the countries at the centre of this rapid uptake. Ericsson believes that over 45 per cent of the population will be using LTE or 4G on their mobiles by 2020.

Mobile advertising is here to stay in India… and advertisers know that.

Mobile ad impressions in India have grown 260 per cent year on year according to Opera Mediaworks. This is in line with an announcement earlier this year that mobile and video ad spend in the country has doubled since 2012.

Mobile devices offer a host of possibilities including location-based content serving but until wearables catch on, this won’t be truly pervasive. There are three main areas that will see real growth in the next couple of years: mobile video, social media and native.

Mobile Video

A huge step up from digital display advertising, video is four times more effective in engagement and click-through rates. It gives advertisers the brand awareness and engagement they need to complete successful campaigns for their brands.

Consumption of video content will make up 55 per cent of mobile traffic in 2020, a 10 x growth rate over the next six years. This growth will make it ubiquitous in digital advertising. Mobile video will account for 540 petabytes worth of traffic yearly in India by 2017, 60 per cent of total mobile traffic, and it’s an opportunity that is too good to miss. Especially considering the 76 per cent of consumers that prefer video content when they’re considering brand purchases.

Mobile video presents such a huge opportunity that there are now agencies and ad networks dedicated to mobile advertising with companies such as AdSpruce who lead the industry in interactive video advertising, guaranteeing user engagement for brands and advertisers.


Social and native are already reaping revenue for hundreds of companies. They’re also combined now as social networks launch their own advertising platforms. With both Facebook and Twitter providing analytical feedback for businesses, the age of non-monetised social media seems to be over.

Native advertising has the potential to become a true staple of all future campaigns. Both advertisers and publishers are fully behind its use in the West and native advertising is expected to grow from a $1.6 billion market in 2012 to $4.6 billion globally by 2017, according to research from BIA/Kelsey. Native advertising hasn’t caught on fully in India yet, but with around 85 per cent of all Indian mobile web users accessing social media on their devices, a huge portion of the audience has already been introduced to it.

Native advertising will grow covertly alongside social media usage in India but its compatibility with mobile device usage will assure its development and provide it with a sticking point. By 2020 native advertising may be as commonplace as video.

Spotify and Flipbook both launched native video campaigns this year and they’re the first of many that will be jumping on the mobile video bandwagon.


The biggest change will come not in format but in style. A shift towards mobile-focused content with video and native becoming the primary formats will dictate a need for shorter content.

In the future, digital advertising in India will be a long tail market. Campaigns will aim for shorter formats that can be digested easily by mobile device users, the new web majority.

Research has shown that 15 – 30 second video clips are the most effective lengths for video – 15 seconds for brand recall, 30 for sharing over social media. This will be the ideal advert format and length. Short, shareable and high impact.

Static display will become the back-up, used to react to real-time events and to replace video where connection speed is too low and data consumption is too high.

The future of advertising in India is clear and promising. Will your company survive the transition? Want to beat the trends and use the power of mobile video today? Check out our platform for advertisers. Have a website and want a piece of the action? Look at our publisher options.

Have anything you’d like to add? Let us know by getting in contact via Twitter, Facebook or Google+.   

Ryan Davies

Author Ryan Davies

Marketing guy and coffee addict. I help brands reach consumers and help content owners monetise their mobile websites at AdSpruce. To chat about AdSpruce, Marketing, Mobile Video Advertising or any other topic you can find Ryan on Google+ or get in touch via Twitter (@ryan_adspruce)

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