Landing Page: Broadcasters still investing for viewership hike, but do advertisers care?
Experts believe that investing in landing page helps a channel in the battle of viewership, but doesn’t necessarily translate into direct business
The landing page row may have gone silent for a while, but it is far from over. While some broadcasters are continuously striking deals with DPOs, others are condemning it. Many channels, especially the news genre, have seen a spike in viewership, thanks to landing pages. But when it comes to advertisers, does this spike matter or they have different parameters to position their ads on television channels?
The controversy regarding ratings started after it was made official around end of May that television channels could buy landing pages and it could not be held illegal. The landmark judgment of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), which set aside the direction of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) dated December 3, 2018, certainly came as a breath of fresh air for broadcasters and distributors of television channels. But the celebrations didn’t last long. Soon after the order was passed, BARC India notified they would include the ratings of channels placed on landing page in its weekly ratings data.
Then came the first weekly data after the order was passed. Not many took the rating in their stride as it clearly showed a new trend. Following a fresh round of debates and discussions, BARC India went back to the old rating formula where there was rationalisation of numbers. Under this formula, any abnormal reach is considered outlier, and is rationalised and moderated by BARC assuming it came from landing pages. Finally, came a committee that is expected to review and monitor BARC’s outlier policy. However, broadcasters are still not sure if this is enough to ensure fair ratings.
A senior executive of a broadcast network reveals, "Deals are in place, as most of the news channels that have struck deals have seen spike in ratings." Clearly, broadcasters are going all out to make the most of this opportunity.
What about advertisers?
"Landing pages might help the news audience land on the channel shooting up the platform’s viewership numerically, but it doesn’t guarantee the audience. Without the promise of attention, advertisers do not consider a particular inventory to be a viable medium for investment. Spending in landing page is a good marketing tool for the media house indulging in it, but it mainly helps the channel in their battle of ratings and reach,” said a media expert.
While the tussle among channels over being or not being on landing pages is still on, media buyers, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that most media houses still continue to invest heavily on landing pages.
“While ratings are important for us to recommend a certain medium to our clients, it is just one of the factors and not the only one. Media buying is serious business and money is not blindly spent on any medium that has reach. Each advertiser has his own requirement. Factors such as demographics, target audience, cost, and return on investment are important considerations to have while deciding on a particular media to invest in,” said one of the top media buyers in the industry.
“Landing pages increase reach of a channel which might give them an edge over other channels in terms of viewership, but it doesn’t translate into direct business in terms of ad bills,” he added.
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