The third edition of the yearbook titled ‘The Year After Two Thousand & Nineteen’ launched by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) says Ad volumes grew up by 34 percent in the second half of 2020.

Television viewership witnessed a growth of 23 percent during mid-March to June as compared to the January to early March period. Growth of television viewing primarily owed to non-prime time (NPT) viewing. NPT viewing for general entertainment channels (GEC), news and kids, grew by 16 percent, 26 percent and 31 percent, respectively, in 2020 compared to 2019.

However, regardless of increasing viewership, advertisers were reportedly reluctant to spend on account of disruptions in the supply chain. But Ad volumes grew by 20 percent in October in the wake of the festive period, a growth which was  further extended by IPL.

Compared to the first half of the year, Ad volumes grew by 34 percent in the second half of 2020. The top ten advertising sectors accounted for 80 percent of the total Ad volumes in 2020.

The GEC genre retained its viewership, with a marginal dip following the rise of news viewership at a time when original content production was stopped due to lockdown restrictions. Yet, the genre accounted for a quarter of the total Ad volumes on TV.

For the movie genre, regional channels, especially Telugu, Tamil, and Kannada, recorded a higher growth rate than Hindi channels while English movie channels remained stagnant. However, overall share of Ad volumes for the genre rose by 2 percent from the previous year. News, however, saw a rise of 27 percent viewership compared to 2019, although there was a marginal dip in advertising compared to the previous year.

Public communication by the government rose substantially during the lockdown. In fact, Ad volumes for government messaging grew as much as by 184 percent (2.7 times) between April and June 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

Mythological classics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata made a comeback on TV screens in late March 2020. Motivated by the classics, advertisers placed their bets on state-run Doordarshan’s GECs during lockdown. Ad Volumes for DD’s GECs grew by 62 percent in the April-June quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

Meanwhile, during the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, viewership grew by 23 percent compared to the previous season. The opening match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings was the most viewed with 11.2 billion viewing minutes.

Sunil Lulla, Chief Executive Officer, BARC India


Talking about this growth, Sunil Lulla, Chief Executive Officer, BARC India, said, “The year was a consolidation and reaffirmation year for television in India. It was marked by a substantial increase in TV viewership with total TV growing by 9 percent and ad volumes experiencing a staggering growth of 34 percent in the second half. 2020 reaffirmed the strength of television as a medium in India amongst both viewers and advertisers, proving TV is indeed the screen of choice for the household. TV continues to grow with regional markets gaining prominence.”