Update Advertising eyes growth in Rs 50 cr organised cable advertising segment

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MUMBAI: The cable advertising market in India is estimated to be around Rs 50 crore and is expected to grow faster under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) new regulatory framework.

Sharad Alwe, the founder and MD of Update Advertising, is gung-ho about the growth prospects for cable advertising in India. Cable advertising got its first booster shot when cable TV digitisation happened.

Update Advertising has positioned itself as the first cable advertising agency in India. The company has the sole selling rights for India’s leading multi system operator (MSO) DEN Networks. It works with 2000 cable channels and has 400+ advertisers who are advertising regional cable channels to reach out to the consumers in the interior of the country.

“Organised market for cable advertising is of around Rs 50 crore and the unorganised market is far larger than this. In the organised segment, our market share is around 80%,” Alwe told TelevisionPost.com.

Alwe said that the boot-up screen and the electronic programme guide (EPG) have emerged as important advertising options for brands.

In the last quarter of 2018, the company launched two services under Update Prime brand. These two services allow advertisers to use to boot-up screen and EPG to reach a captive audience.

Alwe stated that the advertisers get promised viewership from the boot-up service as viewers have to watch the 7 to 8 seconds of advertisement after switching on the set top box (STB).

He also noted that advertising on EPG offers a lot of visibility to brands as users shift from one channel to another. The advertisers can show display ads on the channel description space which remains on screen for about 4 to 5 seconds.

In 2019, the company will also be focusing majorly on the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and e-commerce players in 2019. Currently, it deals with big corporate advertisers and some of the e-commerce players like Flipkart, Amazon, PhonePe and Ola.

The company sees digitisation and TRAI’s new regime as a growth opportunity for cable advertising. “TRAI’s new regime is going to affect a number of channels in each region right from the GECs to the lowest channel. I feel that the reach of all the channels will fall down, not for the leading GECs but the mid-level channels and local news channels. That would be an opportunity for free to air channels or cable channels anywhere. So the free to air channels rating might also improve compared to mid-level channel. All cable channels are free to air and their reach and revenue would not be affected by the TRAI’s regime,” he stated.

He also said that the biggest drawback for cable advertising has been a lack of third-party measurement. TAM Media used to measure cable channels. However, the Broadcasters Audience Research Council (BARC) India, which replaced TAM as the official TV viewership measurement body, doesn’t measure cable channels.

The company has overcome that drawback by developing in-house capabilities to enable live data feed to the advertisers to allow them to monitor their ads.

“We have our own monitoring tool which is as good as third party. The monitoring process is also monitored by Ernst & Young, our whole monitoring systems and processors are being certified by them. As far as viewership is concerned we do the analysis of the channel as show it to the advertisers,” he said.

The company believes that cable advertising has a strong future as advertisers look at targeted advertising. “We are offering cable channels in 640 districts which the advertiser can pick and choose. On an average, we are offering 10 channels in each district. In each district, the advertisers can also buy based on their required genre. For example, if the e-commerce client wants only top 100 districts so we give them package of urban districts. Similarly, we have segmented offerings for rural districts. The advertisers can buy on the district bases, SEC basis, Urban + Rural and State level.”


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