Internet company Indiatimes* claims that the online viewership of IPL 4 has increased by 62% compared to last year, during the first week of the league, saying that the combined page-views for ipl.indiatimes.com; compared to 5.5 million pages last year, when the matches were streamed only on YouTube, Indiatimes’ YouTube channel touched 8.8 million. The company shared Google Analytics data with MediaNama, ratifying the claim.
The page views peaked on 12th April when matches between Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Dare Devils, and Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians were played, touching 1.65 million page views and 0.6 million unique visitors. However, an Indiatimes spokesperson declined to disclose the traffic split between Indiatimes and IPL’s YouTube channel.
The spokesperson also declined to comment on the percentage of viewers who viewed the stream for the entire duration of a match, saying that Internet analytics do not work like television rating systems which are based on sampling and that it would be difficult to estimate it. He said that there wasn’t not much difference in traffic between night matches and day matches, although, concurrent data usage peaks at the starting of each match.
Given that Indiatimes is selling 2100 seconds of advertising across YouTube and Indiatimes, this would be an important metric for understanding how many users actually view each advertisement, and what time of the match is ideal for placing ads, especially if concurrent usage peaks at the beginning of the game. The spokesperson did say that, on an average, each user spent around 20 minutes per session on the stream. To get some context, do read our interview last year with former CricketNirvana VP Joe Felix, on their experience with live streaming.
According to the spokesperson, the combined streams registered 2.8 million unique users in the first week, and 0.5 million users on an average, each day, counting unique amongst unique visitors for the week – i.e not including repeat viewing from the same IP address for the week.
In terms of site landings, around 47% users came from referral sources which also include Indiatimes’ own web sites(around 5% share), 40% came from search engines and 13% landed directly. One has to keep in mind that Indiatimes is linking to its homepage and not to the IPL stream on the referral ads.
Indiatimes refused to disclose how much of the traffic was from coming from outside India, but given that streaming in the US is deferred by four hours, we doubt it would attract as much attention when compared with live streaming.
According to the spokesperson, amongst Indian cities, the highest traffic came from Bengaluru at a 13.9% share, followed by Mumbai at 13.6%, Delhi at 12.8%, Chennai at 7.9%, Hyderabad at 6.5% and Kolkata at 4-4.5%. Cities like Gurgaon, Noida and Indore also performed well with a 3%-4% share. Jaipur, Chandigargh and Ahmedabad also contributed to the traffic with 2%-3% share. And it appears there wasn’t a significant impact on traffic from a particular city when their home team was playing For example on 11th April on the day of the Kolkata Knightriders – Deccan Chargers match, Kolkata contributed 5.8% to the traffic, a 45% jump over its average share. However, Hyderabad’s share was 7.3% on the same day, up only marginally.
Indiatimes did not disclose data on mobile TV viewing, saying that it will be highly fragmented, since mobile streaming is sub-licensed to Apalya and further goes through operators.
Note: Indiatimes shared Google Analytics data with MediaNama indicating 8.8 million pageviews.
* Disclosure: Indiatimes is an advertiser with MediaNama