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Netflix, Amazon Prime among biggest spenders on OOH in urban India: Industry experts

The growing competition in the Over The Top (OTT) space is seeing innovative marketing and promotion strategy being adopted by the platforms. While digital remains a key to OTT promotions, there is growing spends on out of home (OOH advertising as well. According to industry observers, OTT digital platforms, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, are among the biggest spenders on OOH advertising slots in urban India right now. 

This is sizeable, given that the outdoor advertising industry in India is predicted to grow 10 per cent in 2019 to reach Rs 3,536 crore, as per GroupM’s predictions. 

Even as traditional mediums are finding it challenging to keep up with the growing march of digital and mobile, OOH has been facing the challenge well. As Sanjeev Gupta, Managing Director, Global Advertisers, affirmed, “OOH as a platform of advertising is neither dying nor fading. OOH ads have a long life, they get registered in the minds of those who have seen them. Unlike other mediums of advertisements, OOH ads help you gain a massive number of eyeballs.” 

OTT platforms have opted for OOH knowing about its influence and its power to reach larger audience in a set timeframe. Gupta pointed out, “OOH gives brands a larger-than-life format for displaying their ads. With infrastructural advancements taking place in Mumbai and the arrival of monsoon, OOH has gained immense popularity and is becoming more impactful. With potential consumers spending more time in travelling and out of their homes, OOH has turned out to be a boon for OTT platforms to reach out to their audiences and propagate their messages. The major attraction of OOH is its cost-effectiveness and superior return on investment. The biggest spenders on out-of-home advertising slots in urban India right now are OTT digital platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, according to industry observers.”  

Agreeing with him, Anjum Tanwar, Vice-President, Brandscope, noted that every OTT player has an affirmed strategy to meet the objectives and to target the right audience. Given the fierce competition, it is natural that every player would want to subdue the other by creating dominance and creativity. “Entertainment is a hit and trial business, while OOH platforms being disruptive attract and retain the audience more efficiently. The OTT players are going all out by using every possible medium of OOH to build a connect with their audience. With drive time increasing every day and people spending more time commuting by road, OOH becomes relevant for consumption on the go,” he added. 

While OOH platforms are primarily being used to promote the growing number of big ticket Originals, stated here that OOH promotions entirely depend on a client’s budget and how they have decided to allocate monetary funds to various means of advertising – be it print, digital or outdoor. 

Read More: Indepth: Decoding OTT players’ promotion gameplans – Part 1

Tanwar, meanwhile, said, “OTT platforms promote Originals rather then re-runs. Genres like Thriller, Horror and Comedy get more exposure and help the vast audience pool register a particular campaign. If Netflix was promoting ‘Sacred Games’, one could see Amazon Prime Video promoting ‘Mirzapur’ to match the scale of advertising. We do tend to see big star cast shows having huge promotions, which eventually tend to attract more downloads.” 

OTT players make sure to communicate to audiences well in advance before any of their web series is about to go air on their platforms. As Gupta pointed out, “They indulge in massive OOH promotions because the benefits are innumerable and they guarantee 100 per cent RoI. With more than 90 per cent people spending time outdoor, brands are largely seen opting for OOH ads to reach their target potential audience.” Speaking about getting creative on OOH displays, Gupta cited the example of Netflix’s promotion drive for its horror show, ‘Ghoul’, where images of bloody handprints were painted on the walls of washrooms to create an atmosphere of fear among the people. 

Tanwar stressed on the need to keep viewers engaged through marketing activities across a wide range of channels and messaging touch points. While digital, mobile and TV platforms can help build awareness, alternative outlets, including e-commerce platforms, social networking platforms, catalogues and other physical channels can also be influential in driving growth for the OTT platforms.  

“Netflix, Amazon and many more such bigwigs use innovative consumer models like Ability to stream to connected TVs, Choosing-your-own ad format for an improved user experience, etc. While all types of content is watched on every device, each screen offers the users with a different viewing experience. Thus, content owners must map out a comprehensive four-screen distribution strategy to expose their content assets in creative ways,” Tanwar explained.

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