While television retains pole position in the country’s M&E lineup, thanks to regional brands, sporting events and impact properties, digital is expected to overtake filmed entertainment in 2019.
The demand in India for original digital content increased by around 1,200 hours in 2018, driven by the localization of global OTT platforms, domestic digital players’ drive to grow their audiences, and the increase in regional TV channels, said the report.
The number of Indians who paid for any content in 2018 (excluding those who consumed content through bundled telco offerings) reached 12-15 million – up from 7.5 million in 2017.
The digital subscription market grew 262% to reach INR14.2 billion, of which the majority was video. Telco bundling remained key, with 60% of consumption coming from such offerings, estimated FICCI-EY.
Telco bundling will continue to drive consumption for a majority of Indian OTT audiences, they added.
Catch-up TV contributed between 70% and 90% of the total content viewed on the online platforms of large broadcasters, with most offered without charge.
Overall, FICCI-EY estimates that India produced and licensed around 750,000 hours or content in 2018, the majority of which was made in India.
Notably in 2018, Indian content was made widely available on global platforms, following the success of Netflix’ Sacred Games, where two of every three viewers were outside India.
With their global reach, OTT platforms are now offering Indian content creators an unprecedented opportunity to showcase their ability internationally.
“The opportunity this provides is enormous, both to create content for the world and support global content creators with our talent, production, animation and VFX capabilities,” said Ashish Pherwani, M&E sector leader, Ernst & Young. “The sector has to serve a billion screens in India and globally.”
Overall, India’s media and entertainment sector outperformed the Indian economy, growing at 13.4% compared to the country’s GDP growth of 10.2%. Advertising, which had been affected in 2017 by demonization and the implementation of GST, recovered and grew 12.7%.
India’s M&E sector reached INR1.67 trillion (US$23.9 billion) in 2018, and with its current trajectory, FICCI-EY expects it to grow to INR2.35 trillion ($33.6 billion) by 2021.
“The M&E sector continues to show great potential and we can expect to see stable, sustained growth over the next three years. India’s thirst for knowledge and escapism will ensure the M&E product remains a necessity. Digital consumption will grow, and monetization avenues will see great innovation to cater to the new Indian customer segments,” said FICCI-EY in the report.―Rapid TV News