With the increasing large base of internet users, digital media in the country is expected to overtake film entertainment in 2019 and print by 2021 to reach $5.1 billion in 2021, according to a FICCI-EY report.

The film segment was valued at $2.5 billion in 2018 and estimated to be $2.8 billion in 2019, while print was valued at $4.4 billion in 2018 and estimated to reach $4.8 billion in 2021.

Digital media grew by 42 per cent in 2018, valued at $2.4 billion, it said, noting that Indians spent 30 per cent of their phone time on entertainment. It expects the digital medium to be $3.2 billion in 2019.

India has the world’s second-highest number of internet users after China, with around 570 million internet subscribers, growing at a rate of 13 per cent annually. There were 325 million online video viewers and 150 million audio streaming users in 2018. It expects the country to have 30-35 million paying OTT video subscribers and 6-7 million paying audio subscribers by 2021.

The advertising-led model was valued at $2.2 billion, while the subscription was valued at $0.2 billion in 2018.

By 2021, it estimates ad model to be $4.3 billion and the subscription model to be $0.8 billion. “While the watch time could grow 3 to 3.5x over the next five years, resulting in a massive inventory growth, advertising revenues will grow only around 2x. CPMs (cost per mile) will correspondingly fall during the period for non- premium inventory,” it said. It noted that telecom operators would become the new multi-system operators.

“While 60 per cent of total consumption today is through telco bundles, it is estimated to grow to over 75 per cent by 2021 and cater to over 375 million subscribers,” it added. It noted that with the new TRAI Tariff order, OTT platforms would benefit due to increased parity between television and OTT content choices and costs.

Overall, the Indian media and entertainment sector touched $23.9 billion, a growth of 13.4 per cent over 2017. It is expected to grow to $33.6 billion by 2021.

“During 2018-2021, growth will be driven by online gaming and digital media,” it said, adding that TV will retain its pole position as the largest segment in terms of revenue.

Indian online gaming subscriber base grew from 183 million in 2017 to 278 million in 2018, it noted, adding that the revenue is expected to be 1.7 billion in 2021 from 0.7 billion in 2018. Television grew at 12 per cent in 2018 to reach $10.6 billion and is estimated to be $13.7 billion by 2021.

“Indian broadcasters will continue to expand their global footprint. International revenues could reach 15 per cent of the topline by 2021,” it said.