Indians love watching television.
In 2019, TV viewership in India had witnessed 48.4 trillion viewing minutes, according to the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC)’s report. This indicates that despite the increase of smartphones and cheap data, which have fuelled the rise of on-demand entertainment platforms, Indians continue to remain hooked onto their television sets.
BARC’s 2nd edition of the popular report, What India Watched 2019, gives an insight on how India loves watching television and some important viewership trends and facts.
Television ownership and viewing continues to grow in India. Over the last 4 years, volume of viewership (Viewing Minutes) has grown by 38% year on year too, TV viewing has clocked a steady growth. In 2019, which also witnessed the rollout of the New Tariff Order (NTO), television viewing has remained stable.
De-constructing TV Viewership Growth from 2016 to 2019
In an entertainment loving nation like ours, it is no surprise Movies with 47%, Kids with 56%contribute to the total Television viewership growth from 2016 to 2019, according to BARC.
The appeal of Movies is amplified by the fact that the varying content within films ensure that there is something for everyone – right from animations for Kids to Youth stories for the Millennials to Mythological stories for Seniors.
Other than that the highest contributor in this category is Sports with 89%.
TV Viewership-Pan India Growth
Increase in TV viewership over the last 4 years have been driven by strong growth posted by regional language markets, which has come on the back of increasing availability and affinity for local languages. For instance, viewership in Assam/North-East/Sikkim grew by 119% in the last 4 years and contributed to 3% of total TV viewership in 2019.
Affinity for local language content
Share of viewership of channels other than Hindi and the 4 south languages have risen steadily, from 15% in 2016 to 23% in 2019. Viewership of most regional language channels have doubled in the same period. English language channels have seen a decline in viewership, one reason is that sports content – which was traditionally broadcast largely in English – is increasingly available in Hindi and regional languages. Here viewership for Hindi language channels have grown by 31% in the last 4 years and contributed to 44% of total TV viewership in 2019.
TV is the mass medium of choice for a country like India. It is watched by the rich and poor, by the daily office-goer as well as farmers across rural India, it definitely binds the family together and remains the first screen of choice.