And so its broadcasting rights are the advertising holy grail.
JioCinema’s provision of free access to the IPL marks a major shift. Coverage was split across TV and mobile devices – via paid subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platforms Disney and Hotstar – and linear channels.
Prabhvir Sahmey is a highly experienced business leader with over 15 years of digital advertising & technology experience. He is the Senior Director of Samsung Ads India, a leading Advanced TV advertising solutions provider. As a founding executive of Samsung Ads India, Prabh was instrumental in setting up the Indian arm of the business.
The IPL’s climatic 2023 finale – featuring an intense clash between the Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans – attracted a peak viewership of 32 million. This is a world record for the most concurrent views during a live-streamed event.
All the signs point to another successful IPL season – which represents the world of television on a macro scale. Linear is seeing its dominance challenged by CTV, meaning advertisers must develop a comprehensive understanding of viewer preferences to continue bowling to their target audience.
And this can start with automatic content recognition (ACR) technology.
The gloves are off
IPL’s commentary across seven different languages alongside six-seven camera angles – all supported in 4K – gave viewers unprecedented access to the coverage.
Samsung’s Smart TV data for India, spanning across +7m smart devices, identified that the JioCinema app rose to one of the top five apps in April, May and has remained here throughout June so far.
When we look at Samsung TV owners specifically, linear rose to the top in terms of the number of times viewers tuned in to watch the IPL – but JioCinema’s streaming app accounted for more time spent viewing and engaging in matches. From a granular perspective, however, IPL viewership was evenly split across streaming and linear platforms, which sparks a wider conversation about the changing face of the TV landscape and what we already know about maturing consumer preferences.
Across the country, we’re seeing audiences flocking to a variety of platforms to find their most-loved content. Netflix is the most recent streaming provider to capitalize on this shift as it unveils its rearing up to stream its first-ever live sports event this Autumn to capture these eyeballs.
Trial by (Connected) television
The IPL’s shift from a traditional SVOD-linear framework to an ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) platform indicates the nationwide trend that audiences are happy to engage with ads in some settings.
The recent ‘Behind the Screens’ study by Samsung Ads found Indian audiences show a high level of ad engagement across the TV landscape with the most significant driving factor being the exchange for free content.
Four out of five Indians (81%) claimed to be happy to watch ads if this was the case, and 80% were very willing to watch ads that were relevant to them.‘Behind the Screens’ study by Samsung Ads
Drawing from this insight, it’s clear that there is a very high appetite for engaging and relevant ads – posing a significant opportunity for the country’s advertisers to capitalize on.
ACR technology can be advertisers’ most effective asset when understanding these evolving consumer behaviours and accommodating preferences via targeting and personalization.
Optimizing ad-spend whilst expanding reach will always be a marketer’s priority, which is even more pertinent during periods of economic uncertainty.
Identifying where your target audience spends the bulk of its time – using glass-level data – is crucial to securing greater consumer engagement and driving long-term advertising improvements. Especially as we’re seeing high volumes of content across a continuously fragmenting TV landscape.
The 2023 IPL season may have just drawn to a close, but already we can see that the switch to free-to-watch streaming was a major factor in driving increased viewership. And whilst it’s too soon to conclude whether this is a one-season-wonder or a long-term trend, the IPL can be a litmus test for the industry as a whole.
Acknowledging CTV’s impact on the wider television landscape is the first step to tapping into its potential. Marketers should leverage IPL coverage over the next four years as a bellwether to determine audiences’ ever-evolving viewing behaviors.
Only time will tell if consumers will flock to the streaming service season-after-season.
Prabhvir is a highly experienced business leader with over 15 years of digital advertising & technology experience. He currently serves as Senior Director, Samsung Ads India, a leading Advanced TV advertising solutions provider.
As a founding executive of Samsung Ads India, Prabh was instrumental in setting up the Indian arm of the business. Armed with a deep understanding of ad tech, media, and viewership preferences, Prabh is tasked with driving commercial expansion and adoption of CTV in the region.
Prior to Samsung Ads Prabh pioneered programmatic advertising at Google, headed up search and mobile at Mindshare, and worked at multiple technology-driven media solution companies. He was named in Exchange4media's Digital 40 under 40, is a member of IAB India & SEA Streaming council, CTV Symposium Board, and MMA India MarTech Council.