IPL 2021: What’s new for the advertisers?

IPL 2021 advertising whats new for the advertisers

Live streaming of sports especially Cricket on OTT platforms has brought a revolution in terms of advertising. Known for its mass connect, Cricket matches used to be big brands’ battleground but not anymore. With OTTs like Hotstar offering advertising opportunities at budget as low as INR 1 Lakh, over the last few years, several start-ups and SMBs have debuted their sports advertising campaigns. IPL being the king of Cricket series has a special place and hence, advertisers expect something new every year to take their advertising experience to the next level. And every single time Disney+ Hotstar has delivered on this promise.

In this article, we will take you through 5 new features introduced in IPL 2021 and discuss how they will be helpful to the advertisers. Following is a snapshot of the 5 new features that we would discuss in detail:

New targeting optionWho would it benefitPrice difference (for mid-roll 10-sec ad) ROS vs with this targeting
Connected TVBrands targeting premium audience+200%
Match highlightsBrands looking for presence beyond the IPL matches-16.67%
Geo-targetingLocal/regional brands+33%
Small & Medium BusinessesB2B brands+33%
Non-premium devices (value<15K)Brands targeting aspiring audience+33%

1.    The Living Room Experience

Advertise in IPL 2020 to target smart TV owners

This year, Hotstar has come up with a new option of targeting connected TV users during IPL live matches. Earlier, this option was a part of targeting premium devices but this year, it has been introduced as a stand-alone targeting option.

Why advertise to the connected TV users?

Connected TV refers to TVs that are connected to the Internet. This would also include television sets connected to TV sticks. According to The Media & Entertainment Report by FICCI & EY 2020, there were close to 4 million Connected TVs in India by 2019 which is expected to grow to 40-50 million by 2025. According to Hotstar, close to ~65% of Connected TV owners in India watch IPL on Disney+ Hotstar. Hence, advertising in IPL 2021 on Hotstar is an effective way to reach out to the connected TV users. But why should brands advertise to the connected TV users? Here’s why.

1.      Reaching out to the Digital Sophisticates

In The Media & Entertainment Report by KPMG 2018,  the Internet users of India were divided into groups based on their evolution in the digital usage journey. The top of this pyramid is occupied by Digital Sophisticates who (in 2018) accounted for only 3% of online users. Their primary mode of digital consumption is Smart Connected TVs and mobile. These are the users who mostly consume Global content and original programmes often behind the paywall (subscription-based). Some of the behaviour that are typical to a digital sophisticate are:

  • Top income bracket
  • Multiple digital audio and video subscriptions with most financial transactions online
  • High barrier to entry

2.      Reaching out to an entire household

The viewership behaviour in Connected TVs is similar to linear TV hence exposing an entire family to the ads hence, lowering the impression costs.

How will advertising to CTV owners benefit the advertisers?

As discussed in the section above, the connected TV users fall under the top income bracket and mostly depend on subscription-based services for entertainment, a reason why they might be difficult to be accessed through other video advertising platforms. Hence, brands offering luxury and high-ticket items like real estate, automobile, jewelry, gadgets, investment opportunities, etc, can target this set of audiences. Also, in absence of pre-roll video ads and branded cards, advertising on connected TV would be uncluttered.

How much would it cost to target connected TV users?

Unlike mobile app, Connected TV wouldn’t have pre-roll and branded card advertising options. A usual 10-sec mid-roll video ad on Disney+Hotstar app would cost INR 180 CPM. For a mid-roll video ad on connected TV, the rates are higher at INR 360 CPM for a 10-sec ad. The rates would vary as follows (based on video length).

Mid-roll Video LengthCPM
10-secINR 360
20-secINR 720
30-secINR 1080

2.    Owning the highlights space

Advertising in IPL 2021 to target match highlight audience

Not only live matches but highlights are also very popular during the IPL season. In 2020, close to 100 million viewers watched the match highlights, ~90% within 12 hours of the live match.

Why should brands advertise in match highlights in IPL 2021 on Hotstar?

Over the last few years, match highlights on Disney+Hotstar has gained popularity. A number of audiences working late, cricket fans and people unable to pay for the subscription for live matches would rely on the highlights to stay updated. Brands can include IPL 2021 highlights to their plan in addition to the live match as it would give them an opportunity to extend their presence beyond the match hours.

How much would it cost to target IPL match highlight viewers?

Only mid-roll video advertising is allowed in the highlights. The highlight mid-roll ads cost lesser than the mid-roll ads in the live match- INR 150 for a 10-sec video. The rates would vary according to the video length and targeting as follows:

Video LengthCPM Without targetingCPM With targeting (1 level)
10-secINR 150INR 200
20-secINR 300INR 400
30-secINR 450INR 600

3.    Geography/language targeting gets better

Advertise in IPL 2021- Geography targeting

Last year, geography-based targeting was limited to the following 7 regions: Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Top 6 metros, Hindi Speaking Market (HSM), Western and Southern states. This year the option has been extended to individual states and metro cities too. Following is a list of geo-targeting possible this year. One or more areas in combination can be selected under geography targeting.

RegionStates/Cities Covered
Top 6 metrosMumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore & Hyderabad
1 Mn+ TownPune, Ahemedabad, Jaipur, Patna, Indore, Bhopal, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Ernakulam, Ranchi, Surat, Chandigarh, Kanpur
Hindi Speaking StatesPan India minus the Southern States
Southern StatesTamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala
North IndiaDelhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh
West IndiaMaharashtra & Gujarat
East IndiaWest Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, & North Eastern states
Individual States (Can select one or combination from the list)Maharashtra, Gujarat, AP + Telangana, Tamil Nadu, UP+UK
Individual Cities (Can select one or combination from the list)Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai & Kolkata

Not only geography targeting options but language feed targeting has also been introduced this year. Now, irrespective of the geography, brands can target the following language feed:

  • Tamil Feed
  • Telugu Feed
  • Kannada Feed

Why should brands be excited about new geography/language targeting options?

Introduction of geography and language targeting options is a very good news for local/regional brands who would like to reach out to audience based in their target market without much spillage.

How much would it cost to target certain geographies?

The option to target certain geographies is available for all three types of IPL 2021 ad formats: pre-roll video ads, mid-roll video ads and branded cards. Since there is only one targeting option allowed for mid-roll video ads, this is the only one available. However, in case of pre-roll video ads and branded cards, one more targeting option is allowed. Following is a table to understand the rate changes for IPL 2021 ads targeted to non-premium handsets:

IPL 2021 Ad TypeCPM with geo- targeting onlyCPM with one additional targeting
10-sec Mid-roll Video AdINR 240NA  
20-sec Mid-roll Video AdINR 480NA  
30-sec Mid-roll Video AdINR 720NA
Pre-roll Video AdINR 300INR 450
Branded CardsINR 112.50INR 168.75

4.    Targeting small & medium businesses

Advertise to SMBs in IPL 2021

For the first time in the history of IPL advertising on Hotstar, the option to target small and medium businesses has been introduced. Using this targeting option, brands would be able to reach out to users who have business apps (apps used by small businesses like Khatabook, PayTM Business app etc).

Which brands would be interested in targeting small & medium businesses?

This targeting option would be very beneficial to B2B brands. While IPL advertising has always been considered as an effective platform for B2C advertising, SMB targeting option has provided a good opportunity for B2B brands.

How much would it cost to target certain geographies?

The option to target certain geographies is available for all three types of IPL 2021 ad formats: pre-roll video ads, mid-roll video ads, and branded cards. Since there is only one targeting option allowed for mid-roll video ads, this is the only one available. However, in the case of pre-roll video ads and branded cards, one more targeting option is allowed. Following is a table to understand the rate changes for IPL 2021 ads targeted to non-premium handsets:

IPL 2021 Ad TypeCPM with geo- targeting onlyCPM with one additional targeting
10-sec Mid-roll Video AdINR 240NA  
20-sec Mid-roll Video AdINR 480NA  
30-sec Mid-roll Video AdINR 720NA
Pre-roll Video AdINR 300INR 450
Branded CardsINR 112.50INR 168.75

5.    Targeting non-premium handsets (value below INR 15k)

advertise in IPL 2021 - mobile device targeting

Earlier, IPL advertising on Hotstar only had the option to target premium devices (a combination of premium devices as well as connected TV) but this year, there is a new targeting cohort- users with handset value of less than INR 15,000.

Why should advertisers target non-premium handset owners?

Brands offering products that appeals to the masses can go for this targeting option like mobile brands, banks and insurance, FMCG products, education etc.

How much would it cost to target non-premium handsets?

The option to target non-premium handsets is available for all three types of IPL 2021 ad formats: pre-roll video ads, mid-roll video ads and branded cards. Since there is only one targeting option allowed for mid-roll video ads, this is the only one available. However, in case of pre-roll video ads and branded cards, one more targeting option is allowed. Following is a table to understand the rate changes for IPL 2021 ads targeted to non-premium handsets:

IPL 2021 Ad TypeCPM with non-premium devices targeting onlyCPM with one additional targeting
10-sec Mid-roll Video AdINR 240NA  
20-sec Mid-roll Video AdINR 480NA  
30-sec Mid-roll Video AdINR 720NA
Pre-roll Video AdINR 300INR 450
Branded CardsINR 112.50INR 168.75

Would like to know more about IPL 2021 advertising on Hotstar? Checkout the following links:

  1. To know what should be your IPL 2021 advertising budget
  2. For a complete guide to IPL 2021 advertising on Hotstar
  3. To know IPL 2021 advertising rates and booking a campaign

Have questions about IPL 2021 advertising on Hotstar? Write to us at Help@TheMediaAnt.com.

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