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Viewership share of HD channels grew by 160 per cent in 2 years: BARC’s THiNK Newsletter

Men contribute to about 51 per cent share to the overall HD viewership. The SD channels have equal viewership from both genders

The viewership share of HD channels has grown by over 160 per cent from 186 Impressions (‘000s) to 500 Impressions (‘000s), between October 2015 and September 2017, against a 41 per cent increase in the number of HD channels during the same period.

As per the latest edition of THiNK Newsletter of BARC, titled ‘Understanding the HD Viewership Landscape’, the number of HD channels has risen from 59 in 2015 to 83 in 2017. Of these 83 HD channels, 50 channels have both HD and SD feeds.

The viewership and pattern of content consumption on HD channels was analysed on various aspects:

Audience profiles

Male audience contributes to about 51 per cent viewership share to the overall HD viewership, against the SD channels that have equal viewership from both genders.

There is a lot of fragmentation across all age groups in the overall television viewership. On SD channels, 2-21 year age-group has the largest share of viewership, while the 22-40 year-olds are the biggest contributors in HD viewership. The report analyses that, ‘this audience may comprise the new-age millennials who want to have seamless experiences and are early adopters of new technologies and innovations.’

With no surprises, NCCS A is the largest contributor to HD Channel viewership in India, as much as 41 per cent, while NCCS CDE is the next ones contributing about 34 per cent.

HD channels get close to 69 per cent of its viewership from urban households, against SD channels that are dependent on rural viewership, which contributes about 52 per cent in SD.

The viewership of NCCS A and B is relatively stable, with minor spikes during key events. For NCCS A, the rise in HD viewership post Week 16 can be attributed to the growth in viewership of the sports genre due to IPL 10 (Week 16) and ICC Champions Trophy (Week 22). The increasing trend line Week 28 onwards is a result of massive growth of GEC Genre viewing on HD channels.

In contrast, the HD viewership for NCCS CDE seems to be highly fluctuating over time. This may be an indication of the fact that NCCS A and B are loyal/ habitual viewers of HD and hence less susceptible to fluctuations. NCCS CDE, on the other hand, is driven to HD by key events.

Looking at the viewership trends by town/class, while the below 10 lakh urban towns contribute greatly to the viewership, it is mainly driven by GEC genre.

A drop in the HD GEC viewership in the initial weeks led the viewership to drop, while the HD GEC viewership grew in megacities during the same period. (Week 10 – Week 14).

Among the top 10 advertisers’ categories on HD Channels, the services sector leads with FCT of about 10 million seconds, primarily driven by internet services and online shopping/e-commerce categories. The services sector also gathers about 22 per cent share of total Impressions. Beverages and personal care/ personal hygiene are among the top three performing sectors in terms of FCT as well as Impressions, not only on HD, but on SD channels as well. These sectors seem to have competitive mass advertisers, as they are being driven by the same categories on both channels.

The presence of auto and durables categories in the top 10 on HD is also not surprising, as the audience is presumably more affluent, and thus has spending power. With respect to air-time and Impressions, the top 10 ad sectors with highest FCT are also the most viewed in terms of share of eyeballs. The only exception is the personal accessories sector.

GEC, movies and sports genres together comprise 95 per cent of the HD channel viewership pie, of which GECs dominate a majority share. This can likely be attributed to the supply of HD channels, which is also concentrated within these three genres. The GEC genre appears to be quite popular on HD channels, as 31 out of 83 (37 per cent) HD GEC channels contribute 62 per cent to the viewership pie. The channel share for movies is 24 per cent and for sports is 14 per cent.

In most cases, SD channels deliver a higher reach and ATS as compared to HD channels. It is interesting to note that GEC and sports are the only genres where HD channels deliver better ATS as compared to their SD counterparts, indicating better engagement.

Another interesting fact in the reach and ATS of genres within HD is that while HD GEC channels have lower reach than HD movie channels, GECs not only dominate the HD viewership pie, but also deliver better ATS when compared to SD GEC channels.

As per the percentage share of Impressions by genre on SD and HD channels, GEC, sports and lifestyle genres show a relatively higher propensity for viewing on HD channel as opposed to SD. While the GEC genre enjoys the largest share of impressions within both HD and SD channels, it has a substantially higher share in HD viewership.

Sports and lifestyle genres perform substantially better on HD in terms of relative ranking. Conversely, news, kids and music genres seem to be performing much better on SD feed.

Viewer quality

The report stated that HD channels are quite distinct from SD in terms of viewership quality. We will look at HD viewership in further depth through a unique analysis of individuals in households with continuous availability to an HD channel (HDCA) during the analysis period. This will help us narrow down a broad TG to a more concentrated viewer who has access to HD and SD channels on a daily basis.

The report assumes that ‘HDCA’ refers to all individuals of HHs which have continuous availability to an HD channel. ‘Channel X’ refers to any channel with both HD and SD feed.

Of all individuals having access to HD channels, it is important to understand how many had continuous availability to a particular channel/ genre, and how many minutes did these individuals spend watching the HD feed of a channel as a percentage of the total HD + SD minutes for the same channel, thereby enabling a much deeper understanding of the HD viewer.

Among individuals in HH with continuous availability to an HD channel, the incidence of GEC channels is the highest, followed by movies and sports. These are also the top three HD genres vis a vis HD Impressions.

The genres with the highest share of minutes viewed on the HD feed are English Entertainment Channels (EEC), followed by music. It is interesting to note that these genres do not rank highly in incidence of HDCA individuals. Both genres being interest-based and niche genres, the high share of minutes is indicative of their stickiness for these viewers.

The only genre which has both a relatively high share of HDCA individuals incidence as well as a high share of HD minutes is sports.

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