Cable TV industry sees 30-35% growth in ads, all thanks to digitisation

With big brands entering the medium post digitisation, cable TV industry, as per industry estimates, is seeing ad spends of at least Rs 200 crore annually

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Published: Jul 24, 2019 8:38 AM  | 4 min read

Cable TV ads for long have been about amateur astrologers, peculiar slimming medicines or local coaching classes. But with digitisation, the medium has caught the advertisers’ fancy and how. Given the reach of the medium, national brands have now aggressively started investing in the platform. With big brands entering the medium post digitisation, cable TV industry, as per industry estimates, is seeing ad spends of at least Rs 200 crore annually. 

The shift from analog has resulted in bandwidth increase and has also seen the quality of content go up on cable TV, making the platform a lucrative one for large players such as HUL, PNG and many others to advertise on.

According to Sharad Alwe, Managing Director at cable advertising agency Update, e-commerce giants have realised the potential of cable TV and its reach of 120 million households and are spending on the medium to attract their target audience at various levels. “Brands such as Flipkart, Ola and PhonePe are heavily active on cable TVs. Thanks to the huge e-commerce brands and their ad spends, by 2020, the investments in cable TV ads is expected to touch Rs 300 crore annually,” he says.

As it turns out, cable industry, with its geo-targeted channel offerings, has now re-positioned itself as a narrow cast platform. Channels such as Abs Marathi, Majha Maharashtra, Samarth Movies, Awaaz TV, Abs Movies, Rangmanch, Aye Vision, Spn Digital, G News, GSN, Kgn Movies, Malwan Digital have come to the forefront as big cable TV networks.

Elaborating geo-targeting, Alwe, says, “By advertising on cable TV, brands can go to smaller markets and target them separately. Advertisers can now segregate choices at towns, district, SCR (socio cultural region), urban, rural and state levels. Advertising in regional language is another advantage of cable TV as it establishes a greater connect with the audience. Brands also plan their content in a way that it is relatable and relevant to the audience of a certain area.”

“Post New Tariff Order, cable channels reach all households and promises 100 per cent reach whereas satellite channels’ reach has dropped based on the subscription plans. Cable TVs now have channels in separate genres like movies, news, music, devotional and each of them have brands using them for advertising based on their product category,” he explains.

Update offers their client a bouquet of 2500 cable channels to choose from based on their market and volume share.

According to experts, cable TV ads are growing at the rate of 30-35 per cent annually.

The ad slot rates at the district level are between Rs20/10 seconds and Rs30/10 seconds, at the SCR (socio cultural region) level, the rates go up to between Rs200/10 seconds and Rs300/10 seconds, whereas at the state level, the rates are higher and stand at Rs1000/10 seconds-Rs1200/10 seconds.

Cable TV networks across the country have reaped the benefits of this growth. For instance, Madhya Pradesh based DIGIANA cable TV network has seen a huge paradigm shift in the type of advertisers who come to them. “We initially had ad billings of close to Rs 2.5 lakh a month. But post digitisation, it has gone up to Rs 20 lakh a month on an average. Compared to only local players earlier, we now have brands such as HUL, Phone Pe, Renault, Flipkart, Ola, Kalyan Jewelers, Mahindra Holidays and many others advertising with us.  A little over 50 per cent of the billing is from national players,” says Shritesh Dubey, Marketing Manager at DIGIANA.

Suggesting what could work best with the medium, Jyoti Kumar Bansal, CEO, PHD India, says, “The availability of content on cable TV channels has increased post digitisation. However, the platform still has a long way to go to walk into advertising plans by right.” 

“Competing with broadcast channels for media dollars may not be the route to take. Addressability and personalisation as well as a hyper local footprint could unlock the true potential of cable TV and attract advertisers to whom these attributes are valuable. Advertisers who don’t necessarily need to rely on ratings but can measure impact of advertising on these channels directly via their business impact metrics might also be more favourably disposed to using this platform,” believes Bansal.

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