How OTT turned to OOH in 2019 to woo audience on the move

The marriage between OOH and Digital has worked fantastically across India in the past five years, according to industry experts

e4m by Anjali Thakur
Updated: Dec 18, 2019 9:22 AM



OOH in 2019 saw not only new tech disruptions but also new advertisers getting on board. It was the year for the likes of Sacred Games, Jack Ryan, Leila, MOM to be all over billboards, metro rails, airports and shopping malls. OTT took to OOH to target maximum reach and grab the attention of those who consume content on the go.

As per an IMPACT Trends Report, OTT platforms played a key role in the growth of OOH. Industry experts have pegged the growth at around 9-10 per cent and estimated annual spends of approximately Rs 3,700 crore, which will also be boosted by the growth of Digital OOH, OTT and transit advertising.

American OTT platform Netflix has often taken the traditional billboard route in a big way to reach out to its TG. Not only Netflix, but the scenario is also pretty much same with most OTT players in the top six metros of India. Digital video platforms are spending plenty to stand tall at premium sites in cities to grab eyeballs.

In an interaction with exchange4media earlier, Shailesh Loni, Assistant Vice President, Laqshya Media Group told us why has outdoor become the favourite advertising medium for OTT players. Does it serve a special purpose, beyond the obvious? According to him, the marriage between OOH and Digital has worked fantastically across India in the past five years.

“To start with, because of the dotcom boom, Flipkarts and Snapdeals and Quikrs saw value in OOH and spent huge on it. Today, OTT channels, which are completely digital in nature, use OOH as one of the prime mediums to reach their TG.”

“On one hand, they push trials through increasing app downloads, and on the other hand, they have to keep the users active, which is the biggest challenge. Planned and consistent back-to-back OOH campaigns is the best strategy to achieve and overcome this challenge,” Loni said.

As reported earlier, homegrown OTT platforms including the likes of AltBalaji, Zee5, Shemaroo are also keeping a sizeable part of their marketing budget for OOH. These platforms are not just investing in OOH but also concentrating on creativity with newer formats like DOOH etc.

Telling us the importance of OOH for OTT players Divya Dixit, Senior VP and Head Marketing, ALTBalaji, said: "ALTBalaji stands for innovation and disruption, whether in content or marketing. Marketing the show that has science as its core element, in a never-seen-before manner, lies perfectly in sync with adopting new-age technology that appeals to our viewer/target audience. The innovative hoardings don’t just grab the eye but are also retained in the minds of the audience, owing to their novel concept. With each show, the challenge is to break the mould and do something new and appealing to the target audience."

Even the economic slowdown in the industry didn’t deter the OTT players from spending big. Netflix’s original series Sacred Games has set new records by spending a huge amount on Out-of-Home for Sacred Games 2. A huge 50-foot poster of Sacred Games grabbed attention in the Capital and other metropolitan cities. According to industry experts, the American OTT platform is also spending generously on the medium.

The recent results from most of the world’s sellers of OOH advertising have been extremely favourable, with the medium touted to experience rapid growth. And as per the recent estimates of GroupM for the industry indicated a growth of more than 6 per cent globally this year, which is encouraging. And this is obviously, to some extent, driven by the large OTT companies pushing the envelope and strategising their plans towards the OOH mediums.

Another reason why the OOH spends are likely to be higher this year the OTT players strengthening their presence in tier-II and tier-III markets, and looking at yearly deals and long-term campaigns. For example, ZEE5 is fast acquiring OOH properties in tier-II markets.

“A lot of these OTT platforms are also investing heavily on content and each is vying for increasing the subscriber base and the time spent on their platforms. And with the launch of new shows and originals in the respective OTTs, OOH is the best medium to target the audiences, while they are on the move,” Chandramouli Reddy, UrbanIQ told us.

As per a recent report by KPMG in India and Eros Now, the online video market in India will have over 500 million subscribers by the year 2023. Netflix plans to spend big time on their content with investments in the billions with India figuring prominently in their list. A KPMG report says, 2019 is expected to see investments to the tune of Rs. 600 crore from Netflix in their original content production in India. Amazon Prime Video, meanwhile, had earmarked over Rs 2,000 crore over a three-year period for its originals in India from 2017. While Indian OTT players still spend frugally, the likes of Zee5 or Hotstar still allocate spends in the range of Rs 100 to 300 crores for developing original content.


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