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Indian M&E industry can reach $100 billion by 2030: K Madhavan

Rise of digital subscription did not lead to a fall in TV viewing audience, he added.

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Mumbai: The Indian media and entertainment industry touched $19 billion in 2020 down from an expected $22 billion, but it’s poised to grow up to $100 billion by 2030, said The Walt Disney Company India and Star India, president, K Madhavan. This goal is ambitious and challenging but not impossible, he added.

Madhavan was speaking at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) SummitFX – Global AVGC and Immersive Media Summit, which began virtually on Tuesday. “The pandemic forced the M&E industry to adapt, but it is still growing and that is an encouraging sign. There have been changes in the habits of audiences, in the way content is produced and new and evolved methods of distribution”, said Madhavan, who is also the chairman of the CII National Committee on media and entertainment.

Over 55-60 million Indians subscribed to video-on-demand services, more than doubling from the 23 million in 2019.The paid subscribers are likely to grow to 89 million by the end of 2021, and reach 150 to 160 million by the end of the decade, contended Madhavan.

“The rise of digital subscription did not lead to a fall in TV viewing audience” he noted, adding that there are 300 million households out of which only 200 million are connected to TV. There are 120 million pay TV households.

In a developed country, the media and entertainment industry generally contributes three per cent to the country’s GDP. In India, however, the contribution is one per cent. Also, customers in developed countries spend $7-10 for entertainment whereas in India it is less than $1. The pricing in India is very customer friendly, he noted.

Speaking about the animation, visual effects, gaming and comics (AVGC) industry, he said, “The global market for AVGC industry is close to $260 billion and India’s share of that is less than one per cent i.e., $2.1 billion. The AVGC industry in India has the highest potential to grow and we should aim for a five per cent share of the global market with annualised growth at 25-30 per cent.”

Similarly, the global gaming market is pegged at $160 billion worth more than music and movies combined. Online gaming in India has grown by leaps and bounds and last year there were 360 million gaming audiences and 17 million viewership of esports in India. “The gaming and esports industry are still in infancy and need freedom to grow without conflicting regulation. The Indian AVGC industry can be a global success story for India, the same as the IT revolution,” said Madhavan. “The emerging esports landscape is projected to grow at 36 per cent CAGR over the next few years.”

The Star India president also charted a roadmap for India to capture five per cent of the global AVGC market. Currently, 65 per cent of India’s AVGC revenues come from exports. Madhavan emphasised that we need to create B2B opportunities in the country. Policymakers, regulators and industry must work together for ease of doing business. There should be convergence initiatives between technology and the creative sector.

“There’s a huge demand for VFX and animation, globally and in India but we are not in a position to deliver” he said. To make this happen, job creation in this sector must increase by three to four times in the next four to five years. “We have 400,000 engineers graduating every year, but they need to be trained properly and brought into the content pipeline. There must be regional content creation and distribution hubs in Tier II and III cities.”

“I’m sure this industry will thrive with innovation,” he summed up.

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