Festive period brings much-needed respite for TV as big-ticket launches push AdEx growth

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Experts say this festive year, AdEx grew nearly 10% over last year’s festive period, mainly due to several big properties, such as IPL, which were launched during this period after being postponed

The coronavirus pandemic impacted business and operations in the first half of the year, and this helped broadcasters make the most of the festive season. All delayed launches, whether new product, new shows or even IPL, happened during the festivals, giving a push to the AdEx growth.

TV ad volumes grew 19% during the festive season (Aug- Nov) in 2020 as compared to the previous year, as per TAM AdEx data. The average ad volumes per day during the festive period had higher share compared to the non-festive (Feb-July) period for both the years. The non-festive period this year witnessed a growth of 42% as compared to 49% growth in the same period last year. The festive season witnessed a growth of 58% this year as compared to 51% growth in 2019.

According to Ashish Sehgal, Chief Growth Officer – Advertisement Revenue, ZEEL, the growth during festive period, including both the months October and November, was higher than the last year. “This year’s festive period had an addition, IPL, which helped the AdEx grow higher than the previous year. This festive year, AdEx grew approximately 10% over last year’s festive year,” he said.

Explaining the growth this year, Mahesh Shetty, Head – Network Sales, Viacom18, says, “The festive period has been good across genres like GECs, kids, movies and music. Even English, which has been facing headwinds, saw a good flow of advertising. Pricing across genres saw a revival to pre-Covid levels in the festive period, thanks to the strong demand.”

“Since Diwali was in October last year, to get a better sense of festive ad spends, we should look at the October and November data. I am happy to share that it’s back to last year levels and in some genres actually slightly higher than last year,” Shetty adds.

As per BARC numbers for the genre, the ad volumes this festive season have been more robust than last festive season. “If we look at key genres on TV, the ad volumes have been higher than last year with single digit growth across Hindi GEC, Hindi movies, key regional genres like Kannada, Marathi, Tamil & Bangla and kids. The music genre has also recovered well in comparison to the lockdown period, but it’s a tad lower than last year. Viacom18 channels have grown faster than the genre, due to strong performance of our flagship channels,” shares Shetty.

Q2 of most large advertisers have been very encouraging with impressive sales growths. Additionally, the outlook for rest of the year is also very positive. Advertisers are back to investing in growing their brands and that is the biggest factor helping ad growth.

The whole lockdown scenario witnessed a surge in television consumption. It also opened up opportunities for several new businesses. “Edutech and gaming companies have upped their spending on TV exponentially. Thanks to the surge in demand, ad rates too are back to pre-Covid levels helping AdEx growth. Despite the pandemic, big- ticket properties have seen good traction from sponsors, for e.g, we have more sponsors this year on Bigg Boss compared to last year,” Shetty adds further.

Stating similar thoughts, Shekhar Banerjee, Chief Client Officer and Head – West, Wavemaker India, says festive growth has been a mixed bag. Not all traditional categories moved the way we expect during festivals, but good news is that we ended with a strong net positive vs 2019, he says.

“Thanks to a longer festive season, IPL coinciding with it and strong momentum in online shopping, consumer durables and consumer products, the growth has been good. What saved the day also are categories that use IPL as their big pivot, especially online gaming. Drag in retail channels, especially modern trade, has impacted many categories from not firing to their fullest during the festive period.”

Owing to the pandemic, the second quarter of the year saw minimal spends which started improving only from July-August. And as the festive season started, the advertisers saw a chance for releasing the monies held up in the second and third quarters of the year.

“The added advantage this year was IPL moving to October-November, plus the festive rush along with the high-end impact properties on the mainline GECs. All in all, the festive period brought about a lot of respite for the advertisers and helped AdEx grow tremendously compared to the past two quarters and also compared to last year,” says Vinita Pachisia, Senior Vice President, Carat.

Pachisia added that this festive period has seen tremendous growth on the back of IPL, the festive rush and also the launch of high-end impact properties on GECs. “The growth has possibly been more than 50% against the last quarter mainly due to IPL,” she adds.

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