With the viewership of regional TV channels on the rise, marketers are looking at the medium as an attractive option for localised targeting.
According to the FICCI-KPMG 2014 report on the media and entertainment industry, the regional media is expected to continue with its strong growth trajectory in coming years. “The key drivers for growth in the regional media space continue to be a better cultural fit for regional content, focus on socio-political issues related to particular regions and stronger engagement with customers in contrast to regional Hindi programming,” the report says.
According to the report, regional TV channels accounted for 27 per cent of the total television viewership in 2012. This has grown by more than 35 per cent. So important is this market that TV broadcasters such as Star Sports and Sony SIX have started streaming sports tournaments in various regional languages. This allows brands to advertise their products on regional channels to reach their respective target audiences.
Growth of regional TV channel viewership
Among all regional channels, Tamil GECs occupy the biggest share of the viewership pie. Tamil GECs, on an average, account for 5 per cent of the total viewership pie in India. According to TAM Telepedia, the viewership for Tamil GECs in week 4 was recorded at 4.8 per cent, compared with 6 per cent a week ago. In week 3, it had touched a high of 6 per cent for the first time in many months.
However, for the past few months, the viewership for Tamil GECs has constantly been at 5 per cent. This shows that the viewership for the category has increased recently.
Sun TV leads the Tamil GEC segment in terms of viewership. It enjoys more than 50 per cent share in the category. According to data sourced from TAM subscribers, in week 5 (January 25-31, 2015), Sun TV had a 57.6 per cent relative market share among all Tamil GECs.
Telugu GECs come second with 4-5 per cent share of the overall viewership pie in India. According to TAM Telepedia data, Telugu GECs stand at 4.2 per cent of the total viewership in week 4, while a week ago it was 4.8 per cent.
There are four players in the Telugu GEC segment which enjoy the majority share of viewership -- MAA, Zee Telugu, Gemini and ETV. In week, 5 MAA led the Telugu GEC category with 28.29 per cent market share, followed by Zee Telugu at 24.3 per cent, Gemini at 24.1 per cent and ETV 23.3 per cent.
Marathi GECs rank third with an average share of 2.5-3.0 per cent of the total viewership. According to TAM Telepedia, in week 4, Marathi GECs had 2.7 per cent market share of the total viewership. Zee Marathi has the maximum share of more than 50 per cent. In week 5, according to TAM data, it had 61.17 per cent relative market share and had recorded 188,980 GVTs. It is followed by two other channels -- ETV Marathi and Star Pravah. While in week 4, ETV Marathi recorded a market share of 22.6 per cent (62,296 GVTs), Star Pravah had 19.9 per cent (54,873 GVTs).
In week 5, however, both the channels saw a drop in their ratings. Star Pravah leads with 17.7 per cent (54,815 GVTs), followed by ETV Marathi at 15.8 per cent (48,907 GVTs).
According to the latest TAM Telepedia, Bengali GECs follow with a 2.5 per cent share in the total viewership pie in week 4. The category has grown significantly in recent months. At present, Star Jalsha is at the top with a market share of 49.44 per cent (week 5), followed by Zee Bangla with 34.39 per cent. ETV Bangla has 9.53 per cent share, while Aakaash Aath 5.73 per cent.
Kannada GECs too have a 2.5 per cent share in the total viewership. In the current TAM Telepedia data, it occupies 2.4 per cent of the total viewership pie. Udaya leads the market with 37.74 per cent share in week 5, followed by ETV Kannada at 23.5 per cent and Suvarna at19.9 per cent.
Further growth expected
Regional TV channels are expected to grow further in 2015. Marketers too expect growth in this space and see this as an attractive option for reaching out to regional markets. According to the FICCI-KPMG report, this would give advertisers additional avenues to take their brands to consumers.
On the revenue front too, regional channels have been doing well.
On the revenue growth of Big Magic Ganga, Lavneesh Gupta, COO of Reliance Broadcast Network, said, “We have seen a revenue growth of 61 per cent in the last quarter. This comes on the back of our excellent offerings and ability to offer exceptional television engagement to audiences and a great platform to marketers to ride on.”
In the past two months, Big Magic Ganga has grown by about 35 per cent and is one of the top channels in the Bihar and Jharkhand.
“Viewership growth and increase in revenue are directly proportional. Our revenue has grown by 20 per cent in the last quarter,” said Eshita Surana, Director, Aakash Aath.
Anuj Poddar, EVP, Viacom18 and Project Head – ETV Marathi and Gujarati, said, “For ETV Marathi, we have seen a revenue growth of around 15 per cent in the OND quarter. This has been due to consistent efforts on bringing alive new engaging stories that have contributed to the channel’s growth.”
ETV Marathi has witnessed a viewership growth of over 15 per cent over the past two months.
With regards to brands spending on ETV Marathi, Poddar said, “For ETV Marathi, FMCG continues to be the mainstay with the largest spends. However, we are also seeing renewed investments from e-commerce, aerated soft drinks, automobiles, telecom etc.”
Similarly, Gupta said, “We have a number of leading brand categories advertising on Big Magic Ganga such as FMCG, healthcare, auto, BFSI, etc.”
Surana said FMCG was the largest spender for Aakash Aath during the quarter.
Though FMCG is the spending the maximum in regional channels, the GECs might see an increase in spends from other categories such as automobiles, telecom and e-commerce as well.