‘Lower outlays and reduced inventory consumption has impacted the overall TV industry’

By Rohit Gupta

The year 2019 has been a challenging one, with overall sentiments being subdued. Even the festive season did not create the type of impact it usually has on the revenue inflow. However, we did capitalise on the performance of our channel to ensure the business was fine.

Some of the smaller advertisers shied away from their spends in the medium and the larger advertisers have also been extremely judicious with their spends. As a result of all this, I expect ad growth for television to be in single digits, less than the forecast for the year.

The reason for the overall gloomy state of affairs has been due to the major spenders on the genre being affected by the slowdown in the economy and, in some cases, change in the business scenario. Large sectors such as FMCG, Auto, Mobile Handset manufacturers and Telecom, each has been impacted by the low spirited demands in their industry.

This has translated in them cutting back on their ad spends. Lower outlays and reduced inventory consumption has impacted the overall television industry. In addition, the current economic scenario doesn’t show signs of a reprisal, thus making it difficult to predict an upswing for the industry.

The post NTO scenario has been a mixed bag too. Large genres such as Hindi GEC’s & HFF have stabilised, in some cases with a change in the pecking order and overall viewership, however, that is not the case with niche genres such as English Entertainment, Music, etc. For genres such as these, the challenge is to battle the dwindling number that has made it difficult for them to stay relevant.

Having said that, SPNI has been able to sail through the storm on the back of top performances by our channels such as SET and SAB who are amongst the top three and MAX which continues to retain its spot at the pinnacle. In addition, our exposure to the niche genres has also been limited, thus cutting down our risks.

Media sales has always been about managing relationships, which is no different from any of the other industries, although it has now become extremely crucial than ever before. Partnering a brand to achieve its goal is more important than merely selling inventory.

Television, commanding the widest reach by any medium, is still the most efficient. It’s the reduced spends that is affecting the industry. It is the right time for the industry to move to a CPT model, thereby evaluating the viewership in the right metric.

There have been voices asking for the CPT model in the last few years, however, it has now become imperative for the industry to acknowledge its importance, especially since the CPT hasn’t changed in the last few years for major genres, thus denying the right price for the broadcaster.

(The writer is Chief Revenue Officer – Ad sales and International business at Sony Pictures Networks India. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of TelevisionPost.com)

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