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Connected TV and OTT growth in India

Mobile-first Indian consumers are rapidly shifting toward connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT). While CTV viewing has increased by 81 percent globally, CTV adoption in India is still in its infancy, but it did grow by an impressive 31 percent in 2021. However, India is still a largely untapped market with enormous potential in this space. By 2025, there will be an estimated 80 million CTV households in India. 

Connected TV adoption is growing in India. Many Indian consumers are replacing their traditional TV units with connected TV. One of the primary reasons for this change is the increasing preference for OTT platforms, as India’s OTT market is one of the fastest-growing globally. According to a recent survey in India, over 65 percent of respondents subscribe to more than one OTT app. The leading eight OTT apps (Disney+Hotstar, Amazon’s Prime Video, Netflix, Zee5, MX player, Sony LIV, VOOT, and Alt Balaji) in India make up 40 percent+ adoption. The market size of the OTT video streaming industry in India is projected to hit USD 5 billion by 2023, and it is predicted that India will become one of the top ten global markets with an estimated value of USD 823 million by the end of 2022. 

Another prime factor for the growth of CTV in India is the affordable, low-priced smart TV brands available in the market. Consumers can buy a smart TV from ₹15,000 (approximately USD 195) onwards in India. As of 2021, 78 percent of Indian consumers own a smart TV, according to an Affle survey, and 93 percent of these smart TV users access internet-based content via the device. In addition to smart TVs, connected TV devices for streaming content, such as dongles, are also widely available throughout the country now. Dongles (think Firestick, Roku) and internet set-top boxes are popular because they are easy and fast to set up and access internet-based content. 

With the high, and growing, penetration of CTVs in Indian households, advertisers can reach a vast pool of active buyers and influential decision-makers with high purchasing power. Although CTV offers sizable benefits to advertisers, they are still getting used to this relatively new method of promoting their brands, and the ad spend has not fully caught up yet. The pricing of CTV is currently very competitive in India, compared to other global markets. That is why this is the ideal time for marketers to enter this space and build an awareness-to-engagement funnel. 

Creative ad formats and best practices for CTV advertisers. CTV advertisers need to consider mobile when creating their ads, as they go hand-in-hand. Mobile plays an integral role in making the CTV ad experience richer and more interactive. Some advertisers have already adopted new ad formats, such as pause ads, which appear when the user hits pause during a stream and offer the opportunity for contextual and localized targeting. Since most consumers engage in dual screening with their mobile devices, integrating QR codes in commercials to facilitate direct app downloads on the mobile devices is another effective method of advertising. Some advertisers have also experimented with inserting ads into television content. 

Bonus – Best practices for creating successful CTV ad campaigns. Earlier this year, I had the honor of joining the industry partners for a CTV 101 panel discussion at the Indian Television Digital Brand Fest 2022 Virtual Summit, and shared best practices for creating successful CTV ad campaigns. Here are just a few: 

  • Understand different behavior patterns. User behavior when engaging with CTV is significantly different to behavior seen in relation to traditional TV viewership. Once you know and understand these differences (essentially, passive versus active viewing), you can create a much more interactive advertisement that will better suit the viewing style and prove much more likely to convert.
  • Integrate marketing teams. At the moment, many brands are facing an organizational challenge. Marketing departments are usually divided into digital and TV. However, CTV has blurred the lines, making it crucial to integrate the teams. 
  • Cross-device measurement is key. Finding a measurement partner that allows you to measure cross-device is vital. The ability to track app conversions and events, triggered by CTV ads, would give campaigns on other channels a massive boost. 



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