The Indian Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry is one of the most vibrant in the world and has a significant impact on the Indian economy. The sector is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.2 per cent over 2013–18, by which time it is projected to become a Rs 1786 billion (US$ 29.51 billion) industry. The industry grows seemingly with each passing day and plays a critical role in creating awareness on several issues that impact the masses.
India has a population of over 1.2 billion. The sheer numbers give the M&E industry in the country a tremendous opportunity for growth. Some time back, the thought of reaching and engaging with such a vast and diverse population seemed improbable. That has changed today. The current industry is armed with digital technologies, state-of-the-art mobile devices, penetration of broadband and digital cinema, and a government that fully backs the sector.
India’s advertising market is estimated to be US$ 5 billion, according to the Gunn report. The report also names McCann World-Group India (Mumbai) as the agency to have won most advertisement awards.
The Indian print industry is the second largest in the world and is continuing to grow at a good rate. The industry is expected to reach about US$ 20.9 billion by 2015, which would make it the biggest in the world, according to a government official.
The television segment is also growing at a good rate. It enjoyed a CAGR of 12.7 per cent to garner Rs 417.2 billion (US$ 6.89 billion) in 2013.
Digital media advertising grew faster than any other advertising category in 2013. Streaming and download services witnessed growth in the music industry, with smartphones contributed significantly to increased consumption of music.
Also, the total internet user base in the country reached around 214 million in 2013 with nearly 130 million visiting online sites using mobile devices. Mobile internet users dominated the internet user base with a share of 61 per cent. India is estimated to have gained a mobile phone user base of more than 900 million by the end of 2013, and the country is today the third largest smartphone market in the world.
Times Internet (TIL), has signed a partnership with Ziff Davis Inc., an American publisher and Internet company that attracts 120 million in-market buyers monthly. As part of the partnership, Times Internet will have exclusive rights to the IGN and AskMen brands – the premium gaming and men’s lifestyle sites respectively – and their content in the country. This partnership will further enhance TIL’s growth as a digital community for Indian consumers who are avid followers of games, entertainment and lifestyle.
Guardian Corporation has entered the M&E industry with the establishment of Guardian Media and Entertainment. “It’s been over two decades since India became a part of the global economy, but we still lack good entertainment destinations. We want to contribute in filling this gap by offering the design and development services for amusement parks, theme parks and museums,” said Mr Manish Sabade, Chairman of the Pune-based group. Guardian is now setting up a Dinosaur Park, which will be one of India’s largest indoor theme parks with over 23 attractions.
Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) has entered into an agreement with France’s Mediametrie for technology services and licensing for the audience measurement system. The French company will offer technological knowledge and licenses to BARC, and also help the latter procure its own metering hardware. Mediametrie has been engaged in multi-media audience research in France for the last 25 years.
Developers of Entertainment City, Noida, have entered into an agreement with PVR to establish India’s largest superplex with 15 screens. It has also tied up with Mexican chain of family entertainment centres, KidZania, to set up an indoor theme park. The two projects are expected to open by the summer of 2015. "Along with these two, we have plans for a premium mall along with a hotel as well as an aquarium spread across 1,50,000 sq ft. The idea is to be like Universal Studios," said Mr Munish Baldev, retail head at Unitech, which owns the land where the Entertainment City is being set up.
Digital music services company Rdio has signed an agreement to acquire Pune-based music streaming service, Dhingana for an undisclosed amount. San Francisco-based Rdio was founded by Mr Janus Friis, co-dreator of Skype; it is available in 51 countries. “India is a tremendously vibrant market for music and culture and one of the largest and most important in the world. We are one of very few global companies that can provide a great music experience to an expanding international audience," said Mr Anthony Bay, Rdio's chief executive officer.
India is the world’s fastest growing market for audio visual (AV) equipment, according to an industry study by InfoComm. The AV market in India is projected to enjoy a CAGR of 25 per cent and reach US$ 5.1 billion by 2015, driven by expenditures in sectors such as education, infrastructure and corporate information technology. By 2015, India could become the third largest AV market in the Asia–Pacific region, according to Mr Richard Tan, General Manager of InfoComm’s Asia subsidiary.
The Indian and Canadian governments have signed an audio-visual co-production deal. The agreement is expected to benefit producers from the two countries to pool their artistic, technical, financial and marketing resources, which could lead to an exchange of culture and art. The agreement is also expected to enhance the utilisation of Indian locales for shooting films. “The agreement will also lead to the transparent funding of film production and boost export of Indian films into the Canadian market,” according to the agreement.
India and Poland will be expanding their co-operation in the restoration and digitisation of film archives. This was agreed in a meeting between Mr Bimal Julka, Secretary of Information and Broadcasting, India, and the high-level Polish delegation headed by Secretary of State Ms Malgorzata Omilanowska. The two countries have also agreed to form a Joint Working Group that will help to enhance co-operation in student exchange programmes, films, animation, digitisation, and similar areas of mutual benefit.
The Centre has given the go ahead for licences to 45 new news and entertainment channels. Established names such as STAR, Sony, Viacom and Zee are among the broadcasters that have secured the licences. Presently, there are 350 broadcasters which account for 780 channels. “We want more competition and we wanted to open it up for the public. So far, we have approved the licences of 45 new channels. It’s a mix of both news and non-news channels,” said Mr Bimal Julka, Secretary of Information and Broadcasting, India.
The M&E industry grew at 12 per cent to garner Rs 92,800 crore (US$ 15.33 billion) in 2013, a development that was helped largely by digitisation, according to a FICCI–KPMG report. Also, the print sector grew at a CAGR of 8.5 per cent in 2013 to reach Rs 24,300 crore (US$ 4.01 billion).
The biggest hope for the future of India’s M&E industry continues to be the digital area. With a burgeoning internet user base of more than 200 million users, the potential of the industry to generate revenue is vast. In 2013, telecom companies began to focus on data as a means to generating revenue, and advertising agencies began a competition to acquire in the digital and social media domains. All these suggest a bright future for the M&E industry in the country.
Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.01652 as on March 25, 2014
References: Media Reports, Press Releases, FICCI–KPMG report.