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Media and entertainment industry expected to reach Rs 2.23 trillion by 2023

Digital media expected to grow at 22% CAGR, to reach Rs 425 billion by the year 2023.

Tarun Nangia

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The Indian Media and Entertainment (M&E) sector is expected to grow by 25% in 2021 and is expected to reach Rs 1.73 trillion (US$23.7 billion) states FICCI-EY report ‘Playing by new rules’ launched today. With its current trajectory, the M&E sector in India is expected to reach Rs 2.23 trillion (US$30.6 billion) by 2023 at a CAGR of 17%. In 2020 while television continued to remain the largest segment, digital media has overtaken print, and online gaming has overtaken a disrupted filmed entertainment segment. The Indian Media and Entertainment sector has degrown by 24% to Rs 1.38 trillion (US$19 billion) in 2020.

Digital media and online gaming were the only segments that grew in 2020 adding an aggregate of INR 26 billion. Other segments have degrown by an aggregate of INR 467 billion. While M&E as a sector has usually grown and often outperformed India’s nominal GDP, the sector fell three times (3x) India’s nominal GDP fall by 8% due to the discretionary nature of the spend. Subscription revenues however proved their mettle by holding up better than advertising revenues.

Mr Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General FICCI, said that though the media and entertainment sector has been largely impacted by the pandemic, the positive news is that the digital subscription has grown by 49 per cent and the online gaming industry has grown by 18 percent. He further mentioned that different sectors of the media and entertainment industry will take different time to recover and this makes the report more crucial.

Mr Ashish Pherwani, Partner and Media & Entertainment Leader, EY India, said the M&E sector witnessed a shift in demand patterns as consumers actively sought alternatives and had the time to try new things. Consumption patterns shifted and increased across online news, gaming, and entertainment. The supply side too transformed as companies took the opportunity to reinvent themselves. Every segment redefined itself across verticals by becoming medium agnostic and embedded video, audio, textual and experiential products to enhance their offerings. However, the compelling content created around news and escapism, and the passion to build some of India’s most powerful brands remained resolute.

The Key findings of the report are :

TELEVISION

The TV industry declined 13% from INR787 billion to INR685 billion in 2020. The largest M&E segment saw a 21.5% fall in advertising revenues in 2020 to INR251 billion on account of highly discounted advertising rates during the lockdown months. Subscription declined 7% to INR434 billion due to the continued growth of free television, reverse migration and a reduction in average revenue per user due to part implementation of NTO 2.0. Regional channels received 27% more ad volumes than national channels in 2020. Major sport leagues got postponed, but IPL provided a much-needed revival push in sports viewership. Smart TV sets crossed the five million mark and grew their base by around a million homes. With people spending more time indoors the overall time spent watching TV increased by 9% over 2019.

Key insights – Television segment revenues are expected to grow at a CAGR of 7% to reach INR847 billion by 2023 driven by increased base of subscribers as households continue to get televised. Growth will be driven by connected TVs which could cross 40 million homes by 2025 and free television could cross 50 million homes by then, thereby making core television a more massified product. The smart television will usher in an era of connected viewing which will enable viewers to interact with each other, as well as the broadcaster, through the content. The importance of regional and sports programming will increase, driving up both ad rates as well as end-consumer package pricing, subject to regulatory action.

DIGITAL MEDIA

In 2020 digital media grew by 6.5% to reach INR235 billion and is expected to grow at 22% CAGR to reach INR425 billion by 2023. Digital subscription grew 49% in 2020 to reach INR43.5 billion as the pandemic and the consequent lockdown reduced fresh content on television, online sports went behind a paywall and the pandemic forced much of the population for longer periods indoors. Paid OTT subscriptions crossed 50 million for the first time in 2020. Digital advertising stayed stable on the back of increased allocation of ad spends by advertisers who accelerated their investments in digital sales channels. SME advertisers continued to increase their spends on digital advertising and experimented more with online e-commerce platforms.

Key insights: Digital advertising is expected to outpace all other ad media by 2024 or 2025. The metrics that matter will change from monthly active users to daily active users, from audience numbers to engagement, loyalty and time spent, leading to platforms focusing on segmented audiences and community ownership. Newspaper digital products will increasingly go behind paywalls and it is expected to generate subscription revenues of INR4 billion by 2023. It is estimated that demand for original content will double by 2023 from 2019 levels to over 3,000 hours per year. The share of regional language consumption on OTT platforms will cross 50% of total time spent by 2025.

PRINT

Print has degrown 36% in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. Print’s revenue declines were led by a 41% fall in advertising and a 24% fall in circulation revenues. English language and metro newspapers were hit harder and struggled to get back their circulation post the pandemic, while regional language newspapers recovered a larger portion of their lost circulation. Print companies implemented significant cost reduction measures to achieve between 25% and 40% efficiencies, a significant portion of which can continue in the years ahead. Many print companies started conducting digital versions of their popular IPs and entered the high-volume but lower value digital events business.

Key insights –Transformation in the print segment is expected to be in the areas of product realignment, revenue transformation, cost intelligence and digital demarcation. Print will need to focus on growing reach in its existing markets through a combination of identifying new micro-markets which are underpenetrated as well as forging bundle deals with direct to consumer aggregators like television, e-commerce platforms, OTT platforms, etc. Significantly, more industry-level shared services initiatives are expected to ensure cost efficiencies. Publishers can also implement process automation for productivity improvement across key business processes. The focus will remain on strengthening the print segment’s core capability to building communities but with a wider scope of offerings to them apart from just news.

ONLINE GAMING

Online gaming was the fastest growing M&E segment in 2020. The online gaming segment grew 18% in 2020 to reach INR77 billion aided by work from home, school from home and increased trial of online multi-player games during the lockdown. Online gamers grew 20% from 300 million in 2019 to 360 million in 2020. Transaction-based game revenues grew 21% on the back of fantasy sport, rummy and poker and casual gaming revenues grew 8%, led by in-app purchases.

Key Insights: The segment is expected to reach INR155 billion by 2023 at a CAGR of 27% to become the third largest segment of the Indian M&E sector. Gaming will become all pervasive and will proliferate across our lives. The segment will grow across all its verticals viz, esports, fantasy sport, casual gaming and other games of skill, but revenue growth will be led by mobile-based real-money gaming applications across these verticals. A nodal agency is required to bring clarity in regulations and well as implement responsible gaming guidelines and monitor areas like minor game play, security, data protection, content guidelines and training.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS IN M&E

The sector continued to witness moderate deal activity, despite major disruptions brought by the COVID-19 outbreak. Although the number of deals increased from 64 in 2019 to 77 in 2020, deal value reduced to INR68 billion in 2020 from INR101 billion in 2019.

This was largely due to the absence of big-ticket deals with only two deals crossing the US$100 million threshold as compared to four such deals in 2019. In line with the trend of the past three years, new media contributed to majority of the deals in terms of volume. Its share increased in terms of deal value from 37% in 2019 to 92% in 2020.

Print has degrown 36% in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19. Print’s revenue declines were led by a 41% fall in advertising and a 24% fall in circulation revenues. English language and metro newspapers were hit harder and struggled to get back their circulation post the pandemic, while regional language newspapers recovered a larger portion of their lost circulation. Print companies implemented significant cost reduction measures to achieve between 25% and 40% efficiencies, a significant portion of which can continue in the years ahead. Many print companies started conducting digital versions of their popular IPs and entered the high-volume but lower value digital events business.

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Policy & Politics

PIYUSH GOYAL CALLS UPON STARTUPS TO LEVERAGE ‘DEEP TECH’

Goyal says start ups to build solutions for local & global markets: AI, IoT, Big Data, etc.

Tarun Nangia

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Piyush Goyal

The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Piyush Goyal today called upon the Indian industry to aim for raising 75 unicorns in the 75 weeks to the 75th anniversary of Independence next year.

“We have added 43 unicorns added in 45 weeks, since the start of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ on 12th March, 2021. Let us aim for atleast 75 unicorns in this 75 week period to 75thAnniversary of Independence,” he said, while releasing the NASSCOM Tech Start-up Report 2022.

Goyal said Startup India started a revolution six years ago and today ‘Startup’ has become a common household term. Indian Startups are fast becoming the champions of India Inc’s growth story, he added.

“India has now become the hallmark of a trailblazer & is leaving its mark on global startup landscape. Investments received by Indian startups overshadowed pre-pandemic highs. 2021 will be remembered as the year Indian start-ups delivered on their promise, – fearlessly chasing opportunities across verticals – Edtech, HealthTech & AgriTech amongst others,” he said.

Goyal lauded the ITES (Information Technology Enabled Services) industry including the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector for the record Services exports during the last year. “Services Export for Apr-Dec 2021 reached more than $178 bn despite the Covid19 pandemic when the Travel, Hospitality & Tourism sectors were significantly down,” he said.

• “Let us aim for at least 75 unicorns in the 75 weeks to the 75th Anniversary of Independence”: Piyush Goyal

• Goyal lauds the ITES industry including the BPO sector for the record Services exports during the last year despite the pandemic

•  Piyush Goyal says the PM’s interaction with Startups a week ago has supercharged our innovators

• The next “UPI moment” will be the ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) – Goyal

• New India is today being led by new troika of Innovation, Technology & Entrepreneurship (ITE), ‘India at 100’ will be renowned as a Startup nation: Goyal

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Subhas Chandra Bose statue to be installed in India Gate, announced PM Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday that a grand statue of iconic freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will be installed at India Gate. This announcement came ahead of the 125th anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that his statue will be installed at India Gate to honor his contribution to the independence movement.

The Prime Minister further said that Bose’s grand statue will be made of granite and will be a symbol of India’s indebtedness to him. “Till the grand statue of Netaji Bose is completed, a hologram statue of his would be present at the same place. I will unveil the hologram statue on 23rd January, Netaji’s birth anniversary” PM Modi tweeted

“At a time when the entire nation is marking the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, I am glad to share that his grand statue, made of granite, will be installed at India Gate,” PM Modi tweeted on Friday. “This would be a symbol of India’s indebtedness to him.”

The statue will be installed under the grand canopy near which the Amar Jawan Jyothi flickers in remembrance of India’s martyrs. The eternal flame, which has not been extinguished for 50 years, will be put off on Friday, as it will be merged with the flame at the National War Memorial.

The canopy, which was built along with the rest of the grand monument in the 1930s by Sir Edwin Lutyens, once housed a statue of the former king of England George V. The statue was later moved to Coronation Park in Central Delhi in the mid-1960s.

The announcement was hailed by many Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, Union ministers and civil society members.

“Great news for the entire nation as PM @narendramodi Ji has today announced that a grand statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, will be installed at the iconic India Gate, New Delhi. This is a befitting tribute to the legendary Netaji, who gave everything for India’s freedom.” Amit Shah tweeted.

“Netaji is an epitome of India’s true strength & resolve. Congress has left no stone unturned to forget the immortal contributions of India’s brave son. PM @narendramodi’s decision to install Netaji’s statue at India Gate on his 125th Jayanti will inspire our generations to come.” Amit Shah added in his tweet.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil a 216-foot statue of Ramanujacharya, a 11th century saint and a social reformer, in Hyderabad on February 5. The statue described as the ‘Statue of Equality is located in a 45-acre complex at Shamshabad on the outskirts of the city.

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‘US, India should set bold goals to attain $500bn target’, said Keshap

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Having achieved a huge success in their bilateral relations, two of the world’s greatest democracies – India and the United States of America should opt in favour of setting bold goals in order to take their relationship to a new high thereby achieving the ambitious target of $500 billion in bilateral trade echoes retired American Diplomat Atul Keshap, who recently became the new president of the US India Business Council (USIBC).

“I think it’s vitally important that we show that democracies can deliver; that the United States and India can be a driver of global growth and a model for prosperity and development in the 21st century,” Keshap said.

During his illustrious career, the veteran diplomat has served in various capacities with the US State Department. He has been the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives and has also served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.

In 2021, he took over as the Chargé d’affaires of the United States mission to India and has been instrumental in shaping the US-India ties under the Joe Biden administration.

“I feel it’s critically important that we show that open societies powered by a free enterprise can be relevant for their people and can help power the world out of this pandemic. I tend to agree entirely with President Biden and PM Narendra Modi that the US India Partnership is a force for global good and it’s going to have a huge impact on economic growth,” he said.

Keshap feels that USIBC is the podium where he can give his best and help the people from both countries. “We need to move forward on the global trade agenda. We need to ensure the prosperity of the future, especially after this pandemic,” he said.

The 50-year-old diplomat reflected on the vision set by Biden, about potentially having a $500 billion trade in goods and services between the US and India. “That’s a very ambitious number and I believe in it. It is a great idea to try to have ambitious targets, else we are on a standstill” he said.

Having donned the new role recently, Keshap said he wants to help meet that $500 billion bilateral trade goal. “This is where the government and the private sector have to work together hand-in-hand,” he said.

“We have to articulate the benefits and have to convince all our stakeholders that there is value in lowering trade barriers, in creating strong standards and in creating positive ecosystems. There is value in dealing with small technical issues that might be creating a blockage to greater prosperity between our countries,” Keshap said.

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Coal crisis: How private sector can power India’s growth

Tarun Nangia

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India has been reeling under a coal shortage crisis and the situation got aggravated in October 2021 leading to a lot of concern amongst various stakeholders including government bodies, thermal power plants, industry and investors. The shortages, triggered by global factors, of course with Indian peculiarities, threatened supplies to thermal-based power plants, leading to an alarm.

Recovering from Covid-19-induced reverses, the global economy has rebounded and gathered steam. This was one of the prime reasons why there was an acute shortage of coal and sources of energy, worldwide. Global coal prices have risen by 40 per cent.

Port based Indian power plants normally rely on imports. Given the global conditions, and the sharp rise in coal prices internationally, the power plants are now almost solely dependent on Indian coal. It’s in this context that the coal crisis has been amplified by various stakeholders.

While global factors did contribute, did we fail to take necessary action, over a period of time? To highlight one prominent factor: Why should the Coal India Limited have monopoly over coal mining / supplies? Consider the CIL performance in the last few years: Its output was 606 MT in 2018-2019, 602 MT in 2019-2020, and 596 MT in 2020-2021. Contrast this with various governments’ efforts to ramp up Coal production in the 1992-2010 period.

So, why did Coal India Limited fail to expand capacity? This is one big question that must be debated. It can therefore be argued that CIL’s monopoly on coal extraction and supplies (till very recently) is one of the prime reasons why India’s thermal power plants faced a coal crisis.

India has the world’s fourth-largest coal reserve, with around 300 billion tonnes of coal. But it is also true that it imports approximately 250 million tonnes of coal. This is because we don’t mine enough and use our resources optimally.

CIL supplies 80 per cent of India’s coal needs. The demand for coal in India is nearly a billion tonnes a year, and the supply is below 800 million tonnes.

Unfortunately, based on then CAG Vinod Rai’s miscalculations and the Notional Loss theory, the Supreme Court cancelled 214 coal blocks in September 2014. Private players were not given a patient hearing on the issue. Rather than encouraging them, the private sector got punished unfairly for its efforts to strengthen the economy through coal mining. If 100 out of 214 of those mines were functional and each one was producing, say, 4 mtpa of Coal, India today would be a net exporter, not importer, of Coal.

Rai’s theory and the Supreme Court judgment had devastating consequences. The coal production in the country took a hit. The country’s GDP declined by almost 1 per cent. Millions of jobs were lost. NPAs of banks with exposure to power, steel and mining sector rose exponentially. Such is Rai’s credibility that he recently tendered an apology to a Congress leader, who, Rai claimed in his book, “requested him to remove then PM Manmohan Singh’s name from the coal scam”. Taking a cue, if someone sues Rai for his Coal Scam theory and numbers, would he be able to defend his report in court?

Against the recommendations of CAG of incentivizing good performers who produce coal, the Supreme Court imposed an additional levy of 295 rupees per ton on the coal extracted from operational mines retrospectively from 1993. The private miners were directed to deposit more than Rs. 9000 crore as penalty.

The stagnating CIL coal output should be seen in this background. Being a monopoly, CIL could have been a saviour for the nation. CIL however neither ramped up production nor invested in technology or expansion of new mines.

In 2020, in a bold and much welcome development, the Union Government opened up commercial coal mining, thus ending Coal India’s monopoly. PM Modi said that he wanted India to be a net exporter of coal, as he set ambitious targets.

A lesson from the recent crisis is this – the CIL monopoly, along with the no-entry sign for the private sector, harmed the country.

There are lessons to be drawn from the opening up of the aviation sector for the recent coal crisis episode. With a series of measures, the aviation sector was opened up, with the Air India privatisation being the latest example. The economy, the nation and consumer benefitted. When sectors as diverse as Steel, Infrastructure and Healthcare were unshackled, the end consumer, the economy and the nation benefitted.

Similarly, if the private sector in coal mining would have been encouraged consistently, and ill-advised measures like cancellation of coal blocks not taken, the coal situation would not have come to such a pass. In 2014, the private sector was said to be accounting for 90 million tons of coal – a substantial figure. Instead of getting encouraged, the private sector had to fight protracted court cases and spend its time wastefully.

There’s a consensus that Coal would continue to power economic growth for a country like India for the next two decades. It’s important that this abundantly-available natural resource is used optimally. The Private Sector can play a key role here.

The Government has shown intent and commitment. It’s time for all the stakeholders to ensure that the country faces no shortage of Coal hereafter. It’s time we all learnt our lessons and ensure that Coal and Mining booms and fires India’s growth march.

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eGrocers seize the day as orders rise 40% amid third wave

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In the ongoing third wave of Covid-19 one industry tops it all with high revenue generation based on more than enough orders to double their size of operation. eGrocers are riding the Corona wave high with record number of orders rising in the third wave and inevitably increasing the rate of their operations. Since December the online grocer Blinkit has added 200 “dark stores” that are designed only for deliveries in ten minutes.The company now plans to take the number to 1000 by March. Reliance owned MilkBasket is more than doubling its warehousing capacity to almost 350,000 sq ft in NCR to cater to 1,50,000 orders a day, double the current order size. In the midst of the growing Covid-19 cases while the brick and mortar retailers and dine-in restaurants are holding out on their expansion plans, online grocers like Blinkit and MilkBasket are going all out on aggressively pushing to take advantage of the growing demand for quick online deliveries. Even at the time of the first and second wave the online grocers had been in the works to expand their operations as millions of Indians gravitated to digital commerce. However the ongoing third wave has made the push on market capitalisation more aggressive and ambitious. “One thing has changed in this wave that our pace of expansion has doubled,” said Rohit Sharma head of supply chain at Blinkit.

The main rival of Blinkit, Tata owned BigBasket is planning to launch BB Now, its express delivery service of delivering products in 10-20 minutes, joining the growing space of quick commerce. Currently Blinkit, Swiggy’s Instamart, Dunzo and Zepto are active in that space. T K Balakumar, chief operating officer at Big Basket said his company is planning to increase its existing warehousing capacity by 40%. They are also planning to open more than 300 dark stores in the coming financial year starting April.

During the ongoing Covid wave the orders in various cities have gone up by 30-40%, said the online grocers. Milkbasket is currently catering to about 70,000 orders per day in the NCR. Its new 150,000 sq ft warehouse in the region will be ready by next month. “There is excess demand. They are already running 110% of capacity,” said a person familiar with MilkBaskets’ plans. MilkBasket operates in Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai and is set to enter Jaipur later this month.

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India-assisted projects launched for Mauritius by PMs Modi and Jugnauth

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During a virtual event on January 20, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Mauritius counterpart Pravind Kumar Jugnauth jointly opened an India-assisted social housing project in Mauritius. The two leaders also opened a civil service college and an 8-MW solar power project in Mauritius, both of which are being funded by India, as per the external affairs ministry. According to the ministry, a bilateral agreement for the implementation of modest development projects was exchanged, as well as an agreement to grant a $190 million line of credit from India to Mauritius for the Metro Express Project and other infrastructure projects. The news follows Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s tour to Indian Ocean countries like Sri Lanka, Comoros, and the Maldives, during which the Chinese side disclosed a number of business initiatives. Mauritius is an important aspect of India’s “Neighbourhood First” strategy, with New Delhi supporting a variety of projects in the African island nation. India supplied immunizations and medical supplies to Mauritius during the initial stages of the Covid-19 outbreak.. Last February, India, and Mauritius signed a free trade agreement aimed at making the island nation a regional center for Indian investments, and New Delhi offered a $100 million line of credit to cover defense gear purchases. Both governments decided to lease a Dornier plane and a Dhruv advanced light chopper to monitor Mauritius’ exclusive economic zone at the time.The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Pact (CECPA) between India and Mauritius was the country’s first free trade agreement with an African nation.

METRO EXPRESS PROJECT

PM Modi and his Mauritian counterpart Jugnauth jointly launched phase-I of the rail transportation line between India and Mauritius in 2019. The Light Rail Transit System Project represents a watershed moment in Indo-Mauritian ties, delivering significant economic benefits to both countries. In addition, the project provided engineering and technical skill development possibilities for the island nation. According to Rajeev Jyoti, Chief Executive of L&T, the construction company that won the contract from the Government of Mauritius, the large-scale investment also established India’s credibility in the international railway market. The first phase comprised the construction of a 26-kilometer railway with 19 stations connecting Curepipe and Immigration Square in Port Louis. Two of the stations were described as cutting-edge. Three major bus interchanges are included in the alignment, making it a multi-modal urban transit system. The bilateral flagship program was expanded in June 2021 with the start of phase-II, which runs from Rose Hill to the Quatre Bornes sector. PM Modi and PM Jugnauth jointly inaugurated the Metro Express corridor, “providing a safe, secure, dependable, and efficient method of transit in Mauritius,” according to the Indian embassy in Mauritius. Three major bus interchanges are included in the alignment, making it a multi-modal urban transit system. The bilateral flagship program was expanded in June 2021 with the start of phase-II, which runs from Rose Hill to the Quatre Bornes sector. PM Modi and PM Jugnauth jointly inaugurated the Metro Express corridor, “providing a safe, secure, dependable, and efficient method of transit in Mauritius,” according to the Indian embassy in Mauritius.

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