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TV needs a facelift to win the advertising game

25-February-2013
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TV needs a facelift to win the advertising game

Television is understood by almost the entire population of India, unlike print which still has to beat literacy rates. However, print won the ad spends game in 2012. The share of TV in the total ad pie was 40 per cent, as compared to print which was 41.7 per cent.

Didactically and instantly the influencing power of TV is higher, but the shelf life of the message is less. This is one probable reason why advertisers have shifted their priorities. According to The Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2013 report, TV is set to grow by 5.9 per cent in 2013. The reasons could be attributed to digitisation, that will lead to more spending on niche channels and TRAI’s regulation (10+2) – likely to be enforced informally but more strictly – which may have an inflationary effect on TV rates.

Another interesting observation is that though the Free Commercial Time (FCT) TV has increased by 15 per cent over the last year, the FCT per channel has remained constant. The reason could be attributed to decline in ratings of the top TV programmes. Where the average rating of a top programme is 4.15, the average rating for top 10 programmes is nothing more than 2.79.

So where is the future headed?
TV viewership has been stagnant for the past five years. With the advent of digitisation and its constant evangelisation in the future, channels will be judged more on the content.

Digitisation will also make accountability more accurate and therefore, enhance viewership. Apart from this, in our previous analysis we had mentioned that FMCG, BFSI, retail, auto and telecom will be spending more on the advertising front in 2013.

TV will also need to look at the education and real estate sector, which have huge potential to spend but due to lesser RoI on TV switch to other modes.

With consolidation and distribution augmentation, broadcasters are synchronising their revenue streams to enhance returns. Entry of foreign players has although made the market crowded but at the same time has also open alternate avenues for the Indian broadcasters. E.g. Reliance Broadcast and Big CBS Prime have joined hands for a Hindi feed, Times Group and MSM have joined hands for a distribution deal. Last year Star and Zee Group had formed Media-Pro for distributing their entire bouquet of channels.

With the advent of technology, the peopleometer will also need to modify as the remote system will likely expire in coming days from now. Touch screen, high definition, Toled LVs, Ultra definition and face recognition modes are steadily entering the Indian market. Broadcasters will need to ensure that they have a viable presence on all the platforms equally. Of late the criticism of TAM has further augmented the argument willing to change the accountability parameters.
Also, the channels need to think out of the box in order to be present on all the platforms. MTV is slating a different content for its digital channel. That means the content on the website of the channel will be different from the TV. Such strategies will be effective in retaining the audience and also ensuring new ones.

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