The disruption due to coronavirus, which has led to nationwide lockdown, has resulted in growth of TV content consumption.
In a conference call on March 27, Sunil Lulla, BARC CEO, said, “COVID-19 disruption week 1 shows a significant increase in television viewership. News engagement is spiking and English news channels are seeing phenomenal growth.”
According to BARC-Nielsen data, total TV consumption grew by eight percent across India during COVID-19 disruption period.
The data further revealed that Indians are spending more time on TV to watch news, GECs (general entertainment channels) and movies. These three genres have contributed the most in the spike in viewership on TV during COVID-19 week, which is the week starting March 14.
He added that viewership for news channels has grown amid women and kids.
Along with viewership, ad volumes have also increased on TV.
A 13 percent increase in FCT (Free Commercial Time) was witnessed in week one of COVID-19. Free Commercial Time is defined as the amount of secondage bought on a channel.
“People are watching ads and there is a strong scope of ad inventory to grow,” said Lulla.
"Plus, among the genres that have seen growth in consumption, the ad volumes across news channels have seen an increase,” he said.
He added, “People on news channels are watching ads and not switching to other channels while the ads are airing.”
In terms of categories that saw FCT going up in the week 1 of COVID-19 include social advertising, which witnessed a 147 percent increase in FCT.
Social advertising are ads by the government which, during the COVID-19 disruption period, has mostly been around coronavirus and how people can protect themselves from it.
Social advertising is followed by banking and financial services at 47 percent growth in FCT and Food & Beverage at 36 percent.
Brands focusing on hygiene products saw high ad volumes due to coronavirus advisory.
In the COVID-19 week 1, Dettol Liquid Soap emerged as a leader in the hygiene category with 13,524 insertions. Dettol Toilet Soaps with 12,419 insertions took the second spot and Surf Excel Easy Wash took the third position with 10,196 insertions.