“India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.” Mark Twain.
It is finally India’s time under the sun to Make in India and show the world. The sphere of influence wielded by Indian Media and Entertainment (M&E) globally is phenomenal, whether it’s Naatu Naatu and Elephant Whisperers bringing home the Oscars or the explosion of content from across our country’s diverse and multi-cultural M&E landscape. The perennial pillars of the sector are content, commerce and community, all of which continue to expand and grow exponentially in the face of shifting dynamics and technological innovation, fuelled by the digital revolution to connect everyone and everything, everywhere. This dovetails with Digital India, the flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
The Indian M&E sector powered through to a growth of 20 per cent to reach Rs 2.1 trillion in 2022, which is 10 per cent more than its pre-pandemic levels in 2019. While Television retained its market size as the largest segment even under 10 per cent growth and 166 million households, digital media with over 30 per cent growth, cemented its position as a strong No 2.
Smart connected TV sets will exceed 40 million daily active users by 2025. Indians now consume nearly 20GB data per month on average, No 1 in the world already, and expected to reach 46 GB by 2027. Online gaming is set to grow to 500 million gamers by 2025 to become the third largest segment of the Indian M&E sector, driven by 5G and conversion of feature phones to smartphones.
Advertising exceeded the Rs 1 trillion benchmark in 2022 for the first time. It is now 0.4 per cent of India’s GDP, much lower than developed large markets like USA, Japan and China, signalling further room to grow. Digital advertising contributed 70 per cent of the absolute growth in advertising in 2022.
It’s an exciting time to be in the M&E business, and it looks like it’s only going to get bigger and better as we expect the sector to grow 11.5 per cent in 2023 to reach Rs 2.34 trillion and further grow at a CAGR of 10.5 per cent to reach Rs 2.83 trillion by 2025. It would be my dream to see us smash through these forecasts as we grow exponentially across the entire M&E value chain – be it through democratisation of the creator economy or disruption in digital distribution.
I dream of an India with infinite storytellers, finding unlimited avenues to reach their stories to the ever-growing video consumers of India and the world, platform as well as language agnostically.
The author is Chair, FICCI Media and Entertainment Committee and CEO, Viacom 18 Media & President – Media & Content Business, Reliance Industries Ltd