GroupM’s advertising expenditure report – ‘This Year, Next Year’ (TYNY) 2014 stated that overall advertising growth will stand at 11.6 percent this year, against 10 percent last year. The growth in ad spends this year has been attributed to the forthcoming 16th Lok Sabha elections in the country. According to a story from PTI in TNN, the digital spending pie which is estimated to be Rs.500 crore has Google, Facebook and Twitter eyeing for it.

This year out of 814 million Indian voters, a bulk of about 100 million first-time voters joining the electorate for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, are very active on social networking sites and they are the main target of parties taking the social media route to reach out to their target audience.

Estimates suggest that out of nearly Rs. 4,000-5,000 crore total advertisement and publicity budget across the parties, digital platforms may get at least Rs. 400-500 crore in the run up to the polls.

Livemint had reported a similar story stating that with the country all set to witness the most expensive elections ever with a budget of Rs. 30,000 crore, social networking giants are expecting a boost in their revenues from India.

Search giant Google said that this year it is seeing “probably 10X, 20X” more digital spends than in the past elections, not just from big parties but a lot of small and regional parties too.

Twitter India which is yet to launch an Indian Political Index as it did during the US Presidential 2012 elections is working in the background to monetize from the election fever in the country. In a recent interview with ET, Rishi Jaitly, India Head of Twitter, stated that “The Lok Sabha elections would be a key partnerships platform for Twitter in India this year.” However Facebook and Google along with spiking their digital revenues are using their platforms in innovative ways for engaging politicians with their voters.

The latest FICCI-KPMG report also stated that ad spend in digital media is all set to grow at 37 percent to reach Rs. 41.2 billion in 2014. Good times ahead for the digital and social media companies in the country.

With individual marketing budgets of major political parties exceeding Rs. 500 crore this year, the digital advertising and social media companies are the clear winners even before the elections.

Image credit: Mashable