Disney+ Hotstar eyes bumper ad revenue growth for IPL festive leg

According to market sources, the platform might end up raking in Rs 700-750 crore worth of ad revenue from the entire season

e4m by Javed Farooqui
Updated: Aug 12, 2021 5:05 PM
disney+ hotstar

Disney+ Hotstar is eyeing a rich haul of ad revenue from the second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 as the tournament is slated to take place closer to the festive season. Following the postponement of the tournament, the majority of 15 sponsors had decided to continue their advertising deals with the platform.

For IPL 2021, Disney+ Hotstar had roped in Dream11, Upstox, Vimal Elaichi, MX TakaTak, Unacademy, Swiggy, PhonePe, Parle Agro, Mutual Funds Sahi Hai, PharmEasy, Livspace, Amazon, CoinSwitch Kuber, Xiaomi India, and CRED as sponsors.

Nitin Bawankule, President-Ad sales, Star & Disney India, is gung-ho about the second half of the tournament. He said that the platform has sold out most of the ad inventory. The fact that the remaining 31 matches of IPL 2021 will be played closer to the festive season is also working well for the property.

“IPL is the best platform for advertisers with unparalleled reach and forms a crucial part in the marketing and media calendar of brands who are looking for higher impact in a short period. There is immense demand and the timing of the tournament works well for the advertisers to take maximum benefit during the festive season. We have limited inventory left for Disney+ Hotstar, so brands should make quick decisions and not lose out on the opportunity,” said Bawankule.

Giving a sponsor's perspective, Umesh Krishna K, Director Marketing, Swiggy, said, “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.”

NS Venkatesh, Chief Executive, AMFI, added, “This year again, IPL coincides with the festive season, which brings in happiness and positivity amongst the audience. 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. We are looking forward to this season of the IPL.”

If sources are to be believed, almost 70% of the sponsors had decided to continue their deals. The streaming platform was left with 30% inventory to sell for the second half of the IPL. “More than 60% of sponsors had decided to continue their deals. Only 30% of inventory is up for sale for the second half of the tournament. Existing sponsors also had the first right of refusal,” the source said.

According to well-informed market sources, the platform might end up raking in Rs 700-750 crore worth of ad revenue from the entire season. For the IPL 2020 edition, Disney+ Hotstar is estimated to have earned between Rs 450-500 crore in ad revenue. “Disney+ Hotstar is believed to earn Rs 450-500 crore in ad revenue from IPL 2020. For the 2021 season, the platform is eyeing an estimated ad revenue of Rs 700-750 crore,” the source stated.

He further stated that the ad revenue from IPL on digital goes up in tandem with the growth in impressions. “As the viewership increases, revenue also goes up. Disney+ Hotstar sells impressions. The more the impressions, the more the revenue.” Disney+ Hotstar is targeting a platform reach of 260-280 million for IPL 2021.

According to a senior executive from a leading digital media agency, live events are sold on concurrency. “If a live match is on and a 10-second ad was served in between overs and there were 1.5 million concurrent users, technically, in that 10 seconds almost1.5 million impressions got burned. This is a numbers game and if Disney+ Hotstar delivers those numbers they can easily touch Rs 700-750 crore,” the executive said.

For IPL co-presenting sponsorship, the platform was looking at an outlay of Rs 40 crore. In the case of associate sponsorship, the outlay was Rs 20-25 crore. Standard spot rates on the platform are priced at Rs 250 CPM or cost per 1000 views. It offers a maximum discount of 5-15% since IPL is a premium property.

“Sponsor outlays differ, as sponsors also take non-video inventory and VOD. Also, the inventory consumption is not fixed unlike TV,” the source stated.

Disney+ Hotstar allows advertisers to build incremental reach at scale via associations through multiple formats — sponsorship, inventory buys, features and PPL segments.

Sources say that brands continue to see high value on their IPL investment as the property offers greater traction in certain markets and a higher engagement due to the regional affinity of the teams and the buzz around the tournament. Over 300 brands had leveraged the reach of IPL on Disney+ Hotstar. The tournament had a platform reach of 260 million in 2020.

The remaining 31 matches of the IPL 2021 will be played between 19th September to 15th October in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There will be 7 double headers (5 matches already played in India — total of 12 matches) with the first match starting at 3:30 PM IST (2:00 PM Gulf Standard Time). All evening matches will start at 7:30PM IST (6:00 PM Gulf Standard Time). In all, 13 matches will be held in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah and 8 in Abu Dhabi.

The 14th season, which was postponed in May this year in the wake of the pandemic, will resume on 19th September in Dubai with a blockbuster clash between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians

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