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Covid-19 impact: Edtech, gaming companies ad volumes up sharply in pandemic

The ad volumes for edtech grew by 300% and for gaming by 200% between March-October 2020 over the same period last year

Ad spends to revive in India in 2018
Edtech companies' ad volumes grew by 38%, while ecom-gaming companies' ad volumes rose by 98 per cent during Covid-19 pandemic.

Edtech and gaming companies' advertisements volume (in seconds) have grown over three and two times respectively between March-October 2020 over the same period last year. While television was the primary medium, these brands spent considerably on the engagement with existing users as well as acquiring new users. In addition to advertising via free commercial time (FCT), digital first brands have also increased spends on TV via sponsorships.

The current seasons of IPL and Bigg Boss are great examples for this. For instance. MPL (mobile premier league) onboarded as a sponsor for both properties.

According to BARC data, ecom-education took 116,11,480 seconds from March 21 to October 16, 2020 as against 28,22,565 during March 16 - October 11, 2019, an increase of 311 per cent. For the same period, ecom-gaming companies volumes rose by 217 per cent to 61,27,084 from 19,30,393.

Edtech companies' ad volumes grew by 38 per cent, while ecom-gaming companies' ad volumes rose by 98 per cent during Covid-19 pandemic (March 14 to July 10, 2020) as compared to pre-Covid period (November 16, 2019 to March 13, 2020)

Mahesh Shetty, Head- Network Sales, Viacom18 said that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and prolonged lockdown followed by ‘necessity-only’ movements have had consumers turning towards increased adoption of digital first categories such as online gaming, edutech and ecommerce. While limited social gatherings led to increase in online gaming, schools, colleges, coaching centres being shut have accelerated the growth of edutech as a category. Edutech brands are truly democratising the education space by making top quality education accessible to every nook and corner of the country.

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Both gaming and edutech have used TV as a primary medium to build their brand awareness, forge deeper engagement with existing users as well as acquiring new users.

With a reach of over 195 million TV households and credibility, digital first brands look towards TV as a medium for long-term growth. Sponsorship of big-ticket properties such as Bigg Boss brings in a host of value additions to the sponsors beyond just FCT. In the true sense, TV advertising helps digital first brands 3 fold – firstly access to a huge audience base, secondly deeper engagement with a captive audience through sponsorships and integrations and thirdly credibility. Television as a medium enjoys unparalleled credibility which can help new brands gain audience trust. It also helps that television, as a medium, provides the best return on investment for an advertiser.

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The pandemic has fundamentally changed consumer behaviour towards adoption of these categories and this momentum is expected to continue. Thus, to scale up TV will continue to remain an important medium for brands in this space, he said.

Brand expert and founder of Mogae Group, Sandeep Goyal added that edtech and gaming have been the maximum beneficiaries of the pandemic and WFH norms. But you have to pull back and consider why? In Japan they used to say that the 'keitai' - the mobile was an instrument to kill time and fill time. The pandemic with so much availability of kill time (so play fantasy games) and fill time (get ahead, upskill through edtech) became the excuse. The brands, most brimming with investor money, have aggressively tried to maximise the aperture of opportunity and availability in single TV homes, and high TV viewership and enhanced digital engagement.