Digital media is expected to outpace television as the largest media segment in 2024. The FICCI-EY report released on Tuesday in Mumbai estimated that digital media will be valued at ₹75,100 crore in 2024, while television will accrue ₹71,800 crore. Between 2023-26 digital and television are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.5 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively. EY predicts that the disparity will widen in 2026 when digital is expected to be valued at ₹95,500 crore, versus television’s expected value of ₹76,600 crore.

The Indian M&E sector as a whole grew by 8 per cent in 2023 at ₹2.3 trillion ($27.9 billion), 21% above its pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

After two years of double-digit increases in advertising, growth slowed down in 2023, in line with existing reports. The report said advertising was impacted by a ban on high-yield categories such as gaming and betting, and D2C brands also avoided investments with the slowdown in the economy, but the report added that based on past trends, growth in advertising would outpace nominal GDP growth. 

Television, in particular, is struggling with advertising. It was the sole media segment to show de-growth in 2023 at ₹29,700 crore in 2023, versus ₹31,800 crore in the previous year (for ad revenue). Digital grew by ₹49,900 crore to ₹57,600 crore. Digital, for the first time, contributed more than half of ad revenues at 51 per cent in 2023. Television’s contribution has dropped to 26 per cent from 30 per cent. 

Interestingly, even as large media firms veer towards consolidation, M&A activity in the media and entertainment sector has slowed down to a fifth of what it was the previous year. 

FICCI-EY predicts that the media and entertainment sector will be valued at Rs 3.1 trillion, and reach a billion screens by 2030. 

Online gaming is predicted to be the third largest media segment by 2026, when it is expected to reach ₹38,800 crore. 

While print media continued to grow in revenue and readership in 2023, it is expected to stop growing by 2026. “Print will reach a steady state with a loyal reader base within the next three years, most of which will probably come from the growing base of educated people entering the workforce, who need news and information to build their careers, as against faithful ageing audiences,” the report said.