Brands look to leverage IPL's reach on Disney+ Hotstar during the festive season

Over 300 brands are expected to advertise on the platform during the tournament

e4m by Javed Farooqui
Updated: Aug 24, 2021 10:34 AM
IPL

Brands and media agencies are upbeat about the second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 which is happening closer to the festive season from 19th September to 15th October in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Disney+ Hotstar, the official streaming partner of IPL, is targeting a platform reach of 260-280 million for the entire 2021 season. 

Volkswagen is believed to have signed up as a sponsor for (IPL) 2021 on Disney+ Hotstar. Volkswagen is part of Škoda Auto Volkswagen India, which also owns brands like Škoda, Audi, Porsche, and Lamborghini. Earlier, Škoda had signed up as Star Sports' broadcast sponsor for ICC T20 World Cup.

Note that Volkswagen is a new sponsor for Disney+ Hotstar. For IPL 2021, Disney+ Hotstar had roped in Dream11, Upstox, Vimal Elaichi, MX TakaTak, Unacademy, Swiggy, PhonePe, Parle Agro, AMFI, PharmEasy, Livspace, Amazon, CoinSwitch Kuber, Xiaomi India, and CRED as sponsors.

“Volkswagen has signed up as a sponsor for IPL 2021 on Disney+ Hotstar. It will join existing sponsors who have decided to continue their deals for the tournament,” an industry source said, on condition of anonymity. The platform has sold the majority of its ad inventory, including the sponsors who had decided to continue their deals for the second half of the tournament.

The massive reach of IPL combined with sharper targeting options has encouraged more brands to join the IPL bandwagon. Over 300 brands are expected to advertise during IPL 2021 on Disney+ Hotstar. IPL 2020 had notched average impressions of 32 million, which was higher than 27 million during the 2019 season.

Apart from the regular targeting options, the platform is believed to be offering some more targeting options for IPL. This includes handset targeting, connected TV and female audiences. These options are in addition to existing targeting such as Geo and Interest.

The platform has ad options like pre-roll video ads — 6-10 sec long, played before the live-streaming, mid-roll video ads — 10-30 sec long, played during the live-streaming, and branded card ads - static image ad, appears on the social feed. For mid-roll, only 1 targeting option is available, while for pre-roll and branded card up to three targeting options are available. In Geo, multiple selection of Geo from the available list is possible.

According to market sources, pre-roll live ad of up to 10 second is priced at Rs 235 cost per mille (CPM). The mid-roll ads have three different pricing based on duration. The 10-second ad is priced at Rs 210 while the 20-second and 30-second ads are priced at Rs 420 and Rs 630 CPM respectively.

Mid-roll Live (Connected TV) CPM pricing are as follows: Rs 400 for up to 10-second ads, Rs 800 for second ads, and Rs 1200 for 30-second ads. The mid-roll (Highlights) have a CPM pricing of Rs 175, Rs 340, and Rs 525 for 10-second, 20-second, and 30-second ads. Branded card ads are priced at Rs 85 CPM.

Prashant Rao, Vice President — Group Brand, JSW Group, feels that the colossal reach of the IPL enables advertisers to create an extremely high recall value among consumers. “What makes associating with Disney+ Hotstar for IPL even more special is the ability to create this recall in a highly relevant audience. We are eagerly looking forward to connecting with our audience during the biggest cricketing extravaganza in India, and we are confident that through this partnership we will further fillip our reach across the country.”

Vivek Chaturvedi, CMO, Digit Insurance, said that the IPL brings along a fabulous opportunity for brands to maximize their visibility in the most creative ways. “With IPL’s second phase coinciding with the festive season, we are foreseeing a massive potential to doubly anchor on the love for cricket and excitement for festivals. In order to stay ahead of the curve, identifying smart collaboration opportunities goes a long way in driving higher engagement for our brand and reaching a larger set of audience. And Disney+ Hotstar proves to be a perfect choice. In addition to the highly engaged audience, it enables us to connect with our audience in a very contextual way, and that's a win-win for both — our customers and us.”

Earlier AMFI Chief Executive NS Venkatesh had said that “the reach, impact, and engagement of IPL are unparalleled, and we couldn’t have missed it. What also works for us is the connected TV audience, which is skewed towards the younger audience”.

“As a brand, our focus has always been to connect with our consumers in a deeper, richer way. Given the fandom of IPL, it's perfect. We've continually associated with IPL on Disney+ Hotstar because, in addition to high reach and visibility, we also get access to innovative solutions at the scale of live cricket,” Umesh Krishna K, Director of Marketing — Swiggy had noted.

Giving a media agency perspective, Amin Lakhani, Chief Operating Officer, Mindshare South Asia, said, “IPL has been a media festival that viewers in India look forward to every year. With Indians staying safely home, it has been a source of joy for cricket enthusiasts. For brands, this has always been a great opportunity to reach their audiences. In our portfolio, we work with multiple brands that have been investing in IPL on Disney+ Hotstar and have seen consistent results in reaching their digital audiences. With all the exciting sporting activities in the current space, we are expecting the festive season to be bigger this year.  We are looking forward to IPL that would help brands drive their businesses during the season.” 

Bhairav Shanth, Co-Founder, ITW Global, pointed out that the pandemic’s impact on viewing habits has driven record audiences on streaming platforms, opening up new possibilities. “Campaigns on platforms like this also provide brands with flexibility, like being able to adjust to the fact that the IPL hit a pause and is resuming five months later. We are seeing this reflected in the immense excitement in the market for the back-to-back action of the remainder of IPL 2021 and the ICC Men's World T20 this festive season. The paradigms of measuring ROI just based on things such as share of voice etc are evolving in this fast-changing environment and Disney+Hotstar has been able to provide custom, innovative and engaging ways to deliver value for different advertisers with different KPIs.” 

Disney+ Hotstar is targeting ad revenue of Rs 700-750 crore from IPL 2021. This is higher than Rs 450-500 crore that it is believed to have earned during IPL 2020. The IPL live-streaming reaches 80% of Male, Age 15+, NCCS AB, Urban. About 53% of Hotstar IPL live watchers (paid subscribers) are NCCS A consumers, while 65% of Connected TV owners in India watch IPL live matches on Disney+ Hotstar.

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