Hindi GEC viewership down 6.5% in 2011: TAM

MUMBAI: The Hindi GEC (general entertainment channel) genre has seen a 6.5 per cent fall over the prior year due to audience fragmentation particularly in the metro cities of India, according to a study by television ratings agency TAM.

Delhi, Maharashtra, UP and Gujarat have been the Top performing markets for Hindi GEC genre across years and the viewership returns from Metros have seen a slight drop.

Titled Impatient Generation, the report was released during the IMC Fusion 2012. It said that the Hindi GEC genre in 2011 has shown a consistent growth in 1-hour special fiction episodes during prime-time on Weekends.

Another interesting finding is that the share of Hindi News genre jumped 10 per cent in 2011, after decreasing in 2010. Returns from news bulletins have witnessed an increase while viewing proportion from telecast of review/reports has witnessed a decline across years.

In the Hindi movie channels space, the number of unique movies aired in 2011 has decreased by 10 per cent. Both airtime and viewership of South dubbed movies has seen a clear growth in the year 2011.

The days of watching the epics on pubcaster Doordarshan decades ago in the living room by an entire family huddled together are unlikely to happen again, because of the increasing fragmentation of viewership in Indian homes.

According to TAM CEO L V Krishnan, "This new phenomenon has emerged because of the rise of the assertive, impatient and highly articulate generation of today in most Indian families, thanks to newer media and broadcast technologies, increasing diversities of content, and of course, advancement of new age mediums, that are able to cater to the differing tastes and preferences simultaneously.”

Krishnan believes that people‘s dependency on TV as an effective communication medium has been escalating. Also, the common man’s TV viewing behaviour can no longer be predicted with certainty. Time spent on TV watching by all sections of people varies in a wide range. Viewing behaviour increasingly differs across a spectrum of gender, age, geography, and social mores and cultures.

TAM launched the third edition of an annual report on TV viewing patterns.The report is a compilation of the past year’s TV viewing trends across various channel genres and regions in India. This attempts to update advertisers and marketers. TV broadcasters and production houses can know when and how TV audiences are changing in their tastes and preferences, what they are rejecting as programme offering, and what is getting accepted.

The report shows that GRPs (gross rating points) in English entertainment have increased by almost 50 per cent with reach and time spent contributing to the gain. Increase of digital penetration in key metro markets has also led to greater access for the channels. The growth in consumption led by time spent is showing a 15 per cent-20 per cent increase.

Kids Channels genre with 18 per cent share seems to be on a growth path with new channel launches in 2011. Today, 14 channels constitute the genre. The reach levels for 10-14 years age band has improved in 2011. With the increase in number of channels, kids’ genre witnessed a continuous increase in viewership share since 2008. Homes with kids are faster in adapting to Digital TV platforms with growth rate touching almost 60 per cent in 2011.

Sports genre witnessed 200 million unique viewers in year 2011. There has been 18 per cent rise in Sports content on TV during Year 2011. Live sports coverage continued to garner over 50 per cent of the viewing for any sports content. 2011 saw 35 per cent growth in advertising volumes, but 70 per cent of volumes continued to be garnered by cricket.

In the regional space, Digital penetration in Tamil Nadu increased by 17 per cent. Increase in viewership is because time spent levels increased by 3 per cent in Tamil Nadu market. Also, Tamil GECs, Music and Sports witnessed increase in viewership.

In Andhra Pradesh, the digital penetration has touched 8 per cent. While overall time spent on TV is high (over 3 hours daily), its growth is just 1 per cent over 2010.

Kannada GECs and news are primarily on a growth track in viewership. While serials have provided almost 3 times ROI, the growth in viewing for this genre in Karnataka has continued to be with an average of almost 20 per cent in 2011.

In Kerala, fall of time spent by 6 per cent was seen. It has resulted in overall TV viewing coming down in 2011 but the introduction of new channels has resulted in a growth in viewing again the last few weeks of 2011.

Malayalam GECs have a share of 50 per cent with news, movies and music following. Malayalam Kids Content saw a viewership rise with the launch of a new channel –Kochu TV.

Viewership of Bangla regional has witnessed a steady and fast growth from 5 per cent share in the year 2000 to 43 per cent as of 2011. There has been a growth in ratings for regional movies and events in West Bengal as compared to Hindi movies and events.

In Maharashtra, although total TV viewing remained steady, viewership of Marathi regional has seen a growth over last year. The growth is seen maximum on digital TV platforms (31 per cent), as compared to analogue set of viewers (13 per cent). Unlike 2010, the Marathi GEC genre had prioritised the airtime mostly for the higher ROI generating contents like fiction, movies and reality shows. Chat shows/ interviews (in Marathi News Channels) now constitute about 12 per cent of airtime contributing about 14 per cent of total viewership.

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