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Television: Old school, but still rocking the show

15 April, 2013

In 2013, Deloitte predicts that television will continue to dominate as a media source and as an impactful medium for advertising. With the advent of digitisation, the industry is expected to expand its reach using the digital platform to virtually every corner of the country. Content too will evolve as it focuses on localisation and targeted advertising to cater to regional tastes and needs.

The 2011 Census of India found that over 47% of Indian households have television sets and when we factor in community viewing, which is popular in rural areas, the coverage increases. Probably the only other device that has a higher coverage is the telephone/mobile. Television’s importance as a source of entertainment and a medium for advertising cannot be overemphasised.

The average viewer spends around 130 minutes per day watching TV. Of this, nearly 80% time is spent on a leading set of 30 channels. This means that the rest of the channels - anywhere from 150 to 350, depending on the DTH or cable operator - are fighting for a slice of roughly 26 minutes each day.13

The report titled ‘India Television Industry at an Inflection Point’ states that the television industry would expand at a compounded annual growth of 11% to hit $15 billion by 2017, up from the current $9 billion. This is a higher growth rate than that for China, the U.S. or the UK, but lower than the 16%, expected of the Indonesian television industry.14

Advertising Till a few years ago, print was the undisputed ‘King’ when it came to advertising media. Since then television, with its reach across all strata of society has become the preferred medium for advertising, While internet advertising is also been growing, it continues to trail the other two, given low penetration levels in the country.

Advertising spends in India are expected to grow 9% in 2013, according to the International Ad Spends 2012 report released by advertising data research service Warc.15

The advertising segment, which contributes about 35% of revenue in the entertainment and media industry in India, is dominated by television and print that constitute about 80% of the pie. This suggests that both the segments will continue to dominate the industry over the next five years.16

This trend re-emphasises the viewers’ preference to watch television. The Media Democracy Survey, commissioned by Deloitte found that 51% of those surveyed preferred to watch television on any device. Further, 64% responded that watching advertisements on television had the most influence on them, followed by reading them in the newspaper.17 With targeted advertising and localisation services, campaigns can be focused on a city or even a specific locality in a city.

Due to these changing trends, media planning for a campaign is more relevant than before. Matching ad campaigns to content and target audience are more critical as television viewership expands. There will be regional content in advertising, which will become an important part of a media campaign. With the number of channels in India crossing the 500 mark, the reach of an ad campaign can be phenomenal for building or maintaining a brand. Dubbing an advertisement in local/regional language and weaving the same with an outdoor and/or print media campaign is a trend, which is increasingly seen in the country and will be targeted to garner maximum recall amongst the masses.

It is established that the television is a very effective medium of advertising and will ensure that it will continue to grow and dominate the arena.


The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, has stated that 85% of the Cable TV digitisation has been achieved in four metro cities i.e. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai18 and the next phase of mandatory digitisation has been kicked off with more cities/towns being covered. With digitisation, viewership measurement and ratings of the channels will see quantum improvement. Media planning will be based on more accurate information as clients will have more data points available to enable decision making to maximise the reach of their product/service.

Mandatory digitisation will provide a boost to the television industry, as a whole. For example, digitisation leads to an increase in the sales of ‘set-top’ boxes. This has also resulted in expanding volumes for satellite broadcasters – known as the ‘Direct-to-home’ or the DTH platform. The indirect effect of digitisation will also be substantial in the medium to long term.

Digitisation also makes viewing a more fulfilling experience for viewers with the ability to control his/her spends for content and the capability to view programs/content at their convenience. This facility will also influence ad agencies while formulating ad campaigns for clients.

Smart Televisions

The market for television sets has also seen significant shifts in last decade. The market, which was once dominated by ‘Cathode Ray Tube’ (CRT) television sets, shifted to Plasma TV then ‘Liquid Crystal Display’ (LCD) sets to, recently, ‘Light Emitting Diodes’ (LED) and ‘High Definition’ (HD) sets. Globally, the next generation of HD TV known as 4K (offering four times the resolution of the current HD TV) will be rolled out during the year. The trend hasn’t stopped here. The TV set is now evolving to ‘Smart Televisions’. Internet-based services, including traditional broadcast channels, catch-up services, video-on-demand, electronic program guide, interactive advertising, personalisation, games, social networking, and other multimedia applications, are all part of the Smart Television. With internet succeeding in gradually attracting the masses, the growth of Smart Televisions will also fall in-line. However, due to the limitations in availability of bandwidth the extent of penetration of internet in the country is low. Therefore we believe that Smart TVs will need to wait for its day in the sun. According to 6Wresearch, India Smart Television market was valued at $0.22 billion in 2011 and is expected to reach $10.41 billion by 2017, growing at an impressive CAGR of 87.02% during the period 2012-2017.19


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