Google India has posted a rise of 35% in revenue annually. Though the U.S. firm’s business has doubled over the past two years, revenue growth has slowed from last year when it came at 47%, says a report from the Economic Times.
Social media taking business away from Google
Many are of the opinion that social media and mobile applications have shifted some of their advertising traffic from Google, which has now been rebranded as Alphabet. For the year ending March 2015, Google’s India division posted revenue of Rs. 4,108 crore ($613 million) versus Rs. 3,050 crore ($455 million) in 2013-14. In its annual return filed on Saturday, the company did not reveal its profits.
Referring to the rise in digital spending, Societe Generale analyst Nitin Mathur said the non-TV spending of Hindustan Unilever is around 30% of the company’s total advertising budget compared to in the single digits a few years ago.
“Spends on several social media apps are taking away share from plain Internet advertising, which was controlled by Google to an extent,” said Mathur.
Google offers various Internet-related services and products like software, cloud computing, etc., but the majority of revenues come from display ads. There have been no comments from Google’s India division about its revenues.
India – a big opportunity for Internet firms
In some cases, the Internet firm enjoys a clear monopoly with many marketers spending almost 70% of their digital budget on it. Compared to Facebook and Twitter, Google is able to better profile users when they search on it.
In addition, in many emerging markets, the Internet firm has been rolling out a lighter version of its search to ensure fast loading, leading to lower data bills for users. In terms of numbers, the number of mobile search queries in India is second only to that of the U.S.
India presents a big opportunity for Internet firms. The nation was the third-biggest in terms of number of Internet users last year. And in October, the number crossed the 375 million mark, claims industry body IAMAI. By the end of the year, the total user base in expected to hit 402 million i.e. more than the U.S. but behind China.
Even though digital spending is increasing, it may not be enough for the U.S. firm when compared to its other markets. India is still behind many nations when it comes to overall ad spending in dollar terms.