Mumbai: Anil Wanvari in conversation with Vishal Chinchankar on Connected TV and its reach. Why advertisers and marketers are gung-ho about connected TV?
Connected TV is the latest buzzword, why and what is so exciting about connected TVs?
The whole ecosystem is changing with the invention of smart TVs and broadband connections are moving faster, the hardware itself is a piece of an asset as you get 4K content or HD content by itself and the beauty of it is, it is linked to broadband and you can watch it at your convenience, whether it is Netflix or Amazon in the walled garden as compared to YouTube or the other apps and other Apps.
In my sense this is the new kid on the block, I wouldn’t call it a kid any more, it’s a growing kid, the Complan boy and growing much faster. The adoption of this is also faster. To put things in perspective smart TV quarter-on-quarter is showing an 11% import growth and that is the kind of consumption that is happening at the end of the day. You are talking about a consumer who can afford a smart TV, afford some great content which is subscribed content and has a high broadband connection. Net, net there is a significantly large size audience which is A++ which is available for brands.
On the reach
Various numbers are floating around but to my knowledge, it is 22mn households and if we go by the BARC data with a multiplier of 3.2 or 3.6, we are talking about a significantly large size of household penetration right now. A comparable may not be linear TV but HD TV which claims to be at 45 mn households, but that has stagnated and this is growing. In no time you would see connected TV crossing over the HD numbers or outgrowing it.
On TVs with connected devices or built-in Apps
There are about 10 mn sticks in the market, and the usage of the stick is just 10%, it is a snack in snack out kind of phenomenon. This number is growing. The combination of these two things is helping this particular medium Connected TV to grow faster.
Last year in the Pitch–Madison report I presented a paper on why connected TV is bigger, there is one data point, last year the whole ADEX of 80,000 Crores was equal to the amount of money invested in connected TV Universe so that is how huge connected TV is in the US and there is no reason as why India will not move in that direction.
On hot spotting
Casting is picking up very fast. Jio is now launching these cables where you can cast your mobile on screen, whether it is a smart TV or that old TV with the red, yellow and white three-pin wires. It is helping the ecosystem to move faster.
On has the penetration down the NCCA strata
We have done a lot of campaigns on connected TV, and a lot of inventory from Tier 2 markets, not purely a metro-centric phenomenon right now but it is surely moving into these tier 2 markets. It is not getting into tier 3 & 4 markets right now but at the pace, it is growing it should reach these markets with the help of sticks or with the help of new TV at affordable prices.
On recommending Connected TV to your brands
They are because the beauty of this medium is that it addresses the top of the funnel i.e., the A++ audience I had defined earlier. Niche brands which want to target or reach out to those audiences, it is a perfect match. We have done a lot of campaigns and I think we have seen great performances in terms of measuring the VTRs or the soft measures like the pre- and post-studies we have done on that particular campaign and it showed significant growth. I am bullish about connected TV as a platform.
On getting the bang for the buck and how difficult it is to convince brand marketers’
Connected TV today is neither TV, it is largely tilting towards the side of digital. It is the more digital side of inventory now because it is all about my consoles and wherever there are digital. Maybe it is tilted more towards digital and not towards Linear TV. I don’t think it is the right comparison to compare connected TV with Linear TV, because CTV is still small and Linear TV is still a reach builder. I would probably compare it with HDTV rather than just SD or linear TV.
Are the brand managers, Marketers aware of this, in some cases, we need to educate them and tell them what the numbers look like, even when it comes to RMF for that matter for a particular audience, but more or less I think in today’s day and age most of the mature advertisers are quite aware and they have started building on the brands, though it is a long way and a pilot and then an up approach always works for most of the brand managers.
On the IPL and the spending on CTV and digital
It is going to be fun to watch this IPL because both the publisher and the broadcaster are going to be very aggressive. Both have their own merits and advantages. But let us talk about the digital, earlier if I had to a comparison, Hotstar had about 50 -60 mn subscribers and there was this 5 minutes of snack in snack out consumers. But this year Jio is streaming it free for all customers whether they are on Airtel or Vodafone. That is a big advantage for Viacom sports as a broadcaster. Having said that building on a lot of reach and efficiency for most of the brands, whoever wants to build on it respectively of the market. Viacom comes with less wastage because there is an accuracy of targeting that they are bringing to the table which is not possible on television. In certain categories, there may be a spill but works for certain categories. But here there is no spill, so you are reaching out to the right audience you want to target.
The other point is the way it is getting marketed, with those tables, language commentary, whether it is Bhojpuri or Punjabi is an added advantage and it is going to attract a lot of audience. The best part is they are going to have shows in 100 cities, colleges, and housing complexes. There is a lot of promotion and the surrounding effect going around it, is making it much larger.
I am just talking about digital as an IPL property. If I have to give you a sense of CTV I look at it this way, as per TRAI there are close to about 26.8 mn broadband subscribers in the country who are using broadband, not everybody has a Smart TV but my guesstimate is it should be around 22 – 25 mn because Jio fibre is about 7 -8 mn.
Airtel is also very aggressive and the packages they are coming out with are very lucrative for a customer compared to a cable connection. As a consumer, if I add up all my costs of cable plus Disney Hotstar plus the other channels it becomes very expensive. At this point, there is a shift happening and the telcos are getting aggressive in that space.
As I said CTV is a need as an HNI I would love to watch my cricket on CTV when I am at home and when I am travelling on my smartphone. There are a lot of merits that IPL on digital is going to add this year. I think we live in this nature of advertisers who believe in reaching the frequency so they build their brand on the back of reaching one plus, and other advertisers build on high-impact properties.
There are a lot of brands that are purely built on the back of cricket and they swear by it. Cricket gives an unparalleled reach and IPL much more. Now with 2 publishers coming in we don’t know if Star would want to add it to their FTA or how Viacom is going to promote it extensively. I don’t think there is going to be a compromise on reach or impact. The question is who gets better efficiencies and that is the game brand managers are going to look at.
On interactivity on Connected TV, is JIO offering any for CTV
I don’t think there is interactivity on CTV now apart from the fact that you get to see from a different lens. The interactive engagement is going to be on mobile which hopefully most of the brands would want.
On any other salient points
I think the good part is that competition is always healthier and everyone is going to work harder to make sure that they attract a lot more dollars. It is good for most advertisers and good for most consumers because the interest level in the games is going to go up. It’s a wait-and-watch now, but to the best of my knowledge, I would love to call it that this will be value for money and cricket is value for money.