Emerging COVID-19 Trends: Advertising of OTT platforms on television on a rise


The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a paradigm shift in consumer behavior in all the sectors. Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown has made a lot of shifts in the content consumption habits across demographics. Being homebound, our social lives have moved online resulted in considerable growth in the way people consume media and entertainment- particularly digital media. OTT platforms are emerging as a significant advertiser category on television in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak. Due to the strict lockdown across the globe, movie theatres, museums, events, and other external environment consumption channels have been banned, OTT consumption is looking at a steep rise.

According to a TAM adex report on the advertising of OTT platforms on television, the ad volumes grew 98% in Jan-May 2020 as compared to Jan-May 2019. Also, the platform has witnessed a rise in its number from 24 to 41 for the same period, the count got increased by 50% in May 2020 as compared to Jan 2020 which seems an interesting development. The absence of most advertising mediums, the absence of original content on television, and lack of live sports further smoothens the growth of OTT platforms. This is where both AVOD & SVOD got benefited. Another reason that experts pointing out for the rising OTT consumption is that the advertising of OTT platforms on television has increased because with work from home and school and college shut down.

The rise of ad volumes of OTT platforms on television is exponentially high. The new OTT player Disney + HotStar had 24% ad volume share among all in Jan-May 2020. Amazon Prime Video is the second platform that advertises on TV, accounts for 15% share. In contrast to traditional media services, Hotstar, Amazon Prime and Netflix in India have seen an 82.63% increase in time spent. Also, YouTube has seen a 20.5% surge in subscribers across the country. According to the M&E report last year, it is projected that India would have a billion digital users by 2030. In today’s scenario, we expect this trajectory to accelerate by virtue of the lockdown with not just the addition of the new users but also ensuring the comfort and confidence of the existing digital citizenry. The current situation might lead to a shift in priorities among consumers and media and entertainment players.

Even though the rise of ad volumes is going up, a similar increase in the revenues or ad rates is not reflecting which indicates the ad revenue needs to grow a lot more. Experts believe that even after the lockdown is lifted and the whole system comes to normal, people start going out and original content comes back on television, the advertising might remain the same. The growth will stabilize at some point, continues, and sustain.