Festive cheer returns to TV with hopes of 18-20% growth

Categories such as e-commerce, consumer durables and automobile driving the growth this season

e4m by Sonam Saini
Published: Oct 29, 2018 8:50 AM  | 5 min read

It is festive time in the country and celebrations are all around. For the TV industry too, this year seems to have brought back the festive cheer, ending the lull of the past two years when demonetization and GST played the spoilsport. Broadcasters are expecting a growth of 18-20 per cent in revenues during the period of August-December. And driving this growth are brand categories such as automobile, e-commerce and consumer durables.


The return of advertisers

TV channels are leaving no stone unturned to lure more and more viewers with special programming. Given the fact that TV in India remains the most penetrated medium, a higher viewership around festivals will result in higher advertising revenue. And advertisers are not disappointing the broadcasters this year.

“It is a good season after a long time,” says Rohit Gupta, President, Network Sales and International Business, Sony Pictures Networks.

“Last two festive seasons; first year we had demonetization and last year we had GST. This year, there will be no issues. The economy is doing well and so all brands are active. It's a good season after a long time. The industry should see a growth in the range of 15-20 per cent,” says Gupta.

According to Gupta, small brands coming back this season is what is making the difference. “Big advertisers anyways advertise. But coming of smaller brands makes a huge difference. Last two years too, bigger brands were there, but the smaller brands went away because of GST and demonetization. Actually, it is the coming of smaller brands that makes a festive season good.”

Echoing the positive sentiments, a senior media planner, who did not want to be named, said this season is much better than the last two years as some categories of brands have really opened up their purse strings.  

“E-commerce, automobile and mobile players are spending big this festive season. I think the growth on TV should be around 18-20 per cent, compared to the last year,” the planner said.


Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia, too agrees that television is looking at double digit growth this festive season. “In the TV sector, some parts are doing really well. Overall, the festive season looks good and we are looking at double digit growth this year compared to last year,” he says.


Ashish Sehgal, COO, Zee Unimedia, believes that October alone will see around 10-12 per cent growth in television.


“Last year, Diwali was in the last week of October and GST was implemented in July. While nobody faced any loss in GST, people were not sure about it. And so, most of them held back their spends. Now everyone is spending money,” he adds.


According to a BARC report, the peaks in advertising coincides with planned tent pole events – be it related to sports or national interest topics like budget and elections, or with the festive season. In the September to December period, the year-on-year growth stands at 13 per cent and 15 per cent for 2016 and 2017, respectively.



The spenders


That the television industry is expecting a good festive season this year is something that everybody is saying. So what are the categories that are driving this growth?


“Almost all categories are spending right now-- from FMCG to consumer durables and e-commerce. Players who were silent till last year, are spending this year. Auto is the other big spending category. Car companies are rolling out new launches,” says Ashish Sehgal, COO, Zee Unimedia.


Pawan Jailkhani, Chief Revenue Officer at 9XM, says that e-commerce players are advertising big because of the sales they are holding. Also, this year is doing good as a lot of spending has been shifted because of floods during Onam and this has helped HSM. Also, nowadays, campaign are led by genre than overall TV. This helps different genres to attract ads,” he says.


“If we continue to have the same kind of spends for the next 2-3 months, this year will be good,” says Jailkhani.


Why television?


Optimistic about a rise in sales during the festivals, brands are using all mediums possible to catch the attention of the consumers. So, what is it that is bringing them to television? The answer is: viewership & reach.


Television has a daily tune-in of more than 600 million individuals and so it offers the biggest platform to advertisers.


According to a BARC report, television viewership has been rising over the past three years. Also, the average weekly viewership of ads in India has been growing steadily each year. From 2016 to 2018, the advertising impressions during the festive season have increased by a phenomenal 45 per cent; from 521 billion to 755 billion. For the Jan-Aug 2018 period, the average duration of ads stands at 31 million per week, taking the total advertising volume to 1.07 billion impressions for the same period.


The report states that the growth rate of advertising volume in the festive period more than doubles compared to the earlier part of the calendar year: 15 per cent in the festive period as compared to 6 per cent in the pre-festive period. So while advertising grows annually, the accelerated growth is witnessed in the Sep-Dec period.


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