MUMBAI: The first half of 2020 was a challenging period for brand managers and marketers. Although TV viewership was scaling new peaks, advertiser interest was understandably muted, with disruptions in supply chains: sales were impacted, as was TV adverting.
However, the recovery process began in the second half of 2020. And the year ended with a robust 20 per cent growth in advertising volumes on TV during the festive period starting October, with the return of the IPL giving further impetus, according to the Yearbook titled The Year After Two Thousand & Nineteen released by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC).
In the third edition of its annual report, BARC pointed out that TV ad volumes during Covid2019 lockdown was -32 per cent. However, during the Unlock period,the number of ads rallied to five per cent, showing signs of resilient recovery.
Advertising volumes for GECs in the pre-Covid2019 period saw a four per cent jump, even as ad volumes, at theoverall level, dipped three per cent. However, movies genres reported anastoundinggrowth of 10 per cent. On the other hand,infotainment saw a steep decline of 28 per cent.
Just like any other industry, broadcast sector was adversely impacted by the pandemic. GEC viewership dropped for a majority of the channels in the genre due to a lack of original programming and the supply chain being hampered due to the lockdown. News genre, though, registered a viewership growth during the lockdown. Ad volumes, however,fell by 27 per cent over 2019.
Most categories revived during the start of the Unlock phase, recording an overall surgeof five per cent in ad volumes compared to the same period in 2019.
By the end of 2020, the industry could see the green shoots of revival peeping. The monthsof October through December saw some big ticket properties and the festive season driving the ad volume growth by 20 per cent compared with the same quarter in 2019.
The story of Indian television over the past few years has been one of strong regional growth. Yet Hindi GEC has maintained its position as the single most popular genre. That trend held in 2020 as well, with viewership of the genre growing by 22 per cent, and its share in total GEC segment up from 39 per cent in 2019 to 44 per cent in 2020.In fact, advertising share of GECs in the total advertising volume pie remained stable at 25 per cent.
Apart from GECs, movies, news, and kids channels also saw an uptick in viewership. It saw a growth of 27 per cent in 2020, and the total share of the genre in the total TV viewership in 2020 rose to 7.4 per cent, up from 6.4 percent in 2019.
Total ad volumes accounted for by kids channels declined marginally in 2020, although the share of the genre in total ad volumes on TVremained stable at three per cent.