While only 20 million of 210 million TVs in India are connected TVs, sales are growing at around 20-30% year on year. In fact, forecasts suggest there will be more than 40 million CTVs in Indian households by 2025, shared Prabhvir Sahmey, Senior Director, India and South East Asia, Samsung Ads in MMA-GroupM’s Modern Marketing Reckoner.
He wrote, “The TV ecosystem is evolving. Internet connection and smart capabilities mean that how we interact with our TVs is starting to change, and in turn manufacturers, publishers and advertisers are responding. With the TV set at the centre stage of many of our homes, this makes the TV the smart device for the household - much as the mobile phone is the smart device of the individual.”
As the TV gets smarter, with easier navigation, enhanced capabilities and a more personalised experience, it will inevitably start to appeal to even more consumers as an integral household device. Thanks to the bigger screen and quality content, Indians are starting to see that connected TV (CTV) is far and away from the most premium device for OTT viewing.
Sahmey said that for advertising, this is a really exciting proposition which means brands can marry the big screen, the high-quality experience of TV ads with the accuracy of targeting and measurability seen already in digital advertising.
CTV is changing the game, and for a few key reasons.
CTV should be seen as a differentiated subset of OTT. It’s a media device with its own unique properties that attract viewers and make it an exciting proposition for brands. Viewers staying at home during the pandemic lockdowns joined the growing numbers already enjoying streamed, screen-based entertainment on the biggest screen in the home. Mobile might be good for a quick snack but the fully immersive viewing experience will be delivered by the main TV set. Households recognise it as the premium option for OTT viewing. That's good news for advertisers looking for engaged audiences.
CTV’s role in the home
Connected TVs are fast taking the role of the household entertainment hub, where viewers can engage with a vast variety of premium content via their favourite streaming apps and plug-in their sophisticated gaming consoles. SVOD offerings such as Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar and Amazon are hugely popular, and together with YouTube and Facebook account for 85% of the $1.4 billion in revenue made by online video in 2020. But AVOD services are also gaining ground. There will be a limit to how many subscriptions a household can afford and AVOD is certainly not a second-tier content offer. Players are making big investments in acquiring and developing quality programming.
Sahmey commented, “Samsung is part of this sea change. There are millions of Samsung CTVs installed in Indian households and they will become a fantastic source of audience data what this means is that we can collaborate with advertisers to position content and brands within the organic TV viewing experience, based on data-driven insights.”
An ocean of great content
This past year Samsung debuted the free ad-supported on-demand (AVOD) streaming service Samsung TV Plus. This gives viewers access to 45 channels and new ones are being added all the time, the content ranges from news and lifestyle offerings to sports, music, movies and binge-able shows. The popularity of TV Plus is evident as monthly users increased by 28% and total monthly viewing hours by 53% from June to November 2021, said Sahmey.
This offering currently includes six local Indian channels and Samsung is looking to onboard even more such offerings as it knows local content is key. By the end of 2022, viewers will get to watch more than 100 channels.
CTV and the customer experience
As audiences look for the best content on offer, CTV offers advertisers the ability to reach highly engaged viewers and drive a big impact from their ad spend.
Premium AVOD services offer a curated and brand-safe environment for advertisers - an exciting proposition for video advertisers looking for more premium inventory. Advertisers can currently target contextually with channel bundles on connected TVs, with more advanced targeting coming soon. In a programmatic market such as India, having this inventory also available programmatically is a big win for advertisers seeking upscale or niche audiences.
The Indian CTV market is still young but forward-thinking brands are willing to invest and learn about this growing media. There is much to understand as viewer habits change and their media consumption diversifies. Interpreting what this kind of behaviour means and devising appropriate strategies will be an exciting challenge for all players and Samsung Ads is excited to be leading this evolution of the media landscape.