Reaching 825 million people as per IRS, TV continues to be the most penetrated medium in the country at 76%, and digital close to 30%
By Prathyusha Agarwal
Audiences have been evolving at a pace never seen before, and core to this evolution are their needs from various media. As a result, consumers are not replacing screens but adding them, simultaneously shaping new roles for TV and digital video. While in countries like the US and China, traditional media has started shrinking, India is a unique case where all media platforms are growing simultaneously.
In this sea of uncertainty and change, however, TV continues to be the most popular medium with audiences and advertisers alike, whether we talk about engaged, habituated consumption or high ROI marketing investments in a trusted medium.
Width and depth of TV
Reaching 825 million people as per IRS, TV continues to be the most penetrated medium in the country at 76%, and digital close to 30%. Fun fact: if TV in India was a continent, it would be the third most populous in the world, greater than the population of the US, Indonesia and Pakistan combined! When it comes to consumption, as per a recent BCG-CII report, TV stands at almost three hours per day vis-à-vis 0.4 hours of digital video. With its enduring popularity, the humble television continues to be India’s foremost entertainer.
In the so-called age of OTT, where there are more than 30 platforms hosting ‘new-age’ content, TV — with an individual’s consumption repertoire of around 60 channels across multiple genres — stands as an entrenched habit among audiences. It alone holds the power to bring the entire household together and enthrall them with arousing aspiration and relatable reality in equal measure, a family member in itself. It is this effortless access to entertainment and curated viewing that guarantees a delightful experience, reassuring in its versatility with the width and depth of content keeping the consumer riveted to their screens.
ROI on TV
If brands put money where their return is, it continues to be wholeheartedly on TV. As per the Pitch-Madison Advertising Report, of the 60,000 crore-plus advertising pie in 2018, TV held the largest share of 40%, further expected to grow by 18%. While traditional categories continue to invest heavily on TV, the contemporary relevance of the medium is reinforced when new-age digital-first categories like e-commerce are some of the highest spenders on TV. As per BARC India, among all brands, Trivago had the highest number of spots on TV, while Amazon featured on almost 300 different channels. Brands clearly recognise that if one wants to reach the soul of India, TV is the way to go.
The role TV plays in the lives of Indians talks volumes about the dominance of TV in the Indian context. However, if brands are still left wondering about returns, they must rest assured. The definitive study from Accenture declares that the brand ROI from TV is 50% greater than the average return from all media channels. And such returns are seen not just at the top of the funnel, as popularly believed, but also at the bottom, where marketers expect returns. Critically, the best results are seen when marketers plan for multimedia, reaffirming the ‘and’ while disavowing the ‘or’ of TV and digital.
As TV enters the new decade of a multi-screen world, we as entertainers and storytellers should gear up to create a seamless, or shall I say ‘screen-less’, experience while marketers must evolve from using television as a medium to leveraging the full extent of its content to speak to the consumer across screens, ensuring the habit goes deeper and the trust grows stronger.
The author is CMO, ZEEL