They feel that if the situation doesn’t improve by end of April, the TV industry will end up with a 30-40% drop in ad revenues in April and May. Experts say that while March is usually a slower month for advertising, many top spending categories — like auto, consumer durables, retail, and mobile phones— spend heavily during these two moths on IPL and the summer season.
IPL was suspended and a nationwide lockdown in force, advertisers aren’t keen on spending marketing monies and broadcasters feel that the continuing uncertainty might bring more pain.
Uday Shankar, president, The Walt Disney APAC and chairman, Disney & Star India, said: “The media industry, which depends heavily on advertising revenues, is going to take a massive hit because of economic disruption. It’s tough to estimate the scale and size of impact and it will depend on how long and deep is the disruption. There is a massive impact on TV advertising in the Month of April.”
MK Anand, MD and CEO of Times Network said: “We are absolutely sure that engagement and reach of TV as a medium has seen a rise, and it’s going to jump further. As a marketer, I see this as an opportunity to outshine by doing strategic brand messaging in a highly engaging context.”
A lot of businesses are under stress as the entire supply chain has been disrupted. And advertisers don’t see a reason to advertise if it doesn’t translate into sales as people are not venturing out to purchase goods and services.
Ashish Sehgal, chief growth officer - ad sales, ZEE said, “We understand that these are tough times. Yes, there have been some cancellation requests. Some businesses have suspended operations and we are actively helping those categories. But we are also appealing to those categories, where business is operational, to continue supporting us.”
Travelxp founder and CEO Prashant Chothani said: “It will be important for brands to advertise aggressively once the lockdown period ends. That, he said, will raise consumer sentiment. He also feels that this situation is a hundred times worse than 2009. It is also much worse than the two World Wars put together. He said that cost cutting is inevitable but is determined not to let go off a single employee.”
He added: “As of now the health and safety of our team members is very, very important. That is the first thing that we are doing. 100% of our team members are working from home and all production activity has stopped. Even post-production has stopped as files are heavy and cannot be worked on remotely. Operationally people are working from home. On the production front everything is at a standstill. The second thing is that since we are a travel and lifestyle channel we are ensuring that we optimise our programming in the best possible way. We cannot do much in the current circumstances. There is a huge amount of uncertainty going forward. Anybody who think that they have a plan in place would be telling lies to his/her self.”