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BARC India released the second edition of its What India Watched report for 2019

Television ad volumes dropped by 3.6% in 2019, share of Top 10 advertisers grew by 3.8%: BARC India

BARC India released the second edition of its What India Watched report for 2019
  • BARC India released the second edition of its What India Watched report for 2019 which revealed that 2019 generated 48.4 trillion television viewing minutes and 1.59 billion seconds of advertising.
  • Despite the rollout of NTO, each household watched 5 hours, 11 minutes of television every day in 2019.
  • Regional channels, sports and the news genre reported a steady growth.
  • While TV ad volumes saw a 3.6% drop, share of top 10 advertisers reported growth.
The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India revealed that 2019 generated 48.4 trillion television viewing minutes and 1.59 billion seconds of advertising. While Ad FCT at 1.6 billion seconds fell by 3.6% (over 2018), the share of Top 10 advertisers grew by 3.8%.

The findings were a part of the second edition of BARC’s What India Watched report under which it measured 634 channels.Viewership has seen a 38% growth over the last four years. Each household watches 5 hours, 11 minutes of television every day and as many as 222 million individuals tune in to primetime television at any given minute.

The report also found that despite the rollout of a new tariff order (NTO), TV viewership registered a growth in 2019. GEC and movies continued to account for 3/4th of TV viewership. This growth in viewership has given an impetus to regional language markets.

Share of viewership of channels other than Hindi and the 4 South languages have risen steadily, from 15% in 2016 to 23% in 2019. Viewership of most regional language channels have doubled in the same period. English Language channels have seen a decline in viewership - one reason is that sports content - which was traditionally broadcast largely in English - is increasingly available in Hindi and regional languages. Here, viewership for Hindi language channels have grown by 31% in the last 4 years and contributed to 44% of total TV viewership in 2019

Growth of the news genre

2019 saw a 23% growth in viewing minutes for News Channels over the previous year, with the genre accounting for 8.9% of total television viewing - its highest share over the last four years.

2019 was the year of General Elections, as well as polls to elect 7 State Assemblies. Earlier in the year, there was extensive news coverage of the Pulwama Terror Attack and the aftermath of that, including the Balakot Air Strike, and capture and release of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.

Later in the year, the triple talaq debate and the abrogation of Article 370 dominated headlines. Beyond political affairs, there were several other developments that drove news viewership in 2019 - severe rains and floods in many parts of the country, Chandrayaan-2, the Ardh Kumbh Mela and ICC World Cup Cricket. These ensured high viewer interest through the year, across the country.

The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections and the run-up to government formation, Supreme Court decision on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute and the controversy around Citizenship Amendment Act also led to successive viewership peaks for the news genre.

Impact of NTO

On February 1 2019, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)'s New Tariff Order (NTO) for Broadcasting and Cable Services came into force. The report revealed that the NTO led to a drop in percentage of households that watched 30 channels or more on an average per week, while share of homes that watched 20 channels or less increased.

Growth of sports channels

In 2019, sports channels saw a growth of 17% (viewing minutes) over 2018. The genre contributed to 3.2% of total TV viewership in 2019 - which was the highest over the last 4 years.

Beyond cricket, the most watched sports on TV are Kabaddi, Wrestling and Football. Together, they corner 85% of viewing minutes of non-cricket events.

Moreover, in 2019, about 424 million viewers (which is 51% of the total TV viewing population) watched live matches of IPL-12. BARC India's Out of Home Measurement showed that an additional 9% watched the tournament in restaurants, pubs and other such ‘Out of Home’ locations.

Urban vs Rural

BARC India's BI-2018 Survey estimated that 44% individuals with access to TV live in Urban areas, while 56% are in Rural India. This is an outcome of higher TV penetration in Urban areas, given that television ownership is linked largely to economic status (among other factors like availability of power, cable TV distribution etc.).

The Urban and Rural viewer profile has some key differences, which influence the respective character of TV consumption: While Rural India accounts for a higher viewership share than Urban India for GEC and Movies genre, the picture is reversed for the kids genre. In News, the viewership contribution is split evenly between Urban and Rural.

Advertising on TV

Over the last 4 years, the volume of advertising on TV (FCT) has grown by 21%. In 2019, 11,525 Advertisers ran 76.8 million ads across 634 measured channels that reached out to 197 million homes across India.

All leading products and services use TV's huge reach to connect with their target consumers. Of these, FMCG occupies the top slot, accounting for 54% of ad duration in 2019. FMCG and e-Commerce were the two segments that increased their ad volumes on TV in 2019 over the previous year.

In terms of genre share in advertising, GEC, Movies and News account for the largest share of Ad volumes (78% in 2019).

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