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With 39% growth in average ad volume, Q4 turns saviour for TV in Covid year

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As per TAM AdEx-TV Year Rounder Report 2020, during the festive period, ad volumes on television witnessed double digit growth

Year 2020 has been a difficult year for businesses across world, and broadcast industry is no different. While television witnessed an unprecedented spike in viewership this year, advertising could not enjoy the same momentum.

The festive season though brought some cheers as the industry recorded its highest-ever advertising volume on television since Week 16 of 2015. As per BARC, 38.7 million seconds is the highest ever ad volume witnessed on television in Week 43. Advertising had saw a drop of 26% in the April- June period as compared to Q1 2020.

As per the TAM AdEx- TV Year Rounder Report 2020, the average ad volume rose by 39% in the fourth quarter of the year 2020 compared to the average ad volume of the first three quarters. However, compared to year 2019, ad volumes saw a marginal rise of 0.8% this year.

Industry experts believe that the Indian AdEx in 2020 will shrink to what it was over two years ago.  Though it is difficult to predict at the moment how much AdEx on TV got impacted, experts say the first half of the year was a complete washout. On TV, recovery picked up from July, and the festive season played a big role in the overall growth this year.

According to Rohit Gupta, President, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), it is difficult to estimate the revenue growth on TV at this point in time as ad rates are down and many channels are yet to recover. “It has been a positive recovery, far better than what we expected. For us, we have done better from September onwards as compared to the same period last year. The recovery is different for different networks, but so far it’s been good. Nobody expected such a quick recovery, but the festive season was a big boost to the overall growth,” he says.

Due to Covid-19, the lowest average ad volumes were observed in the second quarter which includes the lockdown period.  As per the report, television ad volumes recovered to a pre-lockdown level just within three months post lockdown. Moreover, during the festive period, ad volumes on television witnessed double digit growth.

Ashish Sehgal, Chief Growth Officer – Advertisement Revenue, ZEEL, predicts that the current quarter is likely to witness higher single-digit growth. “The current quarter witnessed growth on the back of free-to-air (FTA) channels, cricket, impact properties on GECs, and news genre. It’s difficult to give the exact numbers right now but due to the Covid crisis, the medium has witnessed a de-growth this year as compared to the previous year,” he shares.

During the year 2020, the top 5 channel genres retained their positions compared to 2019 with the news genre leading on TV during both the periods. The top 5 channel genres, news, GEC, movies, music, and kids, accounted for more than 90% share of ad volumes during both the periods.

The lockdown period also gave growth opportunity to other categories. For instance, the phase brought new advertisers and brands. Also, the year saw some new entrants like edu-tech brands under the education category.

Ecom-Media/Entertainment/Social Media among categories saw the highest increase in ad secondages with the growth of 70%, followed by Ecom-Education with 3.4 times growth during 2020 compared to 2019.  In terms of growth percentage, the Hand Sanitizers category witnessed the highest growth among the Top 10 i.e. 19 times in 2020.

As per the report, the personal Care/Personal Hygiene sector had 20% share of ad volumes followed by F&B with an 18% share. Meanwhile, the top three sectors, which were also on top during the year 2019, together added 52% share of ad volumes. The education sector was the new entrant in the top 10 sectors’ list this year.

While the toilet soaps category maintained its first position during the year 2020 with 7% share of ad volumes, Ecom-Media/Entertainment/Social Media moved up by five positions to achieve the second rank replacing Toilet/Floor Cleaners. Also, Rubs and Balms category was the only new entrant in the top 10 categories’ list.

Among the top advertisers of the year 2020, HUL topped the list followed by Reckitt. The top 10 advertisers together added a 45% share of ad volumes during the year. Colgate Palmolive India, Cadburys India and Amazon Online India were in the list of top 10 advertisers with a positive rank shift compared to the year 2019.  GCMMF (Amul) was the new entrant in the Top 10 advertisers’ list.

In the top brands of 2020, Dettol Toilet Soaps led the top 10 list followed by Dettol Antiseptic Liquid. These top two brands from Reckitt Benckiser had almost the same share of ad volumes during 2020.  As per the report, there was a total of 13,5000 brands present.

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Sonam Saini

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