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Rural TV homes overtake urban in new BARC India universe

MUMBAI: Rural power is getting reflected in Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India’s updated TV universe.

Rural TV homes have overtaken urban TV homes, as per BARC’s updated TV universe study based on the Broadcast India 2016 survey.

Rural India now has 17% more TV homes than urban India, indicating that free-to-air (FTA) television channels have scope to expand advertising revenue. Even Doordarshan’s subscription-free DTH platform Freedish has scope to grow.

The earlier urban-rural TV homes split of 50:50 has now become 46:54, with rural India showing a bigger growth in TV-owning homes than urban. Of the 183 million TV households, rural India boasts 99 million TV households. Urban India has 84 million TV-owning homes.

According to the study, the number of TV homes in India has grown 19% to 183 million as of February 2016 compared to 154 million in 2013.

There has also been an 18% surge in TV penetration — from 54% to 64%. The total TV viewing universe has seen a 16% rise with India now having 780 million TV-viewing individuals.

With the new update in the TV universe, the Week 8 ratings have reflected a significant jump in viewership. Niche genres like infotainment and music and youth have also captured this jump in weekly impressions, led by increase in average time spent (ATS), total TV homes and number of individuals in TV-owning homes.

Maharashtra and Goa have emerged as the leading states with 2.22 crore TV households, followed by Tamil Nadu/Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh/Telangana with 2.08 crore homes each.

Among metros, Delhi has the highest TV households at 51.88 lakh, followed by 46.11 lakh. Other metros include Kolkata (31.07 lakh), Bengaluru (26.87 lakh), Bengaluru (25.4 lakh) and Hyderabad (21.19 lakh).

BARC India Universe Update 2017

With the new UE, Week 8 has seen a significant increase of 18% in total TV viewership in the country. Total TV impressions have grown from 22.7 billion in Week 7 to 26.7 billion impressions in Week 8.

The study also highlights the fact that TV HHs have grown faster in NCCS B and C, thus increasing the share of the middle class.

While NCCS A has dropped from 22% to 21%, NCCS B and C have gone up from 24% to 27% and 31% to 32%, respectively.

NCCS D/E, on the other hand, has de-grown from 23% to 20%.

These trends are in line with the fragmentation of family sizes (leading to lower average family sizes) and rising economic growth and prosperity. It also shows that India has more nuclear families without elders than ever before, and it is also the dominant family group among TV-owning homes. While the composition of joint families in the universe has come down from 26% to 22%, nuclear families with elders have grown from 53% to 58%.

Some key changes have been seen in the BI study like electrification, migration, digitisation and the rise of smaller and nuclear family culture, increase in middle class, inclusion of rural markets and single-TV households, which has an impact on TV viewership behaviour.

BI 2016, the report based on the survey, contains not just an updated count and composition of TV homes across urban and rural India, but also offers data and insights that would be of immense value to marketers and advertisers. It contains granular data and information on media consumption habits of Indians, as well as select durable ownership and packaged goods purchase profiles. It is an updated database of Indian consumer behaviour.

Partho“BI 2016 is one of the biggest surveys done in the country so far. The TV universe in India is ever growing and changing and so is the profile and choice of a TV viewer. The last survey done was in 2013 and the last Census was in 2011. The consumer and viewer landscape is changing rapidly—with electrification, prosperity, changing modes of signal and digitisation. We wanted to reflect this change in viewership numbers and hence conducted our own Establishment Survey. This will help our subscribers and the ecosystem align their strategies for better targeting. The new reality is TV viewership is rapidly growing and how,” said BARC India CEO Partho Dasgupta.

Fieldwork for the Broadcast India Survey was carried out between November 2015 and February 2016, and covered 300,000 homes across 590 districts comprising about 4,300 towns/villages. All 1 lakh+ towns were covered, while towns below 1 lakh were selected by a probability proportional to size (PPS) method.