Will news continue to grow despite a likely TV AdEx dip in second wave?

According to experts, advertisers are planning to diversify their ad dollars for the genre in the present and coming quarter

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Updated: Apr 29, 2021 9:31 AM
TV news

Exactly a year ago, two weeks into lockdown, TV news saw a massive growth of 298% as compared to the period before the COVID-19 outbreak. The nation is again under a curfew across multiple states and news as a category is gaining traction. Advertisers, according to experts, are planning to diversify their ad dollars for the genre in the present and coming quarter.

“The news genre, especially at a time like this, holds a different value. The responsibility of the news channels is more than ever now, to adequately inform the public about the latest developments and generate maximum awareness,” said Mona Jain, Chief Revenue Officer, ABP Network.

While Jain said their network witnessed a sizable growth in terms of reach, will the spike in viewership lead to gain in AdEx for the genre though?

“We have a long-standing relationship with our advertisers and they have ceaselessly supported us even during challenging times. We are also continuously helping our advertisers succeed in their communication objectives by providing them with tailor-made solutions. This two-pronged approach has helped us remain a favourite amongst our audiences and advertisers alike,” said Mona Jain, Chief Revenue Officer, ABP Network.

While Jain doesn’t consider GEC to be their direct competitor, as per experts, the category might lose some ad dollars to news in the coming months especially if the growth in reach is anything even close to what it was last year. According to a BARC report from April 20202, viewers ‘searched’ for more news through multiple channels during the lockdown. In normal circumstances, 30% of Hindi news viewers watch only one channel but this has dropped to 18% in week 12. However, it is not just the Hindi channels that were breaking their own records. In the English category too, channels have been surpassing their own ratings till the genre went into a rating blackout stint.

Explaining how advertiser mindsets would change in this period of crisis Shekhar Banerjee, Chief Client Officer & Head – West, Wavemaker India said, “While we don’t want it, the reality of the fact is that the lockdown or partial restrictions across states will impact the supply and distribution chain at advertiser’s end and this is going to last longer than the current 15 days announcement. Things are evolving every day we should expect 3 things in the coming weeks: A more agile approach to market in terms of prioritization because the degree of impact is varying between states, Reclassification of what essential means and hence what we can advertise more, short term shifts in media deployment between top and bottom-funnel plus a choice of TV genres and digital platforms. We should brace ourselves for some loss in TV AdEx, it will not be as sudden as last year nor will it be as bad.”

“While there are no ratings to show news’ growth this time around, the industry has its own analytics that already shows growth in numbers for news. While people are depending on the news for all the information around vaccines and all other Covid related information there is also a huge bulk of the population logged on to the news for election updates. Overall, it is the best time for the category to gain traction and improve its topline,” said another expert.

Agencies too are seeing the news category grow already. “News spike is visible,” said Ambika Sharma, Founder & MD, Pulp Strategy. However according to her, overall there will be a slight drop or deferment in TV spends as most brands are not committing to fresh spends till the environment stabilizes.



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