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Have brands kept up with changing consumer preferences for content consumption - PayTV vs Streaming

Adapt or be left behind: Brands must embrace the streaming era with innovative advertising.

With a staggering 480 million plus OTT users according to an Ormax report, streaming is India's choice for content consumption. It's convenient and accessible. Unlike traditional television, which operates on fixed schedules, streaming platforms allow users to watch content anytime, anywhere, and on any device. The exponential growth of smartphones, 4G feature phones and the widespread availability of high-speed internet across urban and rural areas are fueling the trend, making streaming a new frontier for advertisers to conquer.

Advertisers are leveraging the interactive nature of streaming platforms to create immersive, engaging and even shoppable ad experiences. Interactive ads blur the lines between content and advertising, making the viewing experience more enjoyable and memorable for consumers. These ads are also less intrusive and more likely to resonate with audiences due to seamless integration into the streaming environment. Streaming also provides a treasure trove of data and analytics, enabling advertisers to tailor campaigns, leverage precise targeting, and ensure maximum impact and ROI. From innovative placements to exclusive content, brands are leveraging the power of streaming to engage audiences effectively.

According to a Magnite report, ‘India Embraces the Streaming Era’, 80% of Indian audiences who stream content prefer ad-supported content over subscribing to an ad-free platform for a monthly fee. The overwhelming preference underscores the value of streaming for advertisers, opening up opportunities to drive brand awareness, engagement and conversion. Nearly half of the Indians who prefer streaming actively search for the products they see in ads, and at least 1 in 3 make a purchase based on these ads, the Magnite report adds. The report’s finding highlights the significant impact that advertising on streaming platforms can have on consumer behaviour and purchase decisions. 

Further, 59% of Indians who stream spend an average of 8 hours per week streaming content on the big screen in their homes. An EY-FICCI study found that 63% of CTV users find these ads to be more personalised. It’s opening up a new avenue for brands, CTV advertising, which is fast becoming popular among BFSI, e-commerce, automobile, and OTT categories. By 2027, advertisers in India will spend $395 million on CTV advertising, marking an impressive growth of 47% CAGR for the ecosystem.

CTV’s biggest competitors are perhaps UGC platforms that allow users to consume content on-to-go in an eerily similar fashion. However, for advertisers, it’s the same as chalk and cheese. The advertising environment on CTV is premium, distinctive and more engaging than UGC platforms. Here, advertisers have more control over the ad placement and association of their brands with the content on the platform. A Kantar report found that 22% of consumers are more likely to recall the brands advertised on CTV than on a leading UGC platform, highlighting the impact of CTV ads. 

Over the last half a decade, there has been a decline of over 25% in the number of Pay TV subscribers. Today, over 200 Million households cannot be reached by Pay TV, states an EY-FICCI report. Rather, advertisers take the digital route to reach them effectively. The preference for CTV is also evident from the considerable decline in the number of Pay DTH subscribers in India, which dropped by 1.37 million in the first quarter of 2023, according to TRAI. The decline of linear TV has been constant for the last few years as per an EY-FICCI report, with the subscription revenue falling by 6.2% in 2021, with the loss of 6 million Pay TV households. 

With the rise of streaming, and more specifically CTV, advertisers are continuously adapting their strategies to deliver enhanced ad experiences. It involves creative storytelling and leveraging all possible touchpoints in dynamic digital environments to drive higher engagement and recall. With technological advancements, consumer preferences and advertiser interest making way for streaming to grow strength to strength, the first half of 2024 will be a sight to behold. The ads will be more immersive, power-packed and impactful, delighting advertisers and consumers alike.

The upcoming edition of TATA IPL, the biggest live sports extravaganza in the country, will define the next phase of this evolution. JioCinema will unlock cutting-edge ad innovations on CTV and 100+ cohorts to support advertisers in reaching their desired audiences among cricket fans. With an estimated 600-650 million viewers streaming the matches on JioCinema across devices for free, the grass is greener than ever for advertisers, not just on the other side, but all over!

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