Over the next 10 years, the Indian media & entertainment (M&E) industry could be a $100 billion (Rs 650,000 crore) business compared to Rs 115,500 crore now, according to a BCG-CII study. That would provide a huge impetus to the economy as the sector already accounts for 1.7% of the GDP and provides employment to around 5 million people. India already leads the world in the number of films made (over 1,950 in 2014), has the second-largest print industry (in circulation terms) and the third-largest TV viewership base (after the US and China). Much of the M&E growth in India, like in the rest of the world, will be on the digital platform. It will be driven by the 250 million digital devices now—which is more than the TV and film screens together—and is expected to hit 600 million by 2020.
In developed markets, digital media has largely substituted traditional media consumption. Digital has hurt print and music the most whereas TV, films and radio have been hit to a lesser extent. It would, however, be different in India since subscription rates (for TV and newspapers) are much lower than in the US. The monthly TV ARPU, at $4 a month, is minuscule compared to the $80 in the US while monthly newspapers cover charge, at $6, is a third of the $20 in the US. The
600 million mobile screens are likely to create new consumption occasions rather than cannibalising existing ones. That’s also because media consumption, at 37 hours/week, in India is way below the 68 hours/week in the US/UK and the 44 hours/week in China. Digital media will, in turn, lead to always-on, on-the-go and seamless pick-where-you-left models across devices. The big positive is that the Indian M&E sector now is the same size of the IT industry in 2003. In a little over a decade, the IT industry emerged as a $100-billion business driven by outsourcing and government impetus. For M&E too, growth can come on the back of enabling infrastructure and the support of the government. If that falls into place, India could well emerge as a global production hub, driven by a young, English-speaking workforce.