Around 70 percent of DTH connections in India come from rural and small towns. If we consider numbers out of 13.2 million DTH subscribers, more than 7 million DTH subscribers belong to the rural markets in India alone. Talking more about DTH penetration in India, Maharashtra, UP, Goa, Punjab, and Rajasthan are in the top list of DTH subscriptions, leading to 6.4+ million DTH connections.
On the other hand, if we discuss about Northern India and Western India,they together lead to more than 8.4 million DTH subscribers, while the southern India market has around 3.2 million connections. With 126 million cable homes in India, about 50 percent of them are based in rural parts of India.
With the secure and easy payment of bills through online payment solutions, growing penetration of DTH across the rural divisions of India is likely to increase at a swift pace. Also, the increasing emergence of technologically superior televisions is likely to positively persuade the Direct-To-Home (DTH) market in India in the coming years. Market maturity is also expected to be steered by increasing partnerships amid DTH operators and OTT service providers.
How DTH in rural India is enabling audiences
There is a rise of around 13% in the figures for advertisements on rural-based channels. The major elevation is seen in Hindi speaking channels and the Free to Air (FTA) channels.
The astonishing numbers that sports like the Pro-Kabaddi League (PKL), the Indian Soccer League (ISL),and Pro Wrestling League (PWL) have been taking benefits from is because of the increased viewership from rural India. The PKL and PWL get around 65% of total viewership from the rural parts of the nation. Even soccer ISL gets 45 % to 50 % of its viewership from rural parts of the country.
For investors putting money and efforts into growing these sports leagues, broadcasting, and marketing, this data is quite encouraging. No one had forecasted these numbers as no one had been assessing rural India viewership so far in comparison to the urban counterpart.
While sports have been a big game-changer, the rural viewers also like the daily dose of soaps,with some programs being hit across both rural and urban viewership. The family value-centric programs have even hit a home run.
On the other side, the news watching is extremely active in rural India,providing a spike in numbers for the news-based TV channels. For instance, the news viewership had increased by around 55 percent during the demonetization period. In terms of day to day viewing, rural India invests up to 3 hours watching TV. Rural Southern areas top the list with people in Andhra Pradesh watching around 4 hours of daily TV, which is the utmost so far as compared to the urban counterpart.If there is one thing that fastens both urban and rural parts of India is cinema.
How mingling education and awareness with entertainment is shaping rural India
Mixing education with entertainment is an effective route to target rural audiences in India. The locally famous film stars featuring in events and advertisements on TV help to strike a chord with rural viewers.
According to some surveys in northern parts of India, stars like Govinda and not Shah Rukh Khan is more popular amongst rural audiences in comparison to urban counterparts.
In story-based commercials, showing a rural youth moving out of a village and making a mark in urban areas, appeals the rural audiences. However, by keeping the messaging direct and straightforward helps rural audience to consume the material in a better way. Using exclusive graphics without human presence bounce over the heads of the rural audience.
The main motive of companies wanting to reach out to rural audiences through advertisements is to educate and spread awareness. So, even informative marketing ads are more effective for this type of audience.
On the other hand, organizations such as HUL and Dabur, who have already entered the rural arena with their products for decades, just need to stimulate consumers for repeat purchases through TV advertisements.
Rural data will play a more momentous role for the complete ecosystem
Most of the families watch one TV set in rural India as matched to urban India, where there could be more than one television set in a solitary house. Around 95% to 98% of the homes in rural India are still single TV HHS, where the whole family watches content collectively.
However, there is still a lot of capacity for growth and maturity in rural parts of India. Soon in the coming time, rural data will play a noteworthy role in the whole ecosystem. What’s more exciting is that young India forms the foundation of the rural viewership of the overall rural population watching TV. With urban TV access going down, the subsequent phase of exponential growth is set to emerge from rural India.
The DTH penetration in rural India is bringing a wide level of awareness to rural audiences,be it advertisements or sports, movies, and news access compared to their urban counterparts.
The opportunities to target rural India for more DTH penetration are high because, in spite of the quick growth, TV penetration in rural India still remain slow of the total access.To summarize, rural India has enabled them to be a significant part of the totality of TV viewership and will lead to a more enhanced impact in the coming years.