One of the key differentiators of IPL, as compared to other cricket telecasts, has been its ability to deliver relatively higher ratings even among female TG. IPL ’08 as well as ’09 helped in broadening the audience base – 2009 matches delivered an average TVR of 3.5 (6M, 4+ C&S) among female viewers and 5.6 among males. Shorter formats, convenient timings as well as the dominance of single-TV households in the Universe have all contributed to this shift.
With advertisers following their viewers, categories like FMCG started increasing their investment in IPL properties. For the 2009 edition, FMCG products accounted for around 10 per cent of the total commercial time. This has come at the expense of GECs, which account for the bulk of FMCG spends. In this context it would be worthwhile to evaluate:
1) The dynamics of male/female viewing pattern during IPL’09 & how it compares with top rated serials on GECs, and
2) Market level male/female viewing pattern differences: Mumbai versus Delhi
Moving beyond TVRs, we need to look at some other metric which will quantify the combined (male+female) interest and involvement in the programme. Co-viewing, defined as at least one male and one female from the same household watching the same programme at the same time, provides a better understanding in such cases. Higher co-viewing also demonstrates the traditional strength of TV being a ‘family medium’ as compared to Print, Radio, Digital, OOH, etc.
Co-viewing evaluation has been done using TAM’s Respondent level data, which provides information about who all are watching TV, with whom and their specific time of tuning in/out in a given household. The entire analysis has been done using RDBMS. Live matches evaluated for IPL and two weeks of post IPL data considered for prime time GEC serials. The evaluation covers the top markets of Mumbai and Delhi for the TG 4+, C&S. The sum of co-viewing time of males and females is expressed as a proportion of the total viewing time of all members of the household.
IPL’09 vs top serials: Proportion of coviewng (Mumbai, Delhi)
In Delhi, 58 per cent of the total viewing time (of all members at household level) during IPL Live has been consumed by males and females (from the same household) watching together. The balance time includes solitary male viewing, solitary female viewing, males watching with other males and females watching with other females from the same household.
Overall, Delhi registers higher co-viewing for both serials as well as IPL matches. This could be on account of the lower commuting time in the city with the head of the household back home early to watch TV. ‘Uttaran’ has the highest co-viewing at 64 per cent, while ‘Balika Vadhu’ has the lowest share: combined viewing seemingly increasing later in the day.
The proportion of 49 per cent in the case of IPL for Mumbai is comparable to co-viewing trends for serials like ‘Balika Vadhu’, ‘Uttaran’ and ‘Yeh Rishta…’. ‘Bidayi’ registers higher male-female co-viewing. The relatively low co-viewing in Mumbai could be on account of the longer travel time leading to lower ‘family TV’ time at ones disposal.
Higher IPL co-viewing in Delhi points to women in Delhi being more receptive to cricket programming or men being more assertive in their programme choices when it comes to cricket. Mumbai, on the other hand, is a case of individual choices being exercised more often.
IPL’09 coviewing pattern : By time band
Male-female coviewing starts increasing post 18:00 once people get back home from work. While there is a steady increase till 22:00 in Delhi, the accumulation is more gradual in the case of Mumbai, where longer commute results in delayed tune-ins. However, Mumbai co-viewing increases till the end of the match, which could be interpreted as being driven by genuine interest in the game by males and females. Drop post 22:00 in Delhi could be passive viewers moving out post their conventional TV viewing time.
However, what needs to be investigated further is the nature of co-viewing build-up during regular programming and identifying genres, which bring about increased male-female participation. This can provide pointers for programme/ promo scheduling.
IPL’09 coviewing pattern : Home team vs other matches
At an overall level, Delhi registered similar co-viewing for Home/no-Home team matches. This could be on account of lower home team loyalty. Mumbai registered higher co-viewing for non-Mumbai matches. This could be driven by the cosmopolitan nature of the market resulting in fragmented team loyalties. Also, team loyalty is one of the many factors when it comes to deciding which match to watch.
IPL’09 coviewing pattern : SEC splits
Individual choices seem to more pronounced in upper SECs, where mediation to arrive at programme choices does not seem to work – similar low shares for SEC A in both Mumbai and Delhi. High co-viewing in lower SEC D/E (Delhi) could be on account of a dominant individual (male?) deciding what the family needs to watch.
The low SEC A figures denote the huge potential which exists for multiple TV sets as well as delivery mechanisms like DTH, which allow recorded viewing.
IPL’09 coviewing pattern : Weekday vs Weekends
Despite greater time at their disposal, incidence of male-female co-viewing is lower during weekends. Possible reason for this could be that women are likely to be more occupied with household chores during weekend with husband and kids taking greater control of the TV remote. On the other hand, limited entertainment options during weekdays deliver a captive family viewer base for television.
IPL’09 coviewing pattern : Presence of different age groups in coviewing occasions – Top contributors
Co-viewing in most of the occasions involves more than one male and one female from the same household. Depending on the family size, it would involve males and females from different age groups watching together. For the purpose of the above analysis, top contributors to co-viewing are taken into account – considering two age groups at a time. (They could be watching with others from different age groups).
Both in Mumbai and Delhi, the 25-34 age group contributes the maximum to co-viewing: a clear indicator of who is really making the programme choice. The 15-24 and 25-34 age groups also figure prominently on account of their larger presence in the Universe.
Peer group (male and female from the same age group) presence in co-viewing is higher in Delhi, accounting for 31.3 per cent of total co-viewing time. The dominant presence of older females in cross generational groups is indicative of greater time at their disposal and programme choice likely to be driven by males. Data also indicates that there is more likelihood of older women (mother) watching with her son (15-24/25-34) as compared to father (45+) watching with daughter (15-24/25-34): a case of younger women being more individualistic in their programme choices?
IPL’09 coviewing : Top 4 tuning in / tuning out patterns
For both markets, bulk of co-viewing consists of viewers logging in numerous times for short periods once the match starts. However, in the case of Mumbai, the relatively low share of such ‘grazing’ viewers and larger share of people who start prior to the programme and continue post the match indicates higher co-viewing intensity.
Different aspects of co-vieiwng provide rich insights into TV viewership behaviour and can be used by broadcasters as well as advertisers.
Co-viewing analysis can help channels in evaluating programme performance (higher co-viewing likely to result in consistent programme choice at household level), promo/ programme scheduling (slots to target multiple viewer groups). Composition of co-viewing groups will help in identifying the decision maker with regard to programme choice, which is likely to change by programme genre/ time band/ channel (for example, mapping adult+child viewing pattern for kids’ genre).
For advertisers with multiple TG focus (primary and secondary) co-viewing can be used as an additional programme choice metric. Analysis of zapping behaviour in co-viewing situations will help in refining overall campaign scheduling strategy (presence of multiple viewers likely to limit switching behaviour).
(Thomas Mathew is a Strategy Manager with GroupM’s mConsult.)