18 May 2024 last updated at 10:26 GMT
 
Advertisers Queue Up As JioCinema Breaks IPL Viewership Records
Wednesday 10 May 2023

Besides breaking viewership records in the initial phase of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, Viacom18’s OTT arm JioCinema is also seeing high interest from advertisers. As per the Mukesh Ambani-owned streaming platform, it has attracted 25 sponsors so far for the ongoing season of the marquee cricket tournament.

 

Last year, Disney+ Hotstar got 13 sponsors for IPL 2022. The number shows that JioCinema has seen 2X growth in terms of number of sponsors.

 

While gaming unicorn Dream11 has joined as the co-presenting sponsor for digital streaming of IPL,

JioMart, PhonePe and Tiago have joined as co-powered sponsors, JioCinema said. New-age companies such as Rapido, Amazon and Spotify have also associated with JioCinema for the tournament.

The large number of advertising sponsors also shows the increasing value brands are assigning to digital streaming as internet penetration and access to smartphones improves in the country.

 

Last year, Viacom18 acquired the digital streaming rights for the IPL for a whopping INR 23,758 Cr for the 2023-2027 period. While its rival Disney Star, which had the digital rights for IPL before, used to stream the cricket tournament behind paywall, JioCinema decided to stream it for free to reach a larger audience.

 

Cinema claimed to have seen 5 Cr new app downloads during the opening weekend of the T20 tournament. It said it clocked over 147 Cr video views during the first weekend and attracted 10 Cr new viewers.

 

Earlier, brokerage firm Elara Capital said free streaming of the IPL would give a big boost to the subscriber base of JioCinema and help it in competing with the likes of YouTube India and Facebook in the digital video advertising market.

 

As per GroupM’s TYNY report, India’s ad spend is estimated to grow 15.5 per cent in 2023 to reach INR 1,46,450 Cr. Of this, digital will lead the ad spending at 56% or INR 82,542 Cr.

Besides live sports content, JioCinema is also pushing for licensed and original content to emerge as a

leader in India’s crowded OTT space. Recently, it entered into an exclusive content partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery. Under the partnership, JioCinema will stream the content of HBO, Max Original and Warner Bros. starting next month in India.

 

It also plans to release as many as 100 movies and shows, produced at a cost of INR 2,000 Cr, over the next 18-24 months.

 

JioCinema’s aggressive content strategy is expected to increase competition in India’s OTT space and impact other players like Disney+Hotstar, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Zee5 and SonyLIV.

 

According to a report by RBSA Advisors, India’s video OTT market is expected to reach a size of $12.5 Bn by 2030 from about $1.5 Bn in 2021 due to increasing internet and smartphone penetration.

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