While demonetisation has been a much discussed subject across sectors, there is no denying the fact that it has impacted critical sectors such as FMCG and ecommerce in a considerable way. It must be mentioned that FMCG is among the top spending category as far as news broadcast is concerned.
Though many speculated that news broadcast will witness a steep dip in ad revenue, many news broadcasters have placed high hopes on the ongoing quarter, which will also witness the budget session and some important announcements which can have a positive impact on the industry.
Speaking about the promise that the January-March quarter holds, Avinash Pandey, COO, ANN, commented, “The next quarter looks promising on the back of elections, the upcoming budget and cricket season. Automobile, organised retail and ecommerce are likely to lead in advertising for this quarter.”
What has also worked in favour of the news broadcast industry was the spike in viewership, according to television viewership monitoring agency, BARC India.
To cite an example of week 45, Aaj Tak garnered 170 million impressions , as compared to 109.9 million impressions in week 44. India TV which fetched the second spot saw its viewership ratings jump 1.5 times from 91 million impressions in week 44 to 145 million impressions in week 45. Third on the chart, ABP News’ ratings shot up 1.6 times from 79.9 million impressions in week 44 to 131 million impressions in week 45. Zee News which climbed to fourth position brought in a much-improved 120 million impressions in week 45 from 73 million impressions the previous week. The trend continues for India News which despite slipping to fifth position witnessed 1.4 times jump in its ratings from 79.3 million impressions in week 44 to 118 million impressions in week 45.
Kartikeya Sharma, Founder and Promoter of iTV Network said, “At iTV we have not faced any adverse impact due to demonetisation. In fact some of our ad spots commanded the best ever price, so the impact has not been adverse in any sense.”
Speaking about how the ad revenue market is slowly emerging out of the shadows of demonetisation, Monica Tata, COO, BTVi said, “Demonetisation has definitely impacted the ad revenue in certain categories, especially FMCG. The BFSI sector hasn’t got that badly impacted. So there is a challenge in the market but it is expected to pick up soon.”
Another big factor that has helped the news broadcasters to tide over the demonetisation blues has been the build up to the UP and Punjab elections, which has spiked the levels of audience interest in news channels and thus advertisers. The overall impact has been a gradual increase in ad spends compared to November-December 2016. Highlighting how the news broadcast industry has started to reflect positivity as far as dealing with demonetisation is concerned, Anurradha Prasad, Editor-in-Chief, News 24 stated, “The businesses took little impact across the sectors, the advertisers were not sure amid lot of speculations (with regard to the new monetary policies and availability of fresh currency in the market), however in due course of time, the industry has started to reflect positivity and announcement of elections in multiple states have pulled back the interest levels of the audiences as well as advertisers.”