Indian Media & Entertainment Industry Surpasses Pre-Pandemic Levels to Reach $26 Billion, Report Reveals

The Indian media and entertainment industry grew 20% to reach INR2.1 trillion ($26 billion) in 2022, 10% above pre-pandemic 2019, according to the annual EY report released during the ongoing Frames conference in Mumbai, organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The report collates data from television, digital media, film, animation […] …

The Indian media and entertainment industry grew 20% to reach INR2.1 trillion ($26 billion) in 2022, 10% above pre-pandemic 2019, according to the annual EY report released during the ongoing Frames conference in Mumbai, organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The report collates data from television, digital media, film, animation and VFX, out of home media, live events, music, radio, online gaming and print. Overall, the M&E sector is projected to grow 12% to reach $28.6 billion in 2023, the report says.

While television remained the single largest component of the M&E sector in 2022 with a valuation of $8.6 billion, it shrank 1.5% from 2021 levels, despite advertising revenues growing 2% to reach levels just behind 2019. The reason for the shrinkage is that subscription revenue continued to fall for the third year in a row, reducing 4% due to a reduction of five million pay-TV homes and stagnant average revenues per user. Linear TV viewership declined 7% over 2021. Television is projected to grow slightly to $8.8 billion this year.

Digital media was the second largest component of the sector, valued at $6.9 billion in 2022 and growing to $8.2 billion in 2023. On the digital infrastructure front, the report notes that internet penetration increased by 4% to 866 million subscriptions in December 2022. With over 800 million broadband subscriptions, India has the second largest broadband subscriber base in the world, after China. Smartphone users reached 538 million in 2022, but growth slowed from mid-2021 since the average cost of buying a smartphone increased, resulting in just 35 million net new smartphone additions during 2022. Some 32 million Indian households had a wired broadband connection.

On the streaming front, the report observes that video viewers increased 6% (30 million) in 2022 to reach 527 million. In 2020, 30% of streaming originals were in languages other than Hindi and this increased to 50% in 2022. Some 3,000 hours of original content was produced for streaming platforms, which is 19% higher than 2021. Total online video content investment in India stood at $1 billion in 2022. There were 75 films that released on streaming platforms directly, without a theatrical release, which is lower than the 100+ such film releases in 2021.

Video subscription revenues grew 27% in 2022 to $832 million, paid video subscriptions reached 99 million in 2022, across 45 million households in India, with a total viewership of some 135 to 180 million users, the report found.

Meanwhile, buoyed by the success of south Indian films like “RRR,” “K.G.F: Chapter 2,” “Kantara,” “Ponniyin Selvan: 1” and “Vikram” and Bollywood hits “Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva,” “The Kashmir Files,” “Drishyam 2” and “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2,” filmed entertainment recovered to 90% of its pre-pandemic levels to record revenues of $2.1 billion. Of this, local theatrical revenues were $1.2 billion, overseas theatrical $196 million, broadcast rights $122 million, digital rights $440 million and in-cinema advertising $61.1 million.

In 2022, south Indian films, from the language groups Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam, together accounted for 53% of box office, the Hindi-language Bollywood 35% and other Indian languages 5%. The share of Hollywood dropped from a high of 15% in pre-pandemic 2019 to 13% in 2022. The report projects the filmed entertainment segment to grow to $2.7 billion by 2025.

The animation segment grew 25% to reach $465 million in 2022, while VFX grew 30% to $611.7 million and India’s vibrant post-production industry surged 35% to $232.4 million, the report notes.

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