Is CNN-News18's ad rate hike in tough market conditions justified?

Is CNN-News18's ad rate hike in tough market conditions justified?

CNN-News18 dominates English news genre for 52 consecutive weeks

Mumbai: CNN-News18 hiked its advertising rates recently. These revised rates will be applicable to all existing and prospective clients advertising on the channel and are said to be significantly more than earlier rates.

The new development comes on the back of the channel’s number one position for the last 52 weeks, as showcased in full page advertisements in May third edition of Indian Express and Economic Times.

But is the channel truly different from others in this competitive market?

As per a media expert, “If you give audiences pure news in an uncluttered way and reduce the noise decibels, you’ll get premium positioning both in the mind of viewers and advertisers. That’s how CNN-News18 has carved the top slot of itself in the cluttered and noisy news market. Their YouTube numbers also reflect the same.”

“However, what sets the channel apart from others is its intelligent shows, which are not the usual screaming and screeching that one often sees in the news genre. I think the channel believes that news and nuance score over noise and has shown this time and again,” said a prominent TV journalist who works for competition.

The channel has made a big digital pivot, and its anchors and reporters are multimedia journalists who engage with viewers on platforms such as, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. 

“CNN News18's core differentiation is that it is digital-first and is headed more strongly in that direction. The channel is disrupting the news genre from all sides, with an intelligent, unbiased content play that is present on platforms where the viewers are,” said an advertiser who did not wish to be named. 

“Even if the ad market is soft and the macro conditions tough, CNN-News18 still commands a high premium purely on the basis of its programming. Also, the election season will give it an additional reach. Advertisers want a non noisy news platform that can take their message to audiences in a brand safe environment,” said a leading media planner.

What Does BARC Data say

According to BARC data, CNN-News18 has been the undisputed leader in the English news genre for the past 52 weeks. With a market share of 35.7 per cent, the channel has left its competitors far behind. Republic TV, Times Now, and India Today TV have garnered 28.5 per cent, 23 per cent, and 6.1per cent market share, respectively, which is significantly lower than CNN News18's market share. (Source: BARC India | Mkt: India | TG: 2+ | Period: AVG Wk 17'22-16'23 |8 Channels considered | Market Share  per cent).

In addition to holding the top spot, the channel offers a variety of programs that appeal to a broad range of audiences with distinct interests and viewpoints.

In prime time, CNN-News18 offers a range of programs, including a riveting political show, balanced debates, and a global show with an India lens.

The channel’s coverage of entertainment and sports is another area that draws audiences both on TV and digital.

With some top anchors in the industry who are known for their credibility and expertise, such as Zakka Jacob, Anand Narasimhan, Marya Shakil, and Palki Sharma, the channel provides a compelling line up.