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BARC India data shows how Tamil Nadu leads regional TV viewership, content and advertising trends

Almost 94.2 per cent of the people consume TV at least once a week.

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MUMBAI: The inaugural edition of Tele-Wise Tamil saw BARC India COO Romil Ramgarhia share some interesting numbers related to TV consumption, viewership, advertisement and average time spent (ATS) in Tamil Nadu (TN). He also gave an understanding of trends and behavioural patterns of different genres in the dominant regional market.

Ramgarhia began his session by explaining how demographically TN is different from other states in India. The state is dominated by 53 per cent of women viewers. 34 per cent of all India population belongs to NCCS AB home but Tamil Nadu has 47 per cent of NCCS AB home. In spite of smaller family size, Tamil Nadu’s TV consumption is high. Ramgarhia informed that NCCS A home consumes more TV in the state.

While total TV consumption in India per week is about 1000 billion viewing minutes, TN itself gets 110 billion viewing minutes.

“Over the last two years, overall TV consumption in India has gone up by 21 per cent largely aided by digitisation that happened in the state a little later compared to others states. Despite NTO coming in, the market was resilient and though it had some dent it bounced back much faster compared to other states that we have witnessed,” said Ramgarhia.

He added, “Generally, the overall consumption of TV in India goes up by 15 per cent in the third quarter but in Tamil Nadu the consumption in that quarter went up to 20 per cent. This year we are hoping to see the same trend compared to 2018-19.”

Around 9 per cent of the population resides in Tamil Nadu and it contributes 12 per cent of total TV viewership. Tamil Nadu is the only state in the South which has a higher viewership from urban areas. The state has 55 per cent viewership from urban areas and 45 per cent from rural. Telangana has 57 per cent of viewership from rural and 23 per cent from urban. Karnataka has 52 per cent of rural and 48 per cent of urban viewership. Kerala has 50 – 50 per cent of rural and urban viewership.

Overall in India, the daily TV consumption is about 3 hours 37 minutes whereas Tamil Nadu sees more than 4 hours a day with 74.8 per cent daily tune-ins. Almost 94.2 per cent of the people consume TV at least once in a week and 75 per cent of them consume every day. “It is one of the largest time-spent markets across India,” said Ramgarhia.

Going further, Ramgarhia explained that viewership in the state also shoots up when there are big events. The state consumed around 8 hours of content on the day of former chief minister Karunanidhi’s demise.

GEC contributes 63 per cent of total TV consumption in the TN market. Speaking on the primetime, Ramgarhia highlighted that there is no prime time. “The top three Tamil channels have 42 original fictions and 15 non-fictional shows which means the state produces 52 original content in a week whereas the top 3 Hindi GECs have an average of 43 original shows. The market sees a lot of focus on producing more and more content which is also consumed in non-prime time as well," he said

The data also revealed that the overall TV penetration was high in South and Tamil Nadu had seen 97.5 per cent TV penetration whereas Karnataka had 96.1 per cent TV penetration, Telangana had recorded 94.3 per cent and Kerala has 92.8 per cent.

TRAI’s new tariff order (NTO) came in force in week 6 of 2019. 43 per cent of TV viewers in TN were consuming all four channels before NTO and now it is down to 35 per cent. There was a drop in reach from 75 per cent to 71 per cent. Pay Tamil GECs went down from 70 to 65. The reach was impacted by five per cent for pay channels post NTO implementation. But ATS went up by 6 per cent from the previous year. “People shift their consumption basket to their choice of channel. Rather than spending time across all the GECs, they just choose a different consumption basket,” said Ramgarhia.

Throwing some light on the advertising trends in Tamil Nadu, Ramgarhia said, “After Hindi GEC, South GEC is the second largest segment for advertisers as it contributes 31 per cent to total TV viewership. If there are 500 categories in India, roughly 12 per cent of all categories are present in TN. From 11,000 advertisers in India, 15 per cent advertise in TN. If there are 19,000 to 20,000 brands in India roughly 13 per cent of the brands advertise in TN."

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