The much awaited 16th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) will kickstart on March 31, 2023 with the first clash between Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans. The excitement will further double with JioCinema offering free streaming of IPL for audiences in 4K resolution (UltraHD) on Connected Television (CTV).
CTV is becoming the preferred choice among the audiences for television viewing, with the kind of convenience and flexibility the technology offers. It is one of the fastest growing segments in India currently and with free streaming of IPL, the trend is predicted to see a spike.
The evolving landscape of CTV is revealed in the takeaways from the below studies.
The trend towards Connected Television (CTV) in India is particularly evident in the case of cricket tournaments. The number of households tuning in to watch cricket on High-Definition (HD) channels has seen a significant decrease in recent years. In 2022, 4.3 mn Indian urban households watched IPL’22, whereas only 3.6 mn households watched ICC T20 World Cup’22 on HD TV and 1.5 million households in mega cities viewed the tournament on HD channels.
The latest Kantar ICUBE report states that the number of connected TVs in India is at a staggering 28 million in the last year. CTV is a co-viewing phenomenon where the entire family comes together to watch their favourite content on the big screen. In terms of individuals watching content on CTV, the report puts that number at a whopping 83 Million. This could only go up multifold once IPL is available for free streaming on CTVs, with an estimated 100 Million+ viewers watching content on their CTVs later this year.
Jio Cinema’s Connected TV proposition on CTV will offer the best of both worlds (TV+Digital) to the advertisers. Not only the advertisers will have the opportunity to reach a large, engaged and affluent audience, but they will also have the guaranteed viewability of their campaign. Advertisers are offered 10 second spot on CTV on Jio Cinema. CTV allows advertisers to track impressions, which is a very valuable set of information as it provides insight into the effectiveness of their advertising efforts and allows them to make data-driven decisions about future campaigns. The combination of impression tracking and spot buy model makes CTV an attractive option for advertisers looking to maximize the impact of their marketing efforts. One of the biggest advantages of CTV is the flexibility it offers to both consumers and advertisers. With multiple feeds available, consumers can choose to stream the IPL in their preferred language and on their preferred device.
Another key move which will greatly improve the viewing experience is BCCI’s
approval of Jio’s plea to stream IPL matches in 4K. Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) video with a 4K resolution has four times the resolution of a 1080p HD video.
According to Wavemaker’s ‘Spotlight 23’ report, Connected TV: Bringing the best of both worlds – TV and Digital, we have about 20-22 mn Connected TV homes, which is approximately 10pc+ of TV homes. This is estimated to grow by 2X by 2025 in the next two years. Growth of CTV is due to the changing consumer behaviour (growth of Cord Cutters, CTV-first homes), Smart TV sales increasing (India’s Smart TV shipments grew by 38pc+ in Q3 2022) and growth of players who are offering faster and cheaper broadband.
We checked with few industry experts on, Will CTVs become the preferred choice for viewers this IPL 2023. Will free streaming of IPL grow viewership across the spectrum?
‘Language is the key’
One of the biggest advantages of CTV is the flexibility it offers to both consumers and advertisers. With multiple feeds available, consumers can choose to stream the IPL in their preferred language and on their preferred device. Language is the key. Coupled with preferred language cricket love can be the impetus CTV needs in India.
– Arnab Mitra, MD, liqvd Asia
‘User base of CTVs is set to expand’
With the free streaming of IPL 2023, viewers in India have a great opportunity to enjoy the matches on a larger and better quality screen with the use of CTV. This could lead to a surge in the adoption of CTV as new viewers may see the benefits of having a device that not only allows them to watch live sports, but also provides access to a wider range of streaming options and content. Additionally, existing CTV users, who have already cut the cord from traditional cable TV, are most likely to stream IPL 2023 on their CTV.
With the availability of free content on a large and high-quality screen, the user base of CTVs is set to expand as new users may be encouraged to purchase the device and existing users may increase their usage. This could lead to a greater demand for CTVs in India and could potentially open up new opportunities for businesses in the CTV industry.
This is coupled with the fact that Jio has been particularly successful in tapping the huge potential audience, where there is a high demand for affordable internet services. Additionally, the availability of vernacular language commentary and analysis is likely to appeal to viewers across the spectrum, who may be more comfortable with local languages. This could lead to a significant increase in the number of people watching IPL matches online, particularly in regions where local languages are widely spoken.
– Karan Anand, SVP – Strategy, Interactive Avenues
‘Great avenue for advertisers to reach a larger consumer base’.
Free streaming opens up an array of possibilities with the OEMs looking at including free-streaming apps pre-installed for their upcoming launches. So yes, the CTV ecosystem will benefit from the free streaming.
Cricket is like a religion in India and with the followership of IPL, we are expected to see a lot of growth in the coming years. The adoption of live streaming since the start of the pandemic and Jio offering for free streaming of IPL will surely boost consumption. It provides a great avenue for advertisers to reach a larger consumer base.
– Aditya Sapre, AVP – Business Development & Strategy, iProspect India
‘Without a shred of a doubt’
We may attribute the adoption of CTVs to the proliferation of low-cost, high-speed, and reliable internet connectivity, cost-effective domestic manufacturing, and extensive vernacular content libraries. The free streaming of IPL 2023 serves as a distinct advantage to its members without a shred of a doubt.
However, the story does not end there. The newly exposed audience, having experienced the convenience of digital viewership in local languages, post the tournament, will look out for other content pieces and types – an opportunity for many!
– Ashish Kaushik, Lead – Brand Management and Digital Communication, AM/NS India
‘May make viewers re-evaluate media options’
Jio’s offer of 4K transmission on its 5G backbone should offer the consumers a differentiated experience and make consumers gravitate towards high-end smart LEDs.
Reliance has been known to disrupt various spaces especially in the telecom sector and with this offer of free IPL streaming in 4K fidelity, it may make the viewers re-evaluate their media options and emerge a winner. It would be interesting to see if Jio leverages it for their Jio digital stores to sell more connected TVs this IPL season.
India has a huge advantage in terms of extremely low data and internet costs. This will not only help drive penetration of smart and connected TVs but will also induce a continuing fall of prices of connected TVs, thereby making it affordable to the masses.
– Vivek Gupta, Managing Director – Research, Ipsos India
(Think Through features may be initiated and funded by stakeholders.)