IPL 8 grows, a paisa vasool for advertisers
The country’s biggest show of cricket, Indian Premier League has come to a close. This year’s IPL saw a lot of glitz, glamour and some amazing talents to boast about. The eighth season of cricketing extravaganza ended with the top two teams of the league fighting for a much deserved coveted trophy as the champions of IPL 8.
This season (IPL 2015) saw a growth in all the spheres of the entire experience. Be it the level of game, be it revenues, be it ratings or be it the advertisers. IPL grew like never before, it saw a massive audience of 190 million unique viewers worldwide. The average time spent by a viewer to watch IPL was recorded at a huge 45 minutes and 43 seconds in 2015, which is a 9% growth from season 7, which was to 40 minutes and 55 seconds.
This could be because this season of IPL saw the most number of last over finishes, the most number of exciting ends. This season also got some really impressive young talents who we would most likely get to see playing in Indian colours for our country. For the people who’d said that IPL will die as it goes from season to season should definitely know that IPL 8 recorded the highest number of viewership. (Reference data: TAM’s ratings).
It was just not the case of viewership; surprisingly it was also the case with advertisers. IPL8 had more advertisers than ever before. More and more advertisers continued to place their ads and get a huge visibility for their brand and products. Vodafone is one constant advertiser, which has been with IPL from quite long. There ads are most visible during the entire 2 months of IPL. Few e commerce players joined Amazon in this year’s advertiser list. Amazon remained second. Other e commerce players were PayTM, Snapdeal. Last year’s third, fourth and fifth position in terms of ads was with Flipkart, Airtel and Big Bazaar, which was taken over by PayTM, Snapdeal and Vimal Pan Masala this year in 2015. This year more brands from same verticals also came on board.
IPL season 8 started right after the ICC Cricket World Cup ended in April. It was a long standing cricketing season starting from India’s tour of Australia in November. It was being said that brands and more importantly the audience will feel fatigue and will not follow IPL, in turn making it an unsuccessful season for IPL this year. But from what it looks like, we can say that all these factors actually went in favour of IPL, making it the most successful season of all the seasons. In terms of viewership, followers, advertisers, visibility etc.
On being asked about any scepticism they felt from the side of clients in the beginning of IPL, Karthik Lakshminarayan, COO, Madison Media Ultra said, “Our clients were on IPL from start and we were clear of how it will perform. IPL has done well due to an all round performance by Sony team across marketing, distribution and programming. The entire package has worked.”
If we look at the television ratings then we can say that it got a boost from Sony, who was the official broadcasters of IPL. They telecasted the entire season in multiple languages across India, which in turn got more audience glued to their TV sets. When we talk about audience, it’s not just the audience watching it on television, but also the audience who go out to watch the matches at the stadiums. All the stadiums where the matches were played were sold out. Packed stadiums were seen throughout the tournament. Not just that in fact even after tournament was over, there was a celebration being carried out at Wankhede, the Mumbai Indian’s home ground, which also saw the stadium occupied almost 75%, which was even after a very short notice was given to the fans and supporters of Mumbai Indians. Even the grounds like Brabourne and Pune which are not actually home grounds of Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab saw sold out crowds. This just proves that the tournament is growing many folds.
Talking about the expectations from IPL 8, Rohit Gupta, President, Multi Screen Media Private Limited said, “It was far better than what we expected it to be both in terms of viewership and revenue. The viewership had a growth of about 25 % roughly.”
Gupta feels that India’s first international commercial cricket league has already attained international standards and is almost at par with the international viewership standards. He further added, “I think IPL is just getting better and better, the teams are playing better, the fan following is happening, so the league has matured now. It’s like EPL, NFL, NBA, all these leagues have been there for 20-30 years now, so once you reach this stage the audience is very loyal, so that’s what’s happening now in India, even IPL has reached that stage of maturity now.”