With the deadly virus and national lockdown, there was very little to look forward to this year. Thanks to the over the top (OTT) platforms and the country’s undying love for cricket, we now await the return of the fun Indian Premier League (IPL) in the second half of this year. Like so many other events this year, the IPL 2020 will take place like never before. For one thing, the stadiums won’t be filled with tens of thousands of passionate fans as the UAE tournament is held with limited spectators. More importantly, the advertising engine that drives sales for the IPL will be largely limited to digital platforms. OTT platforms like Hotstar are in the best position to attract an even larger audience, so they have become the sole focus for brands. If you want to grab your eyeballs during the IPL 2020, a thorough understanding of the advertising on OTT platforms is crucial.

What are OTT platforms?

OTT platforms are one of the fastest growing networks in the Indian online marketing world today. As more and more people turn to digital platforms for all of their needs due to the lockdown, these platforms have seen a huge surge in recent months. At the current rate of growth, it is now roughly estimated that the Indian OTT marketing world would have a whopping 500 million viewers online by the end of 2023.

One of the nation’s own OTT platforms, which is also the most subscribed app in India, is Hotstar. Hotstar is owned by Novi Digital Entertainment, a subsidiary of Star India. As of May 2020, Hotstar alone has 8 million paid subscribers and 300 million active subscribers. With IPL streaming being a service made available to paid subscribers, we can safely say that in the best interests of the Indian Premier League, we can expect the number of subscribers to continue to grow.

But is Hotstar as a marketer and advertiser just a pure OTT platform and the IPL just a game? Or a spectacular opportunity for advertisers to create brand awareness?

Eventually, Video advertising is one of the most effective forms of advertising. The average person in India spends approximately 3.5 hours streaming video on smartphones. In addition, 69% of internet users have one or more entertainment or video applications downloaded onto their phones. With more than 95% of Indian households being individual television households, the demand for video-in-hand has made a huge difference to video advertising. This is likely why the 2019 IPL broke audience records with up to 462 million viewers watching the game online and up to 300 million viewers watching it on Hotstar.

Why should brands advertise on Hotstar in the IPL 2020?

Below are some of the reasons brands should be promoting on Hotstar in this nation’s most anticipated game:

  1. Higher audience:

    After the record-breaking audience of 462 million viewers last year (300 million from Hotstar alone), we expect an outstanding increase in viewership this year due to the lockdown and the Disney + Hotstar audience pool of 250 million viewers.

  2. Lower IPL advertising costs:

    Since the previous IPL advertising tariffs were only expensive and affordable for the large advertising customers, many small companies could not advertise in the IPL. This year, however, the IPL is only offering a starter package of 1 lakh INR – which means that more brands will advertise on this medium.

  3. Hotstar Audience Interest:

    According to audience interest, 66% are annual travelers, 60% are monthly online shoppers, 40% are degree / diploma holders, 70% are investors in stocks and MFs, and 90% have paid subscriptions. This opens up a multitude of ways for brands to reach their audiences.

  4. High ad inventory:

    With approximately 56 matches, each game has approximately 2,300 seconds of ad inventory.

  5. High engagement:

    The Hotstar advertisement in IPL 2020 features remarkable engagement from viewers through to pre- and post-live show updates and highlights.

  6. Option to choose from different ad formats according to your marketing goal.
  7. Option to filter your potential brand audience by location, gender, interests, etc.
  8. More and more viewers on Disney + Hotstar applications every day.

Who absolutely has to advertise on Hotstar IPL 2020?

  • Brands that want increase their sales after they were withdrawn from circulation by the barrier.
  • Brands that want to introduce new products / services to a larger audience
  • Brands whose target groups are young, digital and / or urban.

Best advertising opportunities for Hotstar IPL 2020:

With the public unable to physically participate in the Games this year, the IPL experience will be different from previous years. The same applies to advertising in IPL. Some of the most popular Hotstar advertising practices at IPL are:

  • Billboards:

    Similar to an outdoor billboard, a billboard is a large banner of your brand that can be in the form of an image, video, or series of images as a photo carousel. A billboard can be placed on any content page such as the home page, news, sports, movies, etc.

  • Midrolls:

    10-30 seconds of non-skippable ads that appear during live game breaks / between programs. This is the most popular form of advertising used by a larger number of brands.

  • Properties:

    These ads are non-clickable ads that appear at the crucial moments of the game. This ensures a high level of engagement and visibility that will give your brand a remarkable boost.

  • Brand cards:

    These are banners that carry the brand logo and their message and are placed just below the live streaming of the game on the live social feed.

IPL advertising is a great opportunity for medium and high budget advertisers. It is used by a wide variety and variety of brands to help reach their target audience. With Hotstar being the most subscribed application and IPL being the most watched game, the two have assembled a remarkable number of viewers and large audiences with different likes and dislikes. With reduced rates and increased user engagement following Disney’s partnership with Hotstar, now is the best time to invest in advertising on Hotstar!