Have you seen those channels on cable television giving updates on your neighbourhood, or playing music in your regional language?
These are cable TV channels - much more rustic than their more glamorous and chic 'mainstream' cousins - and are provided to you via coaxial cables or through optical fiber cable located on your premises.
But guess what, these poorer cousins are beginning to give a run to the bigger channels on their money. And that is because the viewership for these channels is increasing, thereby bringing more interest of the advertisers.
In fact, big brands are turning their heads to cable television and this is why the ad spend on these channels are going big.
Brands like HUL and Procter & Gamble are spending on cable television for advertisement. And the big names of e-commerce firms are among the biggest spenders on cable TV.
“Currently, the e-commerce players are heaviest on our FTA network followed by FMCG and auto sector. Lot of startups have started approaching us because they want to advertise in specific markets and we offer 150 channels per state. They try to take markets where they are relevant,” said Sharad Alwe, MD, Update, a cable TV advertising agency in an interview to Moneycontrol.
Some of the big brands that are preferring cable TV include Renault, Maruti Suzuki, Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm, Phonepay, Nestle, Godrej, among others.
How are brands benefiting by advertising on cable TV?
According to Alwe, cable TV reaches over 120 million households across India. Plus, advertisers can buy at the city level, district level or state level.
This means that via cable TV brands can go to smaller markets thanks to geo-targeted channels. Advertisers can select markets where they are relevant and also go regional to establish greater connect.
“We offer you Nagpur-Pune or we can give you district like Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg at district level or you can take the whole Maharashtra,” he explained.
He added that “since last three years we are seeing a trend of people demanding more towns which are non-metros. The metros spend has started reducing – the top four metros- Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru. Now people are demanding for smaller cities, Nashik, Kolhapur.”
What Update is offering marketers?
India has around 5,000 channels run by cable TV network out of which Update has consolidated 2,500 such channels in various genres like movies, local news, music and devotional channels.
With 150 channels per state, Update offers 10 second ad slots for the price of Rs 12 to Rs 15 per channel.
“So, around Rs 1,800 to Rs 2,000 is what we charge per 10 second per state for 150 channels,” said Alwe.
Alwe pointed out that cable TV advertising currently falls in the range of Rs 100 crore to Rs 120 crore and is expected to grow 30 percent by next year.
Adding to this growth will be the festive period.
“We have seen 50-60 percent rise during the festive season in this market. Customers who come for specifically for festive period there we charge 15 percent to 20 percent more, said Alwe.
Betting big on the festive period and also taking into consideration the positive impact cable TV channels have seen after the New Trai Order (NTO), Alwe expects to do 35 percent better business this financial than last.
“If we take Mumbai then a Zee or a Sony would reach all 50,000 houses but after NTO it has come down drastically. In GEC (general entertainment channel) segment, they have fallen more than 50 percent. 20 percent people have opted for FTA (Free-To-Air) channels and amid the four broadcasters most of them have opted on an average for two channels. Currently, marketers are seeing that the FTA channels are reaching maximum audience which is also helping us,” said Alwe.
Explaining why regional is important, Alwe said that “these channels show local content and people want to know what is happening around them instead what is happening in India or around the world. Same is for music as people prefer listening to music in their own language. And I believe this has worked for us.”
“Our festivals are also very regional. Hence, we give packages for particular festival. That is the advantage of going regional. And many events during festivals like Navratri and Dandiya nights or Kerala boat race are live on these channels which people are interested to watch,” he added.