What to expect in the digital media landscape of Sri Lanka in 2016?
1. More local brands on your Social Feeds
We can expect that there will be more local brands on digital media landscape within the period of next six months. The budget allocated for digital media will increase by another 5% at least but online advertising on Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising will suffer from the falling Rupee rates. At the moment, you would see about 1 sponsored content out of 10 posts on your Facebook Newsfeed and Instagram timeline. Hopefully there won’t be any increase in the number of sponsored contents that you see on your timelines unless Facebook changes their algorithm.
Also you will see more pre-roll ads from local brands on YouTube which you can skip after 5 seconds if you are not interested in watching the whole.
2. More cluttered local websites
There is only handful of local websites in Sri Lanka where you can directly advertise and have a considerable amount of traffic. So as a result, all those websites are getting more cluttered during the seasons with all the direct placements and rich media advertisements and gives a bad experience to the users. Hence, they should come up with a plan to keep their websites less cluttered and speed enough to load fast.
Same time, this matter will open a space for new local websites to come forward and beat the giants. There is a vacuum for online local contents in Sri Lanka and if the enthusiasts come forward and build up some websites, those sites will become a hit for sure.
3. More Innovative Campaigns
Digital media industry is like an island which is not being discovered totally. There is a great potential for innovations and creativity. We can expect more content marketing campaigns and especially online video content which will promote brands and products subtly.
4. More people on the digital island
Currently there are about 6 million internet users in Sri Lanka and the penetration is 25.8% according to internetworldstats.com. There was a buzz about increasing the mobile broadband rates in Sri Lanka and it will affect the growth of number of internet users.
Probably by the end of 2016, the number of internet users in Sri Lanka will grow by another 0.5 million to 1 million and certain external factors will affect in this growth like Google Project Loon and government decisions.
According to Facebook, there are about 3.5 million Facebook users in Sri Lanka with a penetration of 15.9% and we are expecting that there will be about 4.5 million Facebook users by the end of 2016 with the current rate of growth.
5. More contributors
Contributors for digital media landscape are quite less in Sri Lanka. Most of the contents are created by publishers like Wijeya News Networks, Hiru Networks or other gossip sites. There are quite few individuals who create new contents which appeal to the local audience.
Gappiya, Nawran and Podda are couple of those contributors who create their own contents in audio and video format. They have built their audience without any help of big media companies. This will encourage other people also to get themselves on the bandwagon and become contributors rather than being a mere consumer of internet.