NEW DELHI: BBC World News, the international news division of the UK public service broadcaster, hopes to quadruple its reach in India in the next 12 months, as digitisation sweeps through the country.
This development could offer opportunities for brands seeking to build on the BBC's strong digital news presence, and plans to broadcast its new "India Direct Series" to 360m homes in 200 countries.
In comments to afaqs.com, the Indian media and marketing portal, Jim Egan – chief executive of BBC World News – noted mobile consumption has increased in India at a very fast rate, and that Indian brands are becoming more engaged at a global level.
Seeking to gain from these trends, BBC World News – which derives one-third of its Indian revenue from advertising – hopes to boost its audience in the country from 30m households today to 129m homes next year, assisted by the digital roll out.
It will also launch the "India Direct Series" in February 2014 in the run-up to country's general election in May, with the series focusing on various aspects of everyday life in the country.
The series will follow on from similar programmes filmed in Singapore, Vietnam, Croatia, Mozambique, Canada, Georgia, Ecuador and Qatar, and will be broadcast to a global audience of 360m homes.
Egan expects the BBC's audiences in the US (about 30m households), Australia and Japan will be the most interested in the "India Direct Series", and suggested it could appeal to national advertisers in India, too.
"We are seeing more national advertising in India as brands are growing, movies are coming in the market and they want to advertise to the English-speaking audience," he said.
"It's difficult to give a percentage growth year on year, but it's not far from being half national and half global advertising," he added.
As part of its International Ad Forecast 2013-14, published in October 2013, Warc predicted TV would account for 38% of Indian adspend across all media this year, falling slightly to 36.4% in 2014.
Data sourced from afaqs.com; additional content by Warc staff