Nearly all the new TV sets being bought now can connect to the internet. Will this pressure OTT platforms and impact sports viewership? What’s the implication for advertisers?
There is no denying that the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is generating a lot of excitement, and the addition of Connected TV (CTV) is set to elevate the thrill of cricket to even greater heights. With the anticipation already high for the IPL, JioCinema's decision to offer free streaming of the matches has made it an even more appealing prospect, not only for sports enthusiasts but also for advertisers. The availability of free streaming is expected to result in an unprecedented number of viewers tuning in for the game, providing an unparalleled viewing experience that brings a renewed sense of excitement to the living rooms where families gather for entertainment.
The trend of cord-cutting and the increasing popularity of over-the-top (OTT) services is driving the growth of Connected TV. The digital revolution in the country is driving a significant change in content consumption patterns. More and more people are subscribing to streaming services and watching TV through internet-connected devices like smart TVs, game consoles, and streaming devices.
The latest Kantar ICUBE report states that the number of connected TVs in India is at a staggering 28 million in the last year. CTV is a co-viewing phenomenon where the entire family comes together to watch their favorite content on the big screen. In terms of individuals watching content on CTV, the report puts that number at a whopping 83 million. This could only go up multi-fold once IPL is available for free streaming on CTVs, with an estimated 100 million+ viewers watching content on their CTVs later this year. According to recent Google data, in May 2022 alone, over 60 million people in India streamed YouTube on their TVs, and in 30% of instances, they watched together with other people. With the ability to stream live matches and access a diverse range of on-demand content, an increasing number of people are opting for CTV as their preferred method for watching sports. As of 2022, the number of broadband connections in India has risen to 32 million, making it easier for people to access streaming content on their CTVs.
The trend of embracing Connected Television (CTV) in India is especially noticeable when it comes to cricket tournaments. Jio Cinema’s move of offering IPL streaming in 4K, with multiple camera angles and 12 languages option is expected to expedite the shift from High-Definition (HD) to Connected Television (CTV). Over the past few years, there has been a significant decline in the number of households that watch cricket on High-Definition (HD) channels. For example, in 2022, while 4.3 million Indian urban households watched IPL 2022, only 3.6 million urban households watched the ICC T20 World Cup'22 on HD TV. Looking specifically at mega cities, the figure drops even further, with only 1.5 million households tuning in to watch the IPL 2022 edition and 1.2 mn households tuned in to watch ICC T20 WC’ 22 on HD channels.
Another area of growth for Connected TV is advertising. Connected TV offers a unique opportunity for advertisers to reach consumers in a more targeted and engaging way compared to traditional TV advertising. As more and more people shift to streaming services and the market continues to grow, advertisers are interested to invest in this space, leading to further innovation in Connected TV advertising. It is expected that more advertisers will shift their focus to this channel, taking advantage of its highly engaged audience and interactive advertising capabilities.
Jio Cinema’s Connected TV proposition on CTV is set to offer the best of both worlds (TV+Digital) to the advertisers. Not only the advertisers will have the opportunity to reach a large, engaged and affluent audience, but they will also have the guaranteed viewability of their campaign. Advertisers are offered 10 second spot on CTV on Jio Cinema. CTV allows advertisers to track impressions, which is a very valuable set of information as it provides insight into the effectiveness of their advertising efforts and allows them to make data-driven decisions about future campaigns. The combination of impression tracking and spot buy model makes CTV an attractive option for advertisers looking to maximize the impact of their marketing efforts.
Manu Kumar, Head of Marketing, Hero Electric Vehicles
With 90% of units sold being smart TVs, traditional TV viewing is rapidly declining in India with the rise of Connected TV and the rising popularity of OTT services. India is set to become the third largest TV advertising market within the next two years due to a rise in digital natives and the emergence of smart TVs and OTTs, as per Changing Landscape of Indian Television report 2022 by GroupM Finecast and Kantar. Traditional companies like FMCG can reach a mix of urban and rural users thanks to a larger dispersion of consumption across consumer and geographical segments. Also, the consumers desire for sports consumption in their regional language, which results in great engagement with the content. Additionally, this gives advertisers the chance to strengthen or expand their brand’s presence across India. Connected TV has the best features for brands to provide a seamless online and offline experience, hence brands will definitely like to increase their spends on this medium.
Amit Sethiya, Head Of Marketing, Syska
Compelling content and the derived experience have always been at the core of consumer-screen association. This fundamental was witnessed even few decades back in late 80s when the mythological content gave an organic push to the consumer catalyzing the shift from black-&-white screens to color TVs. This is valid even in today’s digital revolutionary age when the transition from existing color TVs to Connected TVs has started aided by the increasing affordability both in terms of data charges and device cost. CTV adoption will continue to grow at a CAGR of 15-20% y-o-y for the next 5 years giving impetus to streaming platforms serving not only entertainment content beyond Hindi language but also sports led by cricket events. Advertisers known for consuming TV as primary media have started to put in 3-4% budgets in CTVs to gauge the efficacy of special offers provided on D2C platforms to the targeted viewers.
Akshay Seth, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy
Connected TV offers the rich opportunity to target consumers in a highly engaging fashion. With the upcoming IPL slated to be free to view on OTT, it is likely to be the catalyst that should lead to further penetration and adoption. From an advertising and communication lens, this would diversify the media mix. It will help target and reach potential consumers with more customized and relevant messaging, basis consumption. Cohort-based relevant content, longer ad storytelling formats are some of the many advantages CTV promises to bring.
Overall, the rise of Connected TV is set to significantly impact sports viewership and advertising in India, with the IPL being a prime example. The upcoming IPL season on digital could potentially revolutionize the way people watch content on their large screens, particularly in the realm of sports. Advertisers can reach a large, engaged and affluent audience, and make data-driven decisions about future campaigns. Traditional TV viewing is rapidly declining in India with the rise of Connected TV and the rising popularity of OTT services. With the availability of high-quality streaming in 4K, multi cam angles and an extensive selection of language options, the CTV sports viewing experience is poised to become a massive phenomenon this summer.