News channels pull off a busy festive season, AdEx sees 28% growth

Industry leaders say big events like Bihar and US elections, pent-up demand, improved consumer sentiment and festive spirit during the period helped push ad sales

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Updated: Dec 11, 2020 2:25 PM  | 4 min read
tv news

The festive season for the news broadcasters was surprisingly bright. Buoyed by the pent-up demand, festive spends and promise of a vaccine, ad sales skyrocketed, giving broadcasters the much-needed relief on the balancesheet.

As per latest TAM AdEx data, between August and November this year, the news genre recorded the highest growth in advertising. The growth in the genre was 28%, followed by the movies at 24% compared to same period in 2019.  As much as 31% share of overall TV ad volumes came from news.

Even with a blackout period with no BARC ratings, the news genre pulled off a busy festive season. Clearly the lack of ratings did not create any major roadblocks for news broadcasters when it came to business, thanks to improving consumer sentiments and an overall news-heavy period. According to news broadcasters, the festive season saw better business than expected.

“This festive season saw a major increase in advertising due to a series of news events like Bihar elections, US elections apart from Diwali action; thereby we saw news channels recording a growth of 20-25% over the last year’s festive period. A few categories like FMCG, health, BFSI, smartphones, automobiles, ITES and consumer durables have seen a surge,” says Gaurav Dhawan, EVP - Revenue, Times Network.

According to Dhawan, the next four months too are expected to see pre-Covid levels of advertising as many new categories have gone active due to the change in lifestyle amidst the pandemic.

Mona Jain, Chief Revenue Officer, ABP Network, too agrees that the market sentiment has been much more promising in the last quarter of 2020 as compared to 2019. "ABP Network has witnessed major hikes in terms of revenue generation as spend skew rose post-unlock. Categories like Ed-tech and e-commerce were high on investments during this time. We are certain that ad sales will continue to see an upward trend up till Christmas,” said Jain.

Ad inventory at News Nation Network too has been running at full capacity in the festive season. 

Abhay Ojha, President- Sales and Marketing, News Nation Network said,  “It was mainly edu-tech, online pharma, gaming app, and pharma. They all were very aggressive during the pandemic period. FMCG & BFSI as a category was quite dominant like previous years.”

Talking of inventory, a senior media expert from a popular media agency said most channels were able to sell their entire inventory and some could also manage to charge a premium.

“Festive buying doesn’t happen during the festival or just before it. It happens well in advance. For this year too, the festive inventory selling started way before there was discussions on toxic content or possibilities of a BARC blackout period. Hence, the popular news channels not just sold their inventory but also demanded premium prices basis the extraordinary growth the genre has been seeing.”

Also, as per TAM AdEx data, the cars category retained its first position during August 2020-November 2020 whereas Reckitt moved to first rank, displacing HUL to second place compared to August2019 -November 2019.

Additionally, e-com education & GCMMF (Amul) were new entrants among the Top 5 categories and advertisers of news genre respectively during August-November this year. The Top 5 categories and advertisers added 16% and 17% share of ad volumes, respectively.

Turns out, during festive period this year, average ad volumes/day of the genre also had a higher share of 58% compared to the non-festive period, which had 42% share. The ad volumes/day also saw the maximum rise. The count went up to 22% during in October compared to August this year.

The top 5 exclusive advertisers between August and November 2109 were NIMS University, Ganapati Herbal Care, Rahul Foundation, Indus Public School (Rohtak) and Concept Hospitality. This year in the same period the top exclusive advertisers included Rahul Foundation again followed by Butterfly Ayurveda, Sona Biscuits, Tourism Corporation of Gujarat and Biofac Inputs.


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