Online platforms provide the biggest growth, with gaming and OTT the poster segments.
Coming Out Strong in an Economic Storm
The Indian entertainment and media (E&M) industry is not only holding out through the global pandemic, crises and wars, but it is continuously growing, a PwC report has shown. The global consultancy firm projects the macro-sector to be worth Rs 4.3 lakh crore by 2026, maintaining a healthy 6.3 percent growth.
Almost all segments have been performing well throughout the complex economic climate but OTT platforms and online gaming have grown the most, followed by the recovering advertising industry, cinema and newspapers. India is expected to soon surpass the UK and France as a bigger newspaper market and by 2025 even China in the overall print readership. Predictions place the Union TV market just behind the US, China, Japan and the UK.Major Covid disruptions have not affected the E&M long-term, PwC claims. This is particularly true of online media and digital entertainment as new revenue models loom with the imminent 5G rollout. Digital advertising has also performed quite well due to deeper penetration of mobile devices and services.
Should the Centre manage to regulate real-money entertainment and online jackpot games, the industry growth could be even bigger, experts point out. In fact, total figures might even be underestimated, industry studies have shown.Digital entertainment has become the norm for many urban consumers, with even rural communities providing a substantial expansion of the online market. Mobile entertainment apps are reaching previously unexploited demographics. And many regular users expect Central regulation of popular gaming services like an online lottery purchase.
Online Gaming Figures Reveal Astounding Potential
The overall market size of desi favorites like the lottery has been at least Rs 50,000 in pre-GST sales reports, industry research reveals. With estimated 27 million daily transactions, the market was even considered twice the size as illegal lotteries and offshore draws hiding additional market revenues. These figures alone took Indian lotteries to over Rs 1 lakh crore in annual terms (USD 13 billion).
Similar market calculations stress the fact that the E&M report might underestimate the potential and even current size of the industry. Online gaming alone is confirmed to be growing at 28 percent until last year, passing $1.3 billion. Admittedly, it is the fastest growing E&M segment but is still relatively contained in mass national appeal and size.
There are roughly 400 million online and mobile gamers but a still larger TV audience, for example. However, with innovations like virtual reality (VR) and mass market introductions like pre-installed mobile gaming apps, market experts predict that the online entertainment industry can take off and surpass traditional media much quicker than initially thought.
The booming Indian desi gaming industry is forecast to be the main E&M segment in the years to come. With a number of tech hubs around the nation and years of IT experience and business support, the local digital industry is expected to contribute to the market growth and place the Union firmly among the global leaders.