Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) has come out with it's latest research THiNK newsletter. For the purpose of analysis, the television audience measurement agency, has considered 15 + TG. The data considered for this research is - [Period: Wk 01 '16 - Wk 08 '18; TG: 15+ yrs; Market: All India; Channels considered: All].
According to BARC THiNK, Q2 (April-June) of the calendar year is traditionally the least performing quarter, as the viewership is seen to dip during this period. April-June are the peak summer months, and the onset of the holiday season owing to summer vacations in schools and colleges.
Another possible explanation could be the increase in power cuts and load shedding in the summer, that could cause a dip in viewership.
As the holiday season ends, viewership starts picking up in Q3 (July-September). The quarter witnessed a growth of 5 per cent in overall TV viewership from 2016 to 2017. This is the highest viewership growth across the four quarters, and may be an ideal time to hook the viewers returning to television after a short hiatus, by debuting new content and programmes.
Q4 (October-December) is the strongest quarter of the year with respect to TV viewership. However, this quarter witnessed the least growth of 1% in 2017 over the same quarter in 2016. A lot of special, festive programming occurs in this quarter in lieu of Diwali, Christmas, New Year, and hence viewership may be maxed out in this season.
What BARC has also observed is viewership spikes at regular intervals across the year. Most of these spikes can be attributed to weekly growth in viewership on weekends, especially on Sundays. This is also reflected quite evidently by the Average Time Spent graph below. While the ATS on weekdays (Mon- Fri) is almost a straight line with minor deviations, there is a sharp upward incline on the weekends, with Sunday achieving the highest ATS.
Another trend that has been given in this research is that, Audiences in South India consume the maximum television throughout the year, as is visible from the high impressions contributed by the South zone to Total TV viewership across both years. AP/ Telangana and TN/ Pondicherry have consistently been in the top 3 markets across all state markets in the country, along with Maharashtra/ Goa. High TV penetration in these states is also an important factor which may have driven high viewership in said markets.
TN/ Pondicherry market saw an increase in TV viewership in the latter half of 2016, on the back of ex-CM Jayalalitha's health crisis & subsequent political unrest. This increase bumped up the All India viewership as well, indicating that viewership in this market is more likely to fluctuate with severity of events.
North and West zones were observed to be at par with respect to TV viewership in 2016. While the viewership has shifted slightly, no significant change is observed in the viewing pattern.
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