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Dissecting the male viewership pattern
MUMBAI: Indian male viewers, who form 50% of the total TV viewership with an average weekly reach of 487 million, like to watch film-based content in the first half of the day (7 am–4 pm) and serials from 4 pm right up to the prime time.
According to BARC India research deciphering male viewership patterns, the male audiences prefer news/business-related programmes during the early morning hours of the day as compared to any other day-part across rural, urban and megacities of India.
The research says that late prime-time hours (10–10.30 pm) during weekends could be effective for pan-India target as viewership share for several genres such as film, serials, sports and lifestyle remains on a par across markets.
It further notes that the 4–7 pm time band is a potential slot for sports content because male audiences are back from school/colleges and workplaces around this time.
The study also observes that lifestyle and sports content is day agnostic. Day of the week does not matter to Indian male audiences across rural, urban and megacities. During weekends, male audience from upper NCCS prefers news more than lower NCCS male audience.
The research points out that there is potential for broadcasters to create a second prime time in the 5–6 pm band as the reach to impression conversion is one of the lowest during this band for millennials.
To counter the lack of conversion of head counts into impressions in the 5–6 pm band, there is a need for fresh and engaging content. Broadcasters could consider this as a potential slot for serials, game/talk shows/quiz or sports-related content.
During weekends, in late-night hours, serials have a higher share of viewership than film-based content in urban and megacities of India. This breaks the myth that film-based content leads viewership share in late-night hours during weekends.
- A typical Indian man starts his day with film-based programmes as his top choice, followed by news/business and serials. As the day progresses, share of serial-based content goes up significantly. Interestingly, film-based programmes are driven by rural male audiences, whereas serials are marginally higher in urban India.
- As the day progresses towards primetime (1900–2200), serial-based programmes almost double as compared to the previous time band (1600–1900). Surprisingly, across urban, rural and even megacities, male audiences prefer news/business-related programmes during the early morning hours of the day as compared to other day parts. This may be a result of the habit of reading newspapers every morning.
- The time band 1600–1900 could be considered as the one of the most preferred time bands among male audiences for sports content on TV. This could be due to the fact that young audiences are back from their schools, colleges and workplaces.
- During weekends, Indian male audiences start their day with a higher preference for film-based programmes, which is primarily driven by rural male audience.
- Contrary to the popular belief, lifestyle and sports content does not see significant viewership on weekends, even in megacities or urban audiences.
- Interestingly, there is something special about the late prime-time hours 2200–2330 as the relative viewership share for several genres remains the same across markets—film, serials, sports and lifestyle content. This similar viewership behaviour of male audiences during late prime time should be helpful for advertisers during pan-India planning.
Weekday viewing as per NCCS
- During weekdays, share of film-based content dominates the upper NCCS right from the early morning until early prime time.
- Sports seems to be equally popular as it has comparable share across upper and lower NCCS. However, surprisingly, share of lifestyle content does not see any visible difference between upper and lower NCCS.
- News as a programme theme sees some significant difference between upper and lower NCCS from 1900 hours onwards.
- Share of serials for Indian male audiences gradually rises and reaches its peak during prime time. This can be attributed to single TV households in India as prime time is seen in the context of female audiences.
Weekend viewing as per NCCS
- During weekends, typically Indian male audiences start their day with maximum (viewership share) preference for film-based content, followed by miscellaneous (reality show, teleshopping, religious/astrology, agricultural shows).
- As day progresses, the share of serials gradually increases to surpass the film-based shows during 1900–2200 hours.
- It is important to note that film based content consistently sees a higher share among lower NCCS male audiences across the day. This can be due to the fact that lower NCCS prefer films on TV more than upper NCCS during weekends.
- On the other hand, perception-wise male skewed programme content like sports shows a higher share for upper NCCS. Similarly, news as a programme theme also enjoys a marginally better share among upper NCCS male audiences.
- It appears that news is being watched by Indian male audiences either during the start of the day or at the end of the day across NCCS.
Weekdays – Male 15–40 years ABC
- It is evident that film-based content dominates the viewership pie. However, miscellaneous content has a visible contribution, apart from serials, throughout the day for both weekdays and weekends. This clearly suggests that film and miscellaneous content could be one of the potential programme themes for advertisers targeting core audience in addition to serials.
- Sports, in keeping with conventional wisdom, grabs a higher share during weekends.
The story after prime time
- Serials during weekdays stay visibly higher than film-based content.
- Interestingly, during weekends, film-based content surpasses serials after prime time in rural India. However, in urban and megacities, the trend is reversed—serials stay higher than film-based content even during weekends. This breaks the myth that film-based content enjoys a bigger share of the viewership pie than serials during weekends.
- Miscellaneous content has a significantly higher share during weekends than weekdays. Lifestyle as well as sports are not sensitive to day of the week. Clearly film-based content leads the share of programme theme.