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Disney+ Hotstar eyes Rs 1,000 crore ad revenue from IPL 2022, sells off 75-80% inventories

The growth is propelled by 10% hike in ad rates, 25% more matches and increased focus on connected TV

Disney+ Hotstar has already sold over 75-80% of its ad inventory for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is scheduled to begin March 26, 2022, sources close to the development told

There is also an overall hike of approximately 10% in the ad rates quoted by Disney+ Hotstar in comparison to last year, multiple sources aware of the development confirmed.

This time the number of matches has increased to 74 from last year’s 60 matches with the addition of two new teams. This has resulted in a 25% increase in the outlay for every sponsor and the revenue of Disney+ Hotstar.

With increased focus on connected TV offering this year, the OTT platform is eying a 40%-45% jump in its overall ad revenue over the last year from the tournament.

Disney+ Hotstar’s ad revenue in 2020 was pegged between Rs 450-500 crore. Sources said that in 2021, the OTT platform raked in close to Rs 700 crore from ad revenue. This season, it expects to cross Rs 1,000 crore from ad revenue. had reported on Wednesday that Disney Star India is eyeing to cross Rs 4,000 crore ad revenue from IPL 2022.

Sources told that for onboarding “co-presenting” and “co-powered by” sponsors, Disney+ Hotstar is offering a deal anywhere between Rs 45-55 crore.

For regular midroll ads (Live+PPL Mobile), the OTT platform is charging between Rs 159-199/CPM (cost per thousand impressions) for ten seconds ads. The rates to advertise for a ten-second ad “Pre-roll Live” on IPL range between Rs 159-277/CPM. The rate for targeted ads is higher than the ROS (Run of Site)/non-targeted ones.

Among several targeting options available at advertisers’ disposal, a few include targeting people according to the price range of handsets they own. Brands that want to reach out to female audiences, can even specifically target them on Disney+ Hotstar during the IPL.

In a bid to woo premium advertisers, Disney+ Hotstar has segregated the inventories for connected TV and mobile app in its bouquets of offerings. With the number of households owning connected TV increasing in India, the OTT platform intends to expand its revenue stream by charging premium rates to advertisers willing to reach the CTV audience.

The OTT platform is demanding a premium ad rate, ranging between Rs 300-430/CPM for ten seconds midroll ads on CTV.

The CTV advertising rates for Co-Presenting Sponsors, the Connective TV midrolls rate demanded by Disney+ Hotstar is Rs 400/CPM (cost per thousand impressions) for ten seconds, including targeting. For ROS (Run of Site)/non-targeted ads, the midroll rate is set at Rs 300/CPM.

Disney+ Hotstar will a separate content feed for CTV as they believe that content on connected TVs is generally watched by the NCCS A+ audience. Therefore, mostly premium brands end up advertising on connected TV to reach this set of audience.

A marketer that has been advertising on IPL for a few years now said that even after various targeting options being introduced by Disney+ Hotstar in the last couple of years, sharp and granular targeting isn’t possible during the IPL, which is otherwise available on the platform.

He explained, “Currently, targeting a certain TG in a given geography isn’t available. For example, if I have launched something which is available only in Chennai and I want to target only NCCS A 25+ men for that, such granular targeting option is not available during the IPL match.”

While technologically, sharp targeting is possible, Disney+ Hotstar avoids doing so during the IPL due to several complexities involved.

A senior media planner said, “Technologically, sharp targeting is possible. But they don’t want too many variables when they are planning for IPL. They already have so many languages feeds to operate. Over 300 brands advertise during the IPL on Disney+ Hotstar and managing so many campaigns at one time, becomes really tough for the platform. Managing the complexity of targeting across genders, category of audience and demographics makes it really challenging for them to fulfil sharp targeting demands of the advertisers.”

Another marketer told that Disney+ Hotstar doesn’t really negotiate on ad rates. Although it gives a nominal rebate to brands making bulk deals. “Disney has to chase a certain revenue number. They might be happy to give slightly more inventory but can’t compromise on the outlay,” said the marketer.

While more and more brands have increased their spending on digital streaming of IPL in past few years, the elephant in the room remains to be addressed, the non-availability of third-party measurement on OTT.

Sharing her concerns, a media professional, said, “That has always been a challenge. Suppose, Disney+ Hotstar has committed a deliverable to fetch me 20 million impressions. I will have to be satisfied with whatever number they show to me in terms of reach towards the end of the tournament. There is no way I can validate it. Everyone wants some sort of single currency and data coming, but OTT players are not willing to lower their firewalls.”

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