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Who holds the TV remote in India? Women give it up around 7 pm to men, study shows

Illustration by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint


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The speedy development of smartphones and web in India apart, tv stays a ubiquitous function of most Indian households. Nevertheless it’s a shared commodity in most properties. So, who precisely watches tv in Indian households and when? Primarily, who holds the TV distant? The reply can inform us rather a lot about how tv in India has developed, each by way of content material and audience.

Consulting agency Ormax Media lately launched its report, “And the Distant Goes to…”, which paperwork tv distant management dynamics in city Indian households.

“We had final carried out this examine in 2012, and now, publish the lockdown, we felt it was a great time to see if there have been any structural modifications in tv viewing inside Indian households,” says Shailesh Kapoor, Founder and CEO, Ormax Media.

The survey exhibits that rather a lot has modified in Indian viewing over the past twenty years. There are fewer girls empowerment exhibits now, males are taking up the distant throughout primetime slots, and the typical age of the TV viewer is rising.


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Ladies are giving up the distant

Tv scores, typically measured in Tv Score Factors (TRPs) in India, solely point out what number of viewers watch a specific channel at a specific time. They don’t proceed to determine the profile of the viewers. Ormax Media’s report identifies the first influencer of TV channel choice primarily based on computer-assisted phone interviews carried out between October and December 2020. With a pattern dimension of 5,000 members, the 2021 report aggregates common tv viewers above 15 years of age from 29 states and Union Territories in India.

As a part of the survey for the report, two questions had been put to viewers: Who decides which tv channel and/or programme to look at at a specific time? What’s the gender and age of this particular person? Every query was requested individually for weekdays and for Sundays, when tv viewing is conventionally at its highest.

The report finds that on weekdays girls primarily management the tv distant throughout afternoons and early evenings, with 7 pm typically marking the handover of the distant management from girls to males. Between 11 am and a pair of pm on weekdays, girls take pleasure in their highest management over the distant, constituting 62 per cent of the viewers. The info, nonetheless, modifications drastically on Sundays, with males retaining higher distant management all through. Parity in viewership comes closest between 5 pm and seven pm on Sunday evenings (when the male viewership is at 51 per cent), earlier than a gulf opens up, peaking between 9 pm and 11 pm, when these watching tv embrace 67 per cent of males.

The post-7 pm dip in feminine viewership on weekdays is extra pronounced in south India as in comparison with the Hindi heartland. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, as an example, each have a feminine viewership of 67 per cent between 11 am and seven pm on weekdays, which plummets to 44 per cent and 48 per cent, respectively, after 7 pm. West Bengal and the northeast additionally register sizeable falls in feminine viewers within the night, going from 61 per cent to 44 per cent in case of the previous and 57 per cent to 41 per cent in case of the latter.

Through the primetime slot on Sundays (7 pm-11 pm), Mumbai is the one market the place feminine distant possession touches 50 per cent. Most different areas show numbers within the mid to late thirties, with Kerala on the backside of the pile with simply 31 per cent feminine viewers on Sundays at primetime.


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Younger watch within the afternoon, the outdated are secure viewers

When it comes to the age facet of viewership, the report illustrates how younger viewers (between 15 and 21 years of age) have a 30 per cent plus share of distant possession until 5 pm on weekdays, after which their management weakens steadily, with the distant shifting on to older age teams. In truth, the slot between 2 pm and 5 pm emerges as probably the most conducive time for tv viewing for the younger (19 per cent of the viewership), their highest for any time interval over weekdays.

The majority of the viewership is loved by these between 22 and 30 years of age, with the busiest weekday interval for this phase coming between 9 pm and 11 pm when their viewership is at a substantial 26 per cent. Curiously, probably the most secure age group of tv viewers throughout the day are these aged 61 and above, whose viewership is 7- 8 per cent regardless of the hour of the day.

Distant management possession on Sundays follows a nearly similar development to weekdays, making the distant in-charge age profile related by way of the week. The median age of the distant in-charge hovers across the early 30s for a lot of the week, earlier than dipping to the late 20s for the early time slots on Sundays.


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Males are taking up primetime

When tallied with the 2012 “And the Distant Goes to…” report, the 2021 survey exhibits plenty of very important shifts. (Be aware that the 2012 report solely surveyed viewers between 7 pm and 11 pm, for each weekdays and Sundays).

When it comes to the weekday primetime share, male viewership has doubled from 28 per cent to 56 per cent between 2012 and 2021. For Sunday primetime slots, the change is just not as drastic, however nonetheless substantial, with feminine viewership dipping from 45 per cent to 37 per cent.

So far as age profiles are involved, the median age has remained the identical throughout primetime on weekdays (at 35 years); however on Sundays, it has elevated by 4 years (from 29 to 33) since 2012.

As a part of the report for 2021, a style breakdown was additionally carried out by Ormax Media, which exhibits that normal leisure channels (GECs) are the most-watched — similar to Star Plus, Zee TV, Sony Sab — adopted by motion pictures, information, channels for youths, and different programming.


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A shifting age

There are clear traits seen by way of the viewership traits and different knowledge gathered.

First, in response to Ormax Media, “girls empowerment is just not the primary tv theme anymore” in India, with tv programming “catering to the bigger household style” in recent times. Ladies’s empowerment was the predominant theme for a lot of TV exhibits over the past twenty years with exhibits like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin, Crime Patrol, Kumkum Bhagya, amongst others changing into extraordinarily well-liked.

So, it’s no shock that males are now not passive viewers and have a far larger say in controlling the distant than they did a decade in the past.

Second, with the youth obsessive about social media, the median age of tv viewers in India is progressively rising. The report warns that the TV trade should guard in opposition to the median age of the viewer reaching 40 years, as “it will be too excessive for what is really a ‘mass’ medium.”

Summing up the findings of the report, Kapoor noticed that “whereas gender stability is a great factor for tv content material, a shift in the direction of older audiences is just not a wholesome signal from an advertiser’s perspective. Many manufacturers goal audiences under the age of 30 years, and over time, one can anticipate such manufacturers to query if they need to use digital promoting as a substitute of counting on TV as their core medium. Will probably be within the tv trade’s curiosity to fund creation of extra youth-inclusive properties.”

The creator is a postgraduate scholar on the College of Sussex, UK, and freelance journalist writing on sport, politics, and tradition. He tweets @MarikPriyam. Views are private.

(Edited by Neera Majumdar)

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