Pandemic-hit media & entertainment sector to log growth in 2021: Report

In 2020, television, conventionally retained its slot as the largest segment, while digital media overtook print, and online gaming overtook a disrupted filmed entertainment segment.
For representational purpose. (Photo | Pixabay)
For representational purpose. (Photo | Pixabay)

The Indian Media & Entertainment sector, which saw a contraction of around 24 per cent at Rs 1.38 lakh crore in the pandemic-struck 2020, is expected to log growth this year and double its revenue to Rs 2.68 lakh crore by 2025, a report said.

In 2020, the sector had a shortfall of Rs 43,900 crore to Rs 1.38 lakh crore (USD18.9 billion) and the revenue almost plunged back to 2017 level, said a joint report by industry body FICCI and global consultancy firm EY.

"The last quarter of 2020 showed a marked improvement in revenues for most segments and we expect the M&E (media and entertainment) sector to recover 25 per cent in 2021 to reach Rs 1.73 trillion (USD 23.7 billion) and then to grow at a CAGR of 13.7 per cent to reach Rs 2.23 trillion (USD 30.6 billion) by 2023," it said.

In 2019, the sector's revenue was Rs 1.82 lakh crore."While we expect the M&E sector to rebound in 2021 and double to around Rs 2.68 trillion by 2025, the recovery of various segments will vary," it said.

While analysing the shortfall, the report said digital and online gaming were the only segments that grew in 2020 adding an aggregate of Rs 2,600 crore and consequently, their contribution to the M&E sector increased to 23 per cent in 2020 from 16 per cent of 2019.

"Other segments fell by an aggregate of Rs 46,500 crore," it said. In 2020, television, conventionally retained its slot as the largest segment, while digital media overtook print, and online gaming overtook a disrupted filmed entertainment segment.

According to the report, in 2020, 2.8 crore Indians paid for 5.3 crore OTT subscriptions, leading to a 49 per cent growth in digital subscription revenues. While in 2019, the number was 1.05 crore only, which is even less than half.

"Growth was led largely by Disney+ Hotstar which put the IPL behind a paywall during the year, increased content investments by Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and launch of several regional language products," it said.

In addition, 28.4 crore Indians consumed content that came bundled with their data plans. Moreover, the online gaming segment continued as the fastest growing segment of the M&E sector for the fourth year in a row and reported a revenue of Rs 7,600 crore in 2020 as against Rs 6,500 crore a year ago.

"The segment grew 18 per cent helped by work-from-home, school-from-home and increased trial of online multi-player games during the lockdown. Online gamers grew 20 per cent to reach 360 million in 2020," it said.

Transaction-based game revenues grew 21 per cent, despite adverse regulation in certain states, while casual gaming revenues rose 7 per cent, it added.

According to the report, the largest absolute contributor to the fall of the sector was the filmed entertainment segment which declined to Rs 7,200 crore in 2020 from Rs 11,900 crore for 2019.

"While theatrical revenues plummeted to less than a quarter of their 2019 levels, a portion of this loss was made up through higher digital rights revenues which almost doubled during 2020 to Rs 3,500 crore," it said.

However, the stoppage in production for over six months had its impact, which will now only recover once a healthy slate of films is made ready for release and the fear of stepping into crowded places subsides.

The report estimated TV, film and music would take one to two years, assuming that there are no further setbacks, while traditional print, radio, OOH would take beyond three years.

It further said the M&E sector has gone medium agnostic, given the fact that now video, audio, text and experiences are available across almost all segments.

The sector is redefining itself across these 4 verticals - Video (TV, video OTT), Experiential (Online gaming, cinemas, events, OOH), Textual ( print, online news) and Audio (radio, music, audio OTT), it said.

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The New Indian Express