Media development in India


The advertising scenario in India cannot be understood without considering the developments that have taken place in the media. This is one area in advertising industry which has witnesses the maximum revolution, thus creating new challenges for the marketer. While reviewing the media developments, we will look at the electronic media, print media and the outdoor media.

Electronic Media

The developments in this media have virtually been the imagination of any individual who has been keenly interested in marketing in India. While television started as a State owned medium in 1959, by 1985 the scenario had changed dramatically and by October 1992 the Doordarshan network (State owned television) included 22 programs- producing centers and 533 transmitters. The physical coverage of T.V. reach is 82.5% of the total population in the country. It was estimated that in 1994 there were about 33 million T.V. sets, of which two-thirds are in the urban areas. The National Readership SurveyIVandV has estimated that 77% of the Urban population and 30% of the rural population has access to T.V.

As the number of T.V. sets increased, the Indian viewer’s appetite for entertainment increased dramatically and Doordarshan was not able to fulfill this appetite. In quick succession, we saw the growth and demise of home video viewing and by 1992 cable emerged as an uncontested king. But it soon came under threat from Satellite T.V. The Gulf war in 1991 made it possible and in 1991, STAR T.V. was launched which was lapped-up by the elite upper class cities, particularly Bombay. The STAR T.V. programs reached the houses of millions of viewers through local cable net working. STAR T.V. has 5 channels including the STAR MOVIES. In 1992, the Hindi channel Zee was launched, which was soon followed by ATN, CNN and served other channels. ATN introduced Sun T.V. for Tamil and a channel for Malayalam programs. In 1994 Zee T.V. introduced two more channels, namely EL T.V. Channel. The EL T.V. is supposed to be a 100% entertainment channel, while ZED Channel is for taking education to the masses.

Currently there are more than 100 channels transmitted through satellite TV via the cable net work. In India channels are there telecasting in all Indian languages and one can view the TV all 24 hours. A cricket match for that matter any important event across the world can be viewed live on TV through satellite communication and cable network. Almost all the rural areas in the country now have some or the other TV network.

The above has made the marketers to compete with each other in advertising on TV to create awareness of their products among the remotest rural population. The advertisement budgets are on the increase and so is the sale and availability of consumer goods not alone in urban but rural areas as well.


The radio was not to be left behind. In 1994 the All India Radio introduced the FM Channel in the major cities like Bombay and Delhi. This medium today has gained popularity as it is reflected by the decision taken in June 1995 to make this channel 24 hours channels in major cities like Bombay and Delhi and currently from many other cities. A recent concept is FM channels where the audio quality is without any interference and lots of commercials are being broadcast through these channels.


We have collected a few statistics from Registrar of newspapers, India which are given below. They reveal the extent of numbers of population reading the print media and this indicates the coverage the print media gives a product which the marketer can use to his advantage.

* The number of newspapers reported published in 2005 —: 5,591

* The total circulation of newspapers in 2005: 13,30,87,588

*Combined circulation of all newspapers in 1992 6,70,00,000 – 100% increase during last 12 years.

* The largest number of newspapers & periodicals reported published in any Indian language: Hindi – 2,787

* The second largest number of newspapers & periodicals reported
published in any language: English – 579

* The largest circulated Daily: The Hindustan Times, English,
Delhi [Printed from 8 centers] – 10,49,310 copies

*The Second largest circulated Daily: The Times of India,
English Delhi[Printed from 2 centers] – 10,32,537 copies

* The third largest circulated Daily: The Hindu, English,
Chennai[Printed from 11 centers] – 9,80,232 copies

* The largest circulated multi-edition Daily:
The Times of India,(5 editions),English 17,29,520 copies

* The second largest circulated multi-edition Daily:
Dainik Jagran(10 editions), Hindi 17,04,291 copies

* The largest circulated periodical:
Malayala Manorma, (Weekly)Malayalam, Kottayam 10,36,340 copies

The above reveal the potential of the print media which cover newspapers and periodicals. In addition there are various informal methods of print advertisements in the form of pamphlets distributed by news paper vendors through morning News papers or boys distributing the same at busy junctions like railway stations, shopping malls, busy road centers etc.

Out Door Media

The Outdoor advertising has also changed dramatically in India. Although, still relatively behind countries like U.S.A, U.K and Japan this media is also drawing the attention of industries. One of the latest forms of advertising is three-dimension hoarding used by firms like Lloyds Group.

Finally, the local area advertising on Cable T.V. is also on the growth path. It has reported that many cable advertising companies rake in Rs. 50,000/- to Rs. 3,00,000/- per month, depending on their operations. The Cable T.V. operators admit that they get Rs 20,000/- extra every month without any extra efforts. Firms like Hindustan Lever, Pioma Industries, Parle Exports and Kwality Ice Creams have seen some of the major users.

With the literacy increasing and growth in the professional classes, specialized magazines for different market segments are now being published. Magazines like Business India, Business World, Business Today, India Today, Society, Savvy, Femina, Readers Digest and their like are now read in the middle and higher income families.

All this heralds a more complex task even for the media. Today large media houses, like the Times of India group, help advertisers buy the optional media mix. Media marketing is going to be on the increase as the target audience gets fragmented over multiple media choices.