Bhakti ki Shakti: How advertising on devotional channels can become your ticket to TV advertising?


  • In the last 3 years, viewership for devotional channels has increased five-fold.
  • Most of the devotional channels are FTAs with 60:40 viewership ratio between urban and rural.
  • The advertising rates for devotional channels are as low as INR 500 for a 10-sec slot.
  • Advertising on devotional channels is an effective way to target Gen X and senior citizens.

With the new TRAI regulations in place, there has been a tsunami in the television viewership in India and all of a sudden, a new landscape has emerged. The top GEC groups have removed their FTA channels and the emerging market being price sensitive, the leftover channels have gained popularity. With channels like Dangal and Big Magic leading the BARC rating charts, there is a need to re-look at the TV advertising strategies.

Also read: The Curious Case of Rise of Dangal Channel & The Future of TV Advertising in HSM

The Rise & Rise of Devotional Channels

A recent article by Exchange4Media shows that over the period of 2016-2018, there has been significant growth in the genre of spiritual or devotional channels in terms of both number of channels as well as viewership.

Source: Exchange4Media

Low Television Advertising Rates

Most of these devotional channels are FTA (Free To Air channels) which means viewers don’t have to pay a subscription fee to their cable operators to watch them. Also, they are available on DD Free Dish which is very popular in rural HSM markets with a nationwide user base of about 30 million households. This is also one of the reasons for the low advertising rates for the channels. Following are the advertising rates of the most popular devotional channels for 10 sec advertising slots.

Channel Advertising Rate (10-sec slot)
Sanskar INR 1150
Aastha INR 950
Bhakti INR 550
Aastha Bhajan INR 500
Prarthana INR 500
SVBC Telugu INR 1900

To check advertising rates for all the devotional TV channels, visit: Devotional Channels TV Advertising Rates

Best Way to Target Gen X and Senior Citizens

According to BARC, 77 percent of viewership for these devotional channels come from the age group above 30 years. According to a recent survey by Nielsen, the year 2019 onwards, Gen X would take over millennials in India in term of population, hence making it the most important target group. Also, with more money at disposal, GenX has more purchasing power. Hence, devotional channels can prove to be the best way to target them.

The advertisers on devotional channels mostly belong to personal care & hygiene, food & beverages, healthcare, health & lifestyle categories. Currently, the following brands are the top advertisers in the genre:

Source: Exchange4Media

Good Mix of Urban & Rural Viewership

If we look at the viewership mix of these channels in table 1, we would see that the viewership divide between rural and urban is close to 40:60 which means it has a significant hold in both the markets.

Not only would advertising in devotional channels prove to be easy on the budget but would also ensure a highly engaged audience which watches the channels for spiritual sermons, bhajans, temple tours, yoga, and astrology. Advertising on devotional channels would be especially beneficial for brands that reflect a connection to spirituality, culture, indigenousness, and sustainability.

To know more about how to place ads on devotional channels, please write to us at

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