Did you know that India is the fastest growing media and entertainment M&E market in the world? One of the key drivers fuelling this growth is digitization of content. The entertainment industry has witnessed a dramatic transformation in the last decade that makes it one of the largest and most profitable markets for entertainment in the world.
This is not mere opinion. The 11th annual edition of KPMG in India’s M&E report suitably called ‘India’s digital future: Mass of niches’ estimates the national entertainment industry at INR 1.6 trillion. These were the features for 2019 and represent a year-on-year growth of 13 percent.
Not surprisingly, India is considered the fastest growing M&E market in the world and it is only the beginning of a very exciting future. This large scale growth is palpable across each segment of the industry and can be witnessed in a number of key trends.
One could argue that the digitization began way back in the 60s and 70s with the arrival of satellite television in India. From there to the Direct to Home services to Cable TV and finally the arrival of private channels and OTT content, we have come a long way. According to a wild estimate, there are now more than 800 channels of content consumption in the country and the number is only rising.
Recently, the rise of mobile streaming is widely believed to be the game-changer when it comes to content delivery and consumption. Just the video streaming industry is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 22 percent to reach 1 billion USD by 2023. This demonstrates the highest growth among all the segments in M&E.
Popularity of mobile streaming has been driven by massive improvements in bandwidth availability and connectivity, the proliferation of smart devices and mobile data that is among the cheapest in the world.
The great Indian population is at the helm of a digital revolution.
What does this mean for content providers like SP Cinecorp?
India’s position as the fastest growing market gives a unique advantage to production houses with a diverse range of experiences and expertise. For one, there are economies of scale and a much wider reach when you combine the power of theatrical and digital release.
SP Cinecorp is working on a similar multi-pronged content strategy to reach wider and discerning audiences across the globe.
In fact, the concept of Jio’s First Day First Show leverages this potent combination. Subscribers that avail this premium services can watch films from the comfort of their homes on the first day just like theatre goers.
This has many benefits for film-makers whether they are working on a limited distribution network or whether they have created regional content that is viable for release only in a few states where the language is widely spoken and understood. The screen density improves drastically when you don’t restrict releases to the box office.
Digital opens up many revenue streams and markets previously not accessible to production houses.
The New Demographic for Regional Content
The majority of India’s English speaking demographic is already digitally active, but there is a vast potential in a new set of users from regional language markets across India. This comprises users from Tier-II, Tier II and Tier-IV cities, viewers who have specific tastes and preferences when it comes to entertainment.
Vernacular languages and localised content are set to rule to roost in this new era of streaming services. Both local and international investors are now looking to invest in original and hyperlocal regional content that is created for niche markets.
Massive influx of funds and to attract new customers
With the rising number of channels, distribution networks and platforms there is also a demand for high-quality content to attract and retain audiences. There is a massive influx of funds in India devoted to creating original content for national and local viewers.
Much of this interest is from international shores. Companies that have realized India is a hen that lays the golden egg when it comes to the Return on Investment exceeding 200-300 %.
A case in point is shows like Delhi Crime, that create highly relevant and tailored content that appeals to a specific target market. Interestingly, Delhi Crime is produced by Golden Karavan and Ivanhoe Pictures that have an expanding interest in India and Indian content.
India has a voracious appetite for content, a digitally smart consumer and a high density of population coupled with low screen density per capita. This presents exciting possibilities and opportunities for international and local players to innovate, deliver great content and enhance their revenue streams.