Making Hay: YouTube, Hotstar lead digital ad sweepstakes as advertisers look for traction

By: | Updated: December 2, 2018 7:15 AM

With the steady rise in digital consumption in India, advertiser interest in the medium has also taken a turn for the better.

digital ad market, digital advertising, digital consumption in India, Hotstar, CPC,Windchimes CommunicationOverall, digital advertising is estimated to grow at 30.9% CAGR till 2023. (Reuters)

With the steady rise in digital consumption in India, advertiser interest in the medium has also taken a turn for the better. Digital ad spends in India in FY18 stood at Rs 11,630 crore, projected to reach Rs 15,470 crore in FY19 and Rs 43,500 in FY23, as per a KPMG report. Overall, digital advertising is estimated to grow at 30.9% CAGR till 2023. A recent hike in ad rates for premium digital platforms, as per experts, is likely to be a strong contributor to this growth.

As per advertisers, YouTube’s most expensive property, its masthead, currently costs around Rs 75 lakh which went up from Rs 42 lakh in April, 2018. In the first half of 2019, it is likely to cost advertisers Rs 1.4 crore. Now consider Hotstar, which charges Rs 11 lakh for a masthead banner on its homepage while for the TV and movies (entertainment) pages, the masthead is priced at Rs 2.65 lakh. SonyLiv has priced its masthead at Rs 5.2 lakh, while Viacom18’s Voot asks for Rs 6.5 lakh for masthead advertising.

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“While this is the rate card, it is negotiable and regular advertisers who buy big volumes get a 20% cheaper price. The cost of mastheads has seen a significant increase across all digital platforms in India,” says a media planner.

Apart from this, platforms have other inventories sold as per the cost per thousand views, cost per thousand impressions (CPM) and cost per click (CPC).  To get a further sense of the charges levied by digital streaming platforms, it is to be noted that YouTube, which has over 245 million monthly active users, charges Rs 400 per thousand views. Hotstar prices itself at a CPM (views) of Rs 235, while during cricket matches featuring India, the CPM (views) goes up to Rs 600.

Similarly, SonyLiv — which is currently streaming the India-Australia cricket series — has priced its CPM (views) at
Rs 525, whereas its regular cost is Rs 300 per thousand views. Voot spikes up its ad rates during Bigg Boss, while otherwise pricing at Rs 280 per thousand views. “For marquee properties like IPL, platforms rope in sponsors and guarantee them a certain number of impressions. The growth in digital ad spends is driven by the increase in the number of advertisers and impressions,” says Nimesh Shah, founder of digital media agency Windchimes Communication. “Furthermore, digital allows for more targeted advertising, reducing wastage.”

Uday Sodhi, business head (digital), Sony Pictures Networks India, shares that the OTT player has witnessed a four-fold growth year-on-year in the number of advertisers. “For the Australia-India cricket series, we have 15 digital-only advertisers, whereas during the FIFA World Cup, we had more than 35 advertisers,” Sodhi shares. “So we are in a situation where we have significant inventory available, with more advertisers coming in. The growth will come from increased consumption.” E-commerce, FMCG, consumer durables and digital native brands like Swiggy and OLA are the big spenders on digital.

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