New Delhi (NVI): The Indian Media and Entertainment (M&E) sector is expected to reach INR 2.23 trillion (US$30.6 billion) by 2023 at a CAGR (Compound annual growth rate) of 17% while digital media is expected to grow at 22% CAGR, to reach INR 425 billion by 2023, according to FICCI-EY report ‘Playing by new rules’ launched today.
The M&E sector in India is expected to grow by 25% in 2021 and is expected to reach INR 1.73 trillion (US$23.7 billion) states the FICCI-EY report.
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 INR 1.38 trillion (US$19 billion) in 2020, as per the report.
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, says the report.
As per the key findings of the report, 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.
As far as digital media is concerned, in 2020 it 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.
However, 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.
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.
On the other hand, 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, says the report.
Overall, 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.
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.
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,” he said.
“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,” Pherwani added.