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Youth in metros spend nearly one and a half hours a day watching TV

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on May 10, 2012

Despite a rise in the number of niche television channel launches across the country, regional language channels and general entertainment channels seem to be the staple entertainment for youth in the key six metros in the country.

According to TAM Media, the central data provider to the Indian media industry, television viewers aged between 15 and 24 in New Delhi and Mumbai spent most of their time watching Hindi general entertainment channels (GECs). The data has been compiled for 2011. In Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad, Bangla, Tamil and Telugu television channels were the chart toppers, respectively.

Media planners believe this is because of the large number of single television homes in the country. Youngsters in Mumbai spend 95 minutes a day watching television, out of which 32.29 per cent share is captured by Hindi GECs. Marathi regional channels, Hindi movie channels, music channels and Hindi news channels were the other most-watched genres by the youth in the city last year.

In New Delhi, Hindi news channels capture as much as 44.57 per cent of the viewership pie. Young television viewers spend an average of 88 minutes watching the idiot box out of which nearly 18.84 per cent share is captured by Hindi movie channels followed by music, Hindi news and sports channels.

“With a large chunk of households in the country being single television homes, the entire family tends to watch the same channels by default at prime time. On the other hand, viewership for sports channels tends to be event based depending on cricket tournaments and thus gets fragmented,” said Mr Sanjoy Chakrabarty, managing partner of Zenith Optimedia. He added this is one of the reasons why sports channels, considered popular among youngsters, tend to have smaller share in the viewership pie.

In a city like Bangalore, Kannada language channels rule the roost, followed by Tamil regional channels, Hindi general entertainment channels, sports channels and Hindi movie channels. Youngsters in Chennai spend nearly 85 per cent of their time watching Tamil regional channels, out of the average 81 minutes they spend in watching television. Even in Hyderabad, Telugu channels command a lion's share of the viewership pie.

“Marketers tend to spend nearly 50-60 per cent of their marketing budgets on general entertainment channels and regional channels even if they want to target different age groups,” said Ms Anisha Motwani who is currently the director and chief marketing officer at Max New York Life.

Ms Mona Jain, CEO media buying firm Vivaki Exchange, said, “With a rise in households that own more than one television set and the plethora of choice expected to be available to viewers with digitalisation, television viewership is expected to get more and more fragmented in the coming days.”

Published on May 10, 2012

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