GECs account for 52% of all TV viewership: BARC report

While Hindi GEC continues to occupy pole position among languages, growth of regional GEC has been the defining trend of 2018

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Apr 2, 2019 6:41 PM

BARC India has released its 2018 Yearbook titled ‘What India Watched 2018’.  According to the report, across all markets and languages, General Entertainment Category (GEC) remains the most preferred genre of TV viewers in India. In 2018, GEC channels accounted for more than half of all TV viewership—52% (Share of Avg Weekly Impressions, India 2+). Other genres comprised 48% share.

While Hindi GEC continues to occupy pole position among languages, growth of regional GEC has been the defining trend of 2018. In fact, the four south language markets between themselves match up to Hindi GEC viewership in absolute size.

Hindi GECs grabbed a share of 43%. Among the four south language channels, Tamil had Telugu took 15% share each, Kannada contributed 9% and Malayalam GECs contributed 5%.

GEC content in other markets like Bangla, Marathi, Odia, Bhojpuri and Punjabi also posted strong growth in the year – fuelled by increasing TV penetration and availability of content in local languages.

Share of GEC viewership in Total TV viewership also varies widely across states. On one end of the spectrum is Tamil Nadu/Pondicherry, where GEC accounts for 2/3rd of TV viewership, and on the other is Assam / NE / Sikkim where GEC contributes to a little over 1/3rd of viewership.

There are 6 state groups where share of GEC in total viewership falls higher than the national average of 52%. All south states fall in this bucket, further highlighting the affinity of viewers there for content shown on GEC channels.

When it comes to advertising on GEC channels, 3 languages corner 49% of total Ad Volumes in the genre, with Hindi GEC accounting for the single largest share. The other two languages being Tamil and Kannada.

Another interesting fact that the report mentioned is that kids have 20% in total viewership. Children (2-14 years old) account for a significant share of total TV viewership due to high co-viewing. 49% of this viewership comes from GECs, 25% from Movie channels and 12% from Kids channels.

Further, 82% of India watches TV together. As many as 193 Mn Indian households have only one television set at home, resulting in a very high percentage of co-viewing. The habit of watching TV together explains the high viewership of GEC and News by kids.

Women contribute 46% to news viewership overall. That number goes up to as much as 48-49% for Assamese, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam news channels.

A total of 56 million new TV viewers were recorded in 2018. The universe of television viewers has grown from 183 Mn homes in 2017 to 197 Mn in 2018. While the growth is significant, one in every three Indian homes still doesn't own a TV set -indicating the sizeable headroom for growth.

Further, in 2018, BARC recorded 613 mn daily TV tune-ins. A massive 73% viewers watch TV every day, at least once. The lion’s share of these tune-ins are from Maharashtra and Goa, followed by Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, Tamil Nadu/Pondicherry and Uttar Pradesh/ Uttarakhand. The maximum tune-ins (at 76%) occur at primetime.

TV remains the go-to platform for anyone who wants to reach the maximum audiences with accuracy and high ROI. There were 1.63 billion seconds of advertisements on TV, accounting for 9% of total broadcast hours across all measured channels), 76.7 Mn advertisements, 18,729 Brands, 11,837 Advertisers across 512 Categories.

Coming to the sports genre, the report mentions that as many as 366 Mn people watched sports content in regional languages. Regional television has grown steadily in viewership with sports content made available in more than 10 regional languages.

BARC’s pioneering Out-Of-Home measurement tool across 900+ pubs/lounges/restaurants in the three metros of Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru uncovered an OOH viewership of 44 Mn people in the 15+ age-group (Apr'18 -May'18). The IPL-11 TV viewership went north by 8% thanks to this additional viewership capture. The live telecast of 58 FIFA World Cup matches got 41% incremental viewership from OOH.

Some of the other interesting facts stated in the report are:

  • BARC recorded 989 Bn Man-Minutes of TV viewing per week, accounting for 93% of video consumption in India.
  • BARC recorded 197 Mn TV homes

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