IPL 2024 draws advertisers as CTV viewing trends soar

IPL 2024 draws advertisers as CTV viewing trends soar

The tournament is once again proving to be a magnet for advertisers.


Mumbai: Indian Premier League continues to assert its dominance not only on the field but also in the realm of advertising. As the 2024 season kicks off, IPL is once again proving to be a magnet for advertisers, especially as Connected TV (CTV) viewing trends soar to new heights.

The tournament has consistently been a hotspot for advertisers looking to reach millions of passionate fans across the globe. However, the 2024 season brings a new dimension to advertising strategies with the surge in CTV viewership.

Connected TV, which refers to the streaming of television content over the internet via smart TVs, streaming devices, or gaming consoles, has witnessed a remarkable uptick in recent years. This rise can be attributed to various factors, including the proliferation of high-speed internet, the emergence of streaming platforms, and the growing preference for on-demand and personalised content consumption.

With more viewers opting for CTV platforms to watch their favorite sports events, advertisers are seizing the opportunity to connect with audiences in a more targeted and engaging manner. Unlike traditional television advertising, CTV allows for precise audience targeting based on demographics, interests, and viewing behavior, thereby maximizing the impact of ad campaigns.

The shift towards CTV advertising is also reshaping the dynamics of ad spending in the sports industry. As advertisers allocate a larger portion of their budgets to digital channels, traditional media platforms are facing increased competition for ad dollars. This trend underscores the importance for sports leagues like the IPL to embrace digital innovation and adapt to changing consumer preferences to remain competitive in the advertising landscape.

In response to the growing demand for CTV advertising opportunities, Indiantelevision reached out to industry experts where they explained how advertisers are adapting their strategies to target viewers on connected TV platforms during IPL 2024 and the factors that are driving the surge in connected TV viewership for IPL and capitalising on this trend.

Edited excerpts

mediasmart chief growth officer Nikhil Kumar

Cricket enjoys a reverential status in India and advertising dollars are where users are. The surge in CTV viewership for IPL in both metros and satellite towns has been driven by factors like increasing internet penetration along with high speed data, availability of Smart TVs at a competitive price point, and the availability of streaming platforms. Additionally, with the broadcasting rights split between two epicenters - JioCinema on digital and Star Sports on offline mediums, there's a wider audience available for advertisers. Advertisers are capitalizing on this trend by targeting ads specifically for the CTV audience, leveraging advanced targeting capabilities, and creating interactive and engaging ad formats to capture viewers' attention effectively. Additionally, advertisers also can prioritize time-based and location-based user segmentation to target audiences beyond CTV. As organic searches for cricket matches go up, fans celebrate live viewing together in restaurants, or app-based activity for fantasy apps also increase, it’s a great opportunity to connect these users across screens to have a lasting brand impact in the high-adrenaline cricketing season!

In addition to this, it’s important to shift the focus from where the ad is being shown to who the ad is being shown to. That means finding the right audience and right channels of measurement, combined with the power of compelling creatives. For IPL, advertisers have the opportunity to leverage several attractive formats on CTV to achieve higher levels of brand engagement and recognition. Interactive ads, for example, are highly attractive and can be either through creating an animated background where products and the main messages of the ad gain a dedicated spot, or through the progress bar sync format, where the product or service becomes a part of the video. Brands can also leverage Smart QR codes to create powerful redirections and boost action. By programmatically catering to viewers on CTV, advertisers can also prioritize unifying reach through technologies like Household Sync and drive action on app, DOOH, or in-stores. This can help to break from the clutter and target viewers to see incremental lift across various metrics such as message association, brand awareness, purchase intent, and sales.

MiQ global commercial board member & managing director Siddharth Dabhade

In the IPL season, advertisers must look beyond just one streaming platform to find their most relevant audiences and effectively engage with them. Advertising during IPL matches will get you a wide reach with a diverse range of engaged users that may or may not be your brand's relevant audience.

Some strategies we’ve seen brands deploy this IPL season are:

Match moments-synced ads: the ads are activated in-sync with match moments or milestones, for example: after an bowler takes two wickets in an over or a batsman hits a half-century. These ads are served programmatically to create maximum impact & engagement.

Retargeting viewers across devices: As the same Ads run in every inning during IPL matches, viewer attention shifts to other devices or platforms. In fact, MiQ’s Advanced TV research report from India found that 56% viewers often or almost always use a second screen while streaming or watching content on TV. By retargeting consumers who have already shown interest in your brand across any device and delivering tailored ads on CTV, you have the chance to make a lasting impression

The biggest factor is the cost, as IPL is free to watch on TVs and mobile on the JioCinema app, which is driving up viewership numbers on Connected TVs and mobile devices.

CTV advertising offers access to affluent audiences that are hard to reach on linear TV. During big-ticket events like IPL, advertisers want to boost brand awareness, reach, and recall among cricket fans and their target group of customers. CTV ads provide better media planning, targeting, activation, and measurability than linear TV ads.

It’s no surprise that TV viewership is at its peak during tentpole sports events, and it’s attracting more and more advertisers. Programmatic CTV ad inventory for IPL is more cost efficient for advertisers.