The Indian media and entertainment sector witnessed a degrowth of 24 per cent in 2020 and stood at $19 billion (₹1.38 trillion) as both the television and print segments were adversely impacted due to the pandemic. Only digital media and online gaming segment witnessed a growth in 2020, according to a report released by FICCI and EY.

However, the outlook for 2021 is positive. “The Indian Media and Entertainment sector is expected to grow by 25 per cent in 2021 and is expected to reach $23.7 billion(₹1.73 trillion). The sector is expected to touch $30.6 billion (₹2.23 trillion) by 2023 at a CAGR of 17 per cent,” the report added.

Ashish Pherwani, Partner and Media & Entertainment Leader, EY India, said the M&E sector witnessed a shift in demand patterns as consumers sought alternatives and had the time to experiment. “Consumption patterns shifted and increased across online news, gaming, and entertainment. Every segment redefined itself across verticals by becoming medium agnostic and embedded video, audio, textual and experiential products to enhance their offerings. However, the compelling content created around news and escapism, and the passion to build some of India’s most powerful brands remained resolute,” he added.

TV segment

The television segment, which is the largest for the sector, declined by 13 per cent from ₹787 billion to ₹685 billion. “Television segment revenues are expected to grow at a CAGR of 7 per cent to reach ₹847 billion by 2023 driven by an increased base of subscribers and growth of connected TVs,” it said.

Digital Media grew by 5.5 per cent to reach ₹235 billion and is expected to grow at 22 per cent CAGR to reach ₹425 billion by 2023. Digital subscription grew 49 per cent in 2020 to reach ₹43.5 billion as the pandemic and the consequent lockdown reduced fresh content on television, online sports went behind a paywall.

“Paid OTT subscriptions crossed 50 million for the first time in 2020. Digital advertising stayed stable on the back of increased allocation of ad spends by advertisers who accelerated their investments in digital sales channels,” the report added.

Digital advertising

Pherwani said that digital advertising is expected to outpace all other ad media by 2024-25. “Newspaper digital products will increasingly go behind paywalls and it is expected to generate subscription revenues of ₹4 billion by 2023. It is estimated that demand for original content will double by 2023 from 2019 levels to over 3,000 hours per year. ,” he added.

Online gaming was the fastest-growing segment for media and entertainment sector in 2020 and expected to touch the ₹155 billion-mark by 2023. “The online gaming segment grew 18 per cent in 2020 to reach ₹77 billion aided by work from home, school from home and increased trial of online multi-player games during the lockdown,” the report added.

Meanwhile, the print sector degrew by 35 per cent in 2020 due to the pandemic on the back of 41 per cent decline in advertising and 24 per cent fall in circulation.

At the same time though the number of merger and acquisition deals increased from 64 in 2019 to 77 in 2020, the deal value reduced to ₹68 billion in 2020 from ₹101 billion in 2019, the FICCI-EY report added.