Good Show: TV begins 2021 on positive note; advertising volumes up 34%

The good thing is that all genres are contributing to this growth, unlike the Covid period when only few major genres witnessed a hike

e4m by Sonam Saini
Updated: Feb 4, 2021 9:04 AM

The broadcast industry, it seems, is well on its way to overcome the pandemic challenge. After witnessing a de-growth in the first half of 2020, the sector has started 2021 on a positive note, and the year ahead looks promising. As per the TAM AdEx data, TV's advertising volumes grew by 34% in January 2021 compared to January 2020. And the good thing is that all genres are contributing to this growth, unlike the Covid period when only few major genres witnessed a hike.

"The recovery has been excellent for the broadcast business, and 2021 opened on a positive note. Apart from the increase in ad volumes, the trading level is now back to pre-Covid levels. The business is nearly back to normal levels," says Rohit Gupta, President, Sony Pictures Networks India.

Moreover, the first week of the year showed a growth of 28% in the total TV ad volumes compared to the previous year's same period, as per the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India.  

Ashish Sehgal, Chief Growth Officer, Advertisement Revenue, ZEEL, too agrees that it has been a good start to the year for the industry. "This quarter (Jan- Feb- March) looks better, and we hope that it should perform better than the last year," he says.

According to Sehgal, what is reassuring is that all genres are contributing to the growth.

“When buying increases on TV, it happens across genres. All genres are being bought now, the way it used to happen in 2019-2020. Investment is happening across the board, whether regional, Hindi, or movie channels. However, how much will the overall AdEx grow is something that we will have to see,” he elaborates. 

As per the TAM report, the indexed ad volume growth of the top five channel genres in January 21 over January 2020 ranged between 25% and 52%. GEC registered a growth of 27%; news saw a 25% increase, whereas movies, music, and kids grew 36%, 52%, and 43%, respectively.  

Coming to advertisers, the top five names in January this year were Hindustan Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, Ponds India, Colgate Palmolive India and ITC. Hindustan Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, Ponds India are among the top five advertisers in both the periods. Colgate Palmolive India and ITC are the new entrants this year.   

The top five categories, meanwhile, remain the same in both the periods. Toilet Soap was the leading category during both the periods. Lizol, Dettol Antiseptic Liquid, Harpic Bathroom Cleaner, Lux Toilet Soap, and Colgate Dental Cream were the top five brands of January 2020. 

“Categories like Food & Beverages, Home Care, Personal Care and E-commerce have been the leading spenders. Also, edu-tech clients have invested significantly over the last few months and continued to do so in January as well,” shares Mahesh Shetty, Head – Network Sales, Viacom18.   

Shetty says that advertising volume for the broadcast industry continues to show strong growth post the lockdown phase. “The business volume across most genres have grown in healthy double digits led by continued investments from the large players, especially in the FMCG and e-commerce categories. The increased ad spend is fuelled by growth in viewership of movies, kids, and music genres as they continue to benefit due to audiences still staying largely at home,” he explains.

Echoing the positive sentiment, Shekhar Banerjee, Chief Client Officer & Head – West, Wavemaker India, feels the industry is on a strong recovery trajectory and the market has bounced back faster than expected.

"Given that the lockdown majorly impacted Q1 of 2020-21, we still had six-nine months in the year. What we are witnessing now is the last dash towards the target before the year ends, and it is seen in the data versus Jan 2020," he opines.

The fact that the growth involves an increase in ad volumes across the board is what the industry is more upbeat about.

“Advertising volumes dropped during the lockdown period, and later moved back to 100%. Still, there were other genres where volume didn’t pick up. Now, the entire industry is witnessing a recovery and hence other genres too are growing along with GECs and News. But I believe that pricing is still a challenge for the industry as pricing growth is in the mid-single digits,” adds Karan Taurani, VP, Elara Capital. Taurani believes that January witnessed a 5-6% growth over last year. 

In the current scenario, nobody is pulling advertising. In fact, advertisers are spending more, Taurani further adds.

The momentum is going to continue and the Budget will also push the spendings of the industries. We will witness a full V-shaped recovery this year versus last year, he assures.




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