Connected TV, free streaming, and digital adex are the buzzwords this IPL. With a lot of brands debuting their IPL advertising journey this season with JioCinema, media experts are all praises for the new opportunities created by the platform. In a chat with Storyboard18, R Venkatasubramanian, president - investments at Havas Media India and managing director - Havas Play, talks about the benefits of free streaming, the effectiveness of connected TV, brands advertising in IPL and more.
What has been the focus of digital adex during this IPL season?
Advertising on digital has been high this IPL, with JioCinema broadcasting the match live on its platform for free. JioCinema offered advertisers multiple sections for branding and ad inventory options allowing them the freedom to pick and choose sections. Needless to say, JioCinema has been encouraging advertising from brands with smaller spend allowing them to experience the benefits of the platform and IPL.
Are advertisers seeing a good return on investment from their digital ad campaigns during the IPL?
Despite this being JioCinema’s first season with IPL, brands have expressed substantial confidence in the platform. The number of advertisers has increased compared to the past season. Further, the platform has been offered free to subscribers, which opened a big opportunity for brands to try advertising in cricket and on a digital platform.
Have you seen a reduction in wastage of ad spend on digital platforms during the IPL?
In fact, during this IPL, brands have been able to rationalise their spends through focused spending on properties and opportunities on IPL.
Has the move towards free streaming of the IPL benefitted both advertisers and viewers?
Yes, quite substantially. Free streaming has allowed millions of viewers to connect and watch IPL at their own time and convenience. Besides live broadcasts, various cricket programs and highlights have been garnering good viewership and brands have managed to get their desired reach through the platform.
What are your views on the effectiveness of connected TV advertising during the IPL?
Connected TV is still quite a niche in India and has relatively a smaller base as compared to OTT. Though the content offered is the same across digital or TV, from the perspective of clients who are offering or selling high-end niche products, connected TV comes out as the winner for these brands, avoiding wastage and media spillover and reaching key target groups at a reasonable cost.
Do you believe that linear TV will remain as relevant in the coming years as it has been in the past for IPL viewership?
Linear TV has its own set of audience, will continue to have its own share of viewership and will coexist. Brands wanting to reach out to the masses will opt for linear TV feed as it offers pan-India coverage. FMCG and durable categories will continue opting for linear feed as against digital or connected TV.