Meta Platforms Inc-owned Facebook India Online Services on Thursday reported a 41 per cent year-on-year increase in gross advertisement revenue at Rs 9,326 crore for financial year 2020-21, while the net revenue grew 22 per cent to Rs 1,481 crore during the period. Its net profit for the fiscal (April-March), however, declined 6 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to Rs 128 crore, regulatory filings by the company with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) show.
In comparison, Google India, which filed its results with the RoC last month, reported 21.4 per cent y-o-y growth in gross advertisement revenues to Rs 13,887 crore. The net profit for the company in India rose 38 per cent y-o-y to Rs 808 crore while the total income of the company increased 14 per cent y-o-y to Rs 6,386 crore.
The total gross advertisement revenue of the two tech giants combined stand at Rs 23, 213 crore.
Facebook India also paid an equalisation levy of Rs 518 crore to the government during last fiscal, which is 6 per cent of their gross ad revenues, as per the filings.
Together, Facebook India and Google India corner a lion’s share of online and digital advertisement revenue in India, with 75-80 per cent of the total going into the kitty of these two companies. Companies, such as Google and Facebook, operate on an advertisement reseller model in India, which means that they buy inventory from a global subsidiary of their respective company’s US headquarters and then resell that ad space to their client in India. For this, they pay a share of their gross advertisement revenue to the global subsidiary from whom they purchase the ad space.
Industry sources said while Facebook India pays up to 90 per cent of its gross ad revenues to the global subsidiary, Google India pays up to 87 per cent.
For the last fiscal, Facebook India’s net advertisement reseller revenue from India, after having paid the global subsidiary, stood at Rs 637 crore — 22 per cent higher y-o-y, while Google India paid Rs 12,262 crore to Google Asia Pacific Pte, from which it buys advertisement space.
Growth in gross advertisement revenues, a Meta spokesperson said, could be attributed to India’s shift towards digital, which reflected not just in consumers using digital tools for purchase of everyday needs but also deep digital engagement with businesses and brands.
“We are now discovering that many of the changes in consumer behaviour triggered by the pandemic are here to stay and will continue to drive growth for digital advertising platforms, especially as savvy marketers make digital a central part of their strategy,” a spokesperson said.
On Thursday, Facebook also announced enhanced safety measures for women, journalists and government officials. In India, the Meta Platforms-owned company announced the launch of StopNCII.org platform, aimed at curbing the sharing of non-consensual intimate images while also rolling out the Women’s Safety Hub in Hindi and 11 other regional languages, which can “enable more women users in India to access information about tools and resources”.
“While we continue to build and invest to ensure online safety, the launch of these initiatives today is another step towards our commitment. We are confident that with our ever-growing safety measures, women will be able to enjoy a social experience which will enable them to learn, engage and grow without any challenges,” Karuna Nain, director of global safety policy at Meta Platforms Inc, said.
Another feature, called the Facebook Protect, which prompts users such as journalists and government officials to turn on the two-factor authentication on their accounts to prevent malicious cyberattacks, will also be rolled out in India by the end of this year.