Gone are the days when watching IPL matches on digital platforms seemed like an expensive affair. With the availability of affordable internet and free streaming on JioCinema, IPL (Indian Premier League) has become more accessible to viewers. Moreover, since the matches are scheduled during primetime, viewers are able to substitute their time spent on other OTT platforms or social media with IPL content. This makes it a convenient option for fans to watch the games from the comfort of their connected TV, desktop, laptop, or even smartphone.
The marriage of free streaming with one of the most popular cricket leagues in the world will no doubt attract more viewers. Addressing the popularity of IPL and the convenience of watching matches digitally, Gurpreet Singh, managing partner - Performics India says, "IPL is not just a source of entertainment, but a deep-rooted sentiment among its highly engaged viewership. With the convenience of watching the matches on digital platforms, fans can immerse themselves in every aspect of the game, from brand associations to celebrity endorsements, and experience a lasting emotional impact.”
“Free streaming will unlock a lot of convenience for the audience since now they can watch the matches on their phone while commuting, in between some quick work breaks, etc. All this without any strings attached,” says Chirag Gander, co-founder, at digital creative agency, The Minimalist.
Turns out, the cost of watching IPL on digital, including JioCinema is cheaper than the cost of experiencing it on television.
Defining consumption patterns
When compared, the price one pays for watching IPL on digital roughly comes to one third of that one would spend on TV. According to market analysis, the top 30 million households in India account for 50 per cent of the country's purchasing power, and all of them have a wired internet connection. Additionally, most of these households own approximately 100 million mobile devices, and their wired connections are currently unlimited. As a result, the top 50 per cent of these affluent households and 100 million users can watch IPL without incurring any additional charges.
On average, watching a single match on mobile consumes 0.7 GB of data.
Watch some, save some
After watching an IPL match, the approximately 20 million affluent consumers who typically have unlimited Wi-Fi will still have 100 per cent of their data allowance available. The mass consumers segment, which comprises around 300 million users with daily data plans ranging from 2GB to 3GB, will have 77 per cent of their data remaining per day. As for the 300 million aspiring consumers with data plans of 1GB to 2GB per day, they will have 65 per cent of their data allocation left after watching a single IPL match.
Presently, the remaining 600 million mobile users, who are a mix of mass consumers and aspiring consumers, primarily rely on 2GB/day packs - the most prevalent option among telecom providers. Even if these users utilize half of their data allowance for IPL, which is 1GB/day, they will be able to stream for approximately 3.3 hours in SD (standard definition) or at least 1 hour in full HD (high definition). The mass consumer segment, which uses 2-3 GB data per day, still has approximately 77 percent of their data left. Meanwhile, the aspiring consumer segment, which consumes 1-2 GB each day, has roughly 65 per cent of their data still available. Additionally, the supplementary cost of data is affordable, which provides users with a seamless data upgrade experience.
Abhinav Choudhary, director of customer success at Zelto, says IPL's popularity among consumers clubbed with affordable internet and free streaming will positively impact the ecosystem not just from the seamless viewing perspective but also motivating competition.
He says, “IPL being one of the most popular sports in India, this is indeed awesome from a consumer PoV. In the overall spirit, it's good to see how this makes other competitor companies face that pressure with this move."