Shaun Nanjappa
May 19, 2022

Discovery India soared through the downturn, reports double-digit growth

The author explains how Discovery Inc used branded content among other methods to see digital ad revenues grow by 200% in 2021

Discovery India soared through the downturn, reports double-digit growth
Consistency, commitment and compassion – these 3Cs would define the pandemic for me. While we continued to adapt core business practices that would yield results on one end, on the other we took cognizance of the paradigm shift in consumption patterns of viewers and explored newer touchpoints to trigger engagement. The increase in the streaming binge propelled us to recognise the gap and curate tailormade offerings that would benefit not only consumers but also partners and advertisers. As a result, despite the slowdown in the industry, Discovery India recorded a double-digit growth and witnessed the digital ad revenues growing by 200% in 2021. 
Branded content accounted for a sizeable portion in this growth. Riding on some rewarding partnerships across diverse sectors like edtech, auto, finance, and telecom amongst others, we initiated and successfully executed over 40 projects last year spanning content IPs, content integrations, partnerships, and brand licensing and reinforced our brand promise of family, facts, and fun. Not just Discovery, but Eurosport India, our sports vertical also sprinted upwards reeling in advertisers from an array of categories including Banking, FMCG, Telecom, etc. 
Despite the many unknowns during the pandemic, from an entertainment perspective, it triggered an appetite for language content and to satisfy that, Discovery increased its focus on original productions and created high impact formats that Indian viewers could relate to. From India’s Honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to Akshay Kumar and Rajnikanth, special episodes prominent Indian personalities in the ‘Into The Wild with Bear Grylls’ franchise acted as a catalyst in boosting advertising revenues. And our special episodes featuring Ajay Devgn and Vicky Kaushal, further augmented these numbers.  
The year 2021 was a year of some interesting firsts. We partnered with the popular brand Yamaha to innovate the viewing experience of MotoGP races on the service. Another successful collaboration that we’re proud of is the second season of Star Vs Food, where we partnered with Korea Tourism for the first time and infused unique campaign elements like Korean dishes, K-pop singers in the episodes to delight the fans of Korean content. Both associations helped the brand script a more emotive connection with their target audiences. 
Capitalising on our long-standing partnerships with governments, we produced and showcased over eight projects last year. ‘One District One Product’ – a series of films exhibiting the state's beauty as well as the government's attempts to promote and upscale its local crafts and goods, were a part of our first-ever alliance with the Uttar Pradesh government. The rehabilitation and restoration of Kashi Vishwanath Dham by our present Prime Minister after the 18th century was depicted through Kashi films, while underlining its cultural importance.
Not to forget some of our recurring successes at the grassroot level, with Discovery School Super League, India's largest quiz competition, we marked the 4th renewal of our collaboration with Byju’s in 2021. With over 54000+ schools and 12.85 million youngsters participating, it has emerged as India's largest televised quiz show. 
With the constant evolution of our industry, advertisers too are on the lookout for newer avenues and solutions that not only give them a higher ROI but also ones that create a deeper resonance and engagement with audience. And we are committed to expanding our horizons by exploring infinite possibilities whilst curating premium content that offers creative ad and branding experiences. With innovation as our core focus, we continue to redefine more ambitious goals and offerings, to perpetually grow and provide the audiences and clients what they seek ahead.  
The author is head of advertising sales, South Asia, Discovery Inc.


Campaign India

Related Articles

Just Published

7 hours ago

Cannes Lions and Warc owner Ascential to be ...

Deal agreed by boards of Informa and Ascential but subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.

15 hours ago

If you want to be a creative agency, sell creativity...

To revitalise its Indian operations, the French agency wants to partner with brands that are genuinely eager to collaborate with it. The reason? Marcel prefers focusing on quality over quantity, prioritising meaningful relationships over numerous office openings.

16 hours ago

Google parent Alphabet beats Q2 earnings predictions

The tech giant has beaten Q2 revenue and profit estimates driven by strong ad sales and its cloud unit, and says that its AI investments are “driving new growth.”

17 hours ago

Pringles splits with Grey as it ends 27-year ...

Kellanova, which owns the brand, launched a creative review earlier this year, resulting in a move away from incumbent agency Grey.