With the fourth edition of the IPL now done, the numbers are in and the internet viewship has gone up significantly. While the numbers rose by more than 50 per cent at the start of the tournament, viewership had picked up sharply in the second half of the IPL and this was reflected in the final figure - a jump of 31 per cent in online viewership. This year there were 72 million views compared to 55 million last year, when YouTube first started live streaming.
India alone accounted for 43 million of these views, up from 24 million last year, a growth of 79 per cent. In contrast, the international views have gone from 31 million last year, to 29 million, suggesting that the international audience is fairly mature and won't continue to change as dramatically as the Indian audience.
For marketers, there were a lot of opportunities for branding around the IPL online, including clickable video ads, dynamic banners and page skinning. “We are very happy with our association as presenting sponsors of IPL on Indiatimes.com. After the World Cup we realised that there would be a fatigue element in TV viewership. And we also realised that the digital medium would catch the right target group for IPL,” said Shashank Srivastava, Chief General Manager Marketing, Maruti Suzuki.
Rishi Khiani, CEO, Times Internet Limited, added, “Our approach to IPL was focused on providing a high quality viewing experience and maximizing audience reach through TIL’s network strength and distribution partnerships. All through Season 4, our efforts around product innovation and quality continuously paid off via increased audience loyalty, strong value to the advertiser and brand association with IPL. We are proud to have set new benchmarks in the online sports viewing space and will endeavor to do so, in the seasons to come.”
Kiran Mani, Head of Industrial Sales, Google India, said, “Our focus has been to provide our users with all form of popular and premium content. We're extremely delighted with the response we've got from all the cricket fans on YouTube for the Indian premier league season 4. We look forward to build on this partnership with Indiatimes and set new standards for IPL season 5.”