Is IPL advertising a hidden opportunity for Indian Marketers?

  • Arifa Rafeeq
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  • Published Date : 18 August , 2020
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  • Updated Date : 5 September , 2020
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    • 4 min read

With the deadly virus and the national lockdown upon us, there has been very little to look forward to during this year. But thanks to OTT (Over the Top) platforms and the nation’s undying love for cricket, we are now anticipating the return of the fun-filled Indian Premier League (IPL) in the second half of this year. The 2020 IPL, like so many other events this year, will be held like never before. For one, the stadiums won't be packed with tens of thousands of passionate fans, as the tournament will be conducted in UAE with limited spectators. More importantly, the advertising engine that drives revenue for the IPL will be largely limited to digital platforms. OTT platforms like Hotstar are in prime position to capture even greater audiences and thus, have become the sole focus for brands. If you want to grab eyeballs during the 2020 IPL, a keen understanding of advertising on OTT platforms is crucial. 

What are OTT platforms?

OTT platforms are one of the fastest-growing networks of today’s Indian online marketing world. With more people turning to digital platforms for all their needs due to the lockdown, these platforms have witnessed a tremendous spike in the last couple of months. With the current speed of growth, it is now roughly estimated that by the end of 2023, the Indian OTT marketing world would have a whopping 500 million viewers online. 

One of the nation’s very own OTT platforms that is also the most-subscribed app in India, is Hotstar. Hotstar is owned by Novi Digital Entertainment, which is a subsidiary of Star India. As of May 2020, there are 8 million paid subscribers and 300 million active subscribers on Hotstar alone. Since IPL streaming is a service provided to paid subscribers, we think it is safe to say that we can expect another spike in the number of subscribers for the sake of the Indian Premier League.

 

But as marketers and advertisers, is Hotstar just a mere OTT platform and the IPL, just a game? Or a spectacular opportunity for advertisers to create brand awareness?

 

Ultimately, video advertising is one of the most effective forms of advertising. An average person in India spends approximately 3.5 hours on video streaming on smartphones. In addition to that, 69% of internet users have one or more entertainment or video applications downloaded on their phones. With more than 95% of Indian households being single television households, the video-in-hand demand has made a huge difference to video advertising. This is probably why the 2019 IPL broke viewership records with up to 462 million viewers watching the game online and upto 300 million viewers watching it on Hotstar. 

 

Why should brands advertise on Hotstar in the 2020 IPL?

The following are some of the reasons why brands should advertise in this nation’s most awaited game on Hotstar:

  1. Higher viewership:

    After last year’s record-breaking viewership of 462 million viewers (300 million from Hotstar alone), this year we expect an outstanding increase in the viewership rate owing to the lockdown as well as the Disney+Hotstar audience pool of 250 million viewers.

  2. Lower IPL advertising rates:

    With the previous IPL advertising rates being expensive and affordable only to the biggies of advertising, many small scale businesses could not advertise in the IPL. This year, however, the IPL offers a starting package of 1 lakh INR only - which means more brands will be advertising on this medium.

  3. Hotstar audience interest:

    As per the audience interest, 66% are annual travelers, 60% are monthly online shoppers, 40% are degree/diploma holders, 70% are investors of stocks and MFs, and 90% have paid subscriptions. This opens up a vast variety of opportunities for brands to reach their audiences. 

  4. High Ad inventory:

    With around 56 matches, each match has around 2,300 seconds of ad inventory. 

  5. High Engagement:

    Hotstar advertisement in  IPL 2020 offers remarkable engagement from viewers right through Pre, as well as Post live show updates and Highlights. 

  6. Option to choose from different ad formats as per your marketing goal.
  7. Option to filter your potential brand audience through location, gender, interests, etc.
  8. An increasing number of viewers on Disney+Hotstar applications each day.

 

Who must absolutely advertise on Hotstar IPL 2020?

  • Brands that want to boost their sales after being sidelined by the lockdown.
  • Brands that want to introduce new products/services to a larger audience
  • Brands whose target audiences are young, digital-first, and/or urban.

 

Best Advertising Options for Hotstar IPL 2020:

Since the public will not be able to physically attend the matches this year,  the IPL experience is going to be different from the previous years. The same goes for advertising in IPL. Some of the most popular Hotstar advertisement practices in IPL are as follows:

  • Billboards:

    Similar to an outdoor advertising billboard, a billboard is a big banner of your brand that can be in the form of an image, video, or a series of images as a photo carousel. A billboard may be placed on any content page such as the home page, news, sports, movies, etc.

  • Midrolls:

    10-30 seconds of unskippable ads that play during live match breaks/between programs. This is the most popular form of advertising used by a larger number of brands.

  • Features:

    These ads are non-clickable ads that pop up during the crucial moments of the game. This ensures high engagement and visibility that offers a remarkable boost to your brand.

  • Branded Cards:

    These are banners that carry the brand logo and their message and are placed right below the live streaming of the match in the social live feed.

 

IPL Advertising is a great opportunity for both moderate as well as high budget advertisers. It is used by a variety and a large number of brands in order to reach their target audience. Since Hotstar is the most subscribed application and IPL is the most-watched game, the two put together a remarkable number of viewers and a large audience of different likes and dislikes. With reduced rates and higher user engagement after the Disney tie-up with Hotstar, now is the best time to invest in advertising on Hotstar!




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