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Last Updated : Feb 21, 2019 11:22 AM IST | Source:

The South Story: Advertisers bank on growing potential of television in southern markets

According to a 2019 report titled The Southside Story, television dominated the advertising space in south last year with 79 percent followed by radio with 16 percent share.

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam

Aided by an economy that is growing faster than the national average and with consumers that have a huge appetite for entertainment consumption, the southern market has become important to advertisers.

According to a 2019 report titled The Southside Story, television dominated the advertising space in South last year with a share of  79 percent followed by radio with 16 percent share.

The report said there were 66,000 advertisers in the southern market in 2018, along with 86,000 brands and 690 categories across television, print and radio.


Television has been dominating the traditional media environment in southern market with a sharp surge in ad volumes. The report compared the television ad volumes in 2014 and 2018 which showed that there was 63 percent rise in ad volumes.

But why are advertisers betting big on television in the South?

In conversation with Moneycontrol, Ravish Kumar – Head, Regional Entertainment, Viacom18, said, “Speedy economic growth and consumption is the primary reason for these states being in focus from an advertiser/broadcaster point of view.”

He explained that southern regions with Rs 60 lakh crore plus of GDP (gross domestic product) approximately, contribute 32.5 percent of total GDP of India (approximately 1/3rd of Indian economy).

He added that southern states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are among the top five growing states in India along with Maharashtra and Bihar. “With a GDP growth rate of 11 percent of southern region vis a vis 7.5 percent of all India states, one can see that the south regions are growing at a much faster rate,” Kumar said.

Another factor that is leading to rising interest amid advertisers for south markets is that “audiences in south India consume the maximum television throughout the year, as is visible from the high impressions contributed by the South zone to total TV viewership. High TV penetration to tune of 95 percent in these states compared to 66 percent of all India is also an important factor which drives high viewership,” said Kumar.

He added that states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, apart from Union Territory Puducherry have consistently been in the top three markets in TV consumption across all state markets in the country.

From advertising spend point of view, south India with spends of Rs 6,500-7,000 crore per year, is nearly 30 percent of total TV pie in India.

According to Kumar, Tamil Nadu is the biggest in the country in terms of ad spends.

“And not just for south, but in fact for the entire country with more than 35 plus channels offering 11.6 crore seconds of advertisement annually it’s a market with potential of Rs 2,000-plus crore in a year. That’s nearly 10 percent of total India TV ad spends coming from one state,” said Kumar.

Movies contribute in a big way to television’s advertising pie and that is because people in the south consume huge amount of movie content on television. This way these markets allow a lot of price points to advertisers. This gives a chance to small advertisers who cannot afford to advertise on general entertainment channels (GECs).

“The love and fandom of audiences in the South with films and big movie stars is well known. Presence of several movie channels across markets is a testimony to the advertising potential of this genre. Infact, both from viewership and revenue share, GEC + Movies garner more than 88 percent share of total market be it in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka or Andhra Pradesh,” said Kumar.

In 2018, categories like personal care/ personal hygiene, food and beverages and services ranked top three in south markets that were the growth drivers for television advertising in 2018.

For Viacom 18, their top categories for television advertising in south includes FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), consumer durables, e-commerce , food and beverages, retail (jewellery and apparels ), auto, education.

The advertisers in the top five ranks in south on TV include Hindustan Unilever with 11 percent share of overall advertising volume in the south on television followed by Reckitt Benckiser (India) at 7 percent, Wipro at 3 percent, Cadburys India at 3 percent and ITC at 2 percent.

The 2019 report also pointed out that in last five years along with a consistent growth shown by the national players in the southern markets, there has been a spurt in advertising by regional players, especially from 2017.

While experts think that the south media space is an under-served market they also believe that it will soon find prominence on the national map.

Kumar expects “2019 to be an awesome time for the south market and foresee a volley of exciting, innovative and engaging content heading towards television sets”.

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First Published on Feb 20, 2019 04:01 pm
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