With demand for content across television, cinema and OTT exploding, experts reckon India’s media and entertainment sector could be employing as many as eight million people by 2025. That’s twice the four million currently making a living — directly or indirectly — from the `1.8 lakh crore industry. Ashish Pherwani, Partner at EY believes the opportunity for indirect employment could be several times this if we are able to turn India into the world’s back office for production and post- production work.This could create employment for as many as two million people, he believes.
Pherwani estimates the number of screens — televisions, smartphones, tablets — will jump to one billion in the next five years from current levels of below 600 million. And that will mean creating, curating, marketing and selling much more content.
Much of this will be driven by sales of smartphones, tipped to go up to 750-800 million in four or five years from around 400 million now, and televisions, set to go up to 210 million from 170 million now.
The number of theatre screens across the country is expected to go up from about 9,000 to 10,500 in a few years. Experts estimate India is churning out 1.5 lakh hours per year of television content every year, including news programming and around 1,800 films — on average about 2.25 hours long — to boot.
In addition, OTT platforms are creating 2,000 hours of original content.
With so much action, EY expects the M&E industry to make revenues of `2.42 lakh crore by 2022 suggesting there’s scope for much more work. Already, analysts at Deloitte estimate that in FY19, `3,800 crore was spent on wages by the film industry (60% on production), `12,500 crore by television companies and `635 crore by OVS players.
Jehil Thakkar, partner, Deloitte India observed consumers within a single household are shifting to using multiple screens from only one TV screen earlier. “People are opting for individualised content which will need to be created,” Thakkar said.
As Dinkar Ayilavarapu, partner in Bain & Company pointed out, the emergence of a digital economy and digital channels, drives fragmentation of audiences and the creation of niches, which will lead to greater volume of content and from that resulting in greater employment. Deloitte’s Thakkar observed the number of regional TV and OTT channels is fast increasing.
“Further, this genre is becoming fragmented into sub-genres like comedy or action calling for more content to be created.From a regional standpoint we are still at a nascent stage and even in the southern markets there is room to run,” Thakkar said.
Pherwani is convinced that with a little marketing push,India can attract foreign investment in the M&E space. “We could do post-production work, including dubbing, formatting, incorporating sub-titles besides providing the infrastructure to create visual effects and AR, he said.