India’s media, entertainment industry to double in size by 2017: report

Expected to grow to Rs. 1.66 trillion.

Bureau Report

CHENNAI: India’s media and entertainment industry is expected to double in size to Rs.1.66 trillion by 2017, from Rupees 82,000 crore last year. That’s a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.2%, according to the Indian Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2013 by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) and KPMG that was released at the FICCI Frames event in Mumbai, today.

Increased digitization, the growth of regional media, upcoming elections, the strength of the film sector and fast-increasing new media businesses will see India’s media and entertainment industry grow 11.8% to Rs.91,700 crore this year, the report said. While traditional media such as television, print and radio continue to be dominant segments, animation, visual effects, films and music are also posting strong growth on the back of content and the benefits of digitization, reported Live Mint.

In an interview to Mint, Star India chief executive officer (CEO) Uday Shankar said the biggest challenge facing the industry was the threat to freedom of expression, sounding a warning about the growing climate of intolerance in India.

Shankar said the media and entertainment industry should be more ambitious about its vision for the future.

“In business and creative terms, the Indian media and entertainment sector still remains much smaller than it should be in a country of 1.2 billion people,” said Shankar. “Our collective and individual ambitions should be taking wings around this big opportunity.”

Shankar said in his inaugural address that a consensus approach would be critical to growth. Star India is part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

“In my view the single most important enabler towards all this would be a strong alignment within the industry, and with other stakeholders in the government and the policy establishment,” he said.

Shankar cited the digitization exercise – a government mandated switch to digital TV signals from analog—as being an example of this. The shift is aimed at improving signal quality and plugging leakages in the form of under-reported subscriber numbers.

Shankar said it was important to recognize that “media and entertainment is a real economic enterprise, not just a vehicle of glitz and glamour”.

This was “particularly relevant in India because it can be an employment generator without massive public investments and without being hampered by the deficiencies of public infrastructure,” he said. “Just to put things in perspective, as a $15 billion industry, we employ over 6 million people. This can be so much more significant and meaningful.”

One of the big gaps that the industry needs to fix is the absence of accurate data, for instance, when it comes to ratings and viewership, he said.

“There are 140 million cable and satellite homes but the measured universe is 62 million households. I do not know how many subscribers I have with a particular MSO (multi-system operator) and the MSO doesn’t know how many households his LCO (local cable operator) delivers the signals to,” he said.

Andy Bird, chairman, Walt Disney International, said that he was pleased with the progress of digitization, speaking at the meet, reported Mint.

“We see tremendous opportunity in rapidly growing markets like China, Russia, Latin America, South Korea and, of course, India. Connecting with consumers in these regions is a key strategic priority,” he said.

Walt Disney last year acquired a controlling stake in Ronnie Screwvala’s television company UTV Software Communications Ltd, which runs film and youth channels. Disney also operates its own children’s channels in the country.

Robert Bakish, president and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks, said consumption of content was at an all-time high globally.

In India, Viacom has a joint venture with TV18 that runs the Hindi general entertainment channel Colors along with MTV and Nick, among others. TV18 is a subsidiary of Network18 Media and Investments Ltd. Network18 also holds a 50% stake in Viacom18.

Sai Kumar, group CEO, Network 18, said, “Entertainment has no boundaries… We are now seeing reverse migration. Soaps from the local market, such as Balika Vadhu and Uttaran are now making their way to broadcasters in the rest of the world,” reported Mint.

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