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Indian Media and Entertainment Sector Set to Reach ₹3.08 Trillion by 2026, Despite Slower Growth in 2023

The Indian media and entertainment sector, valued at ₹2.3 trillion in 2023, is poised for significant growth in the coming years, according to the annual media and entertainment (M&E) report by Ficci and consulting firm EY. Despite facing challenges such as a slowdown in advertising during the first half of 2023, the sector is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% to reach ₹3.08 trillion by 2026.

In 2023, the sector witnessed a growth of ₹17,300 crore, which was significantly lower than the ₹37,100 crore growth recorded in 2022. This slowdown was primarily attributed to headwinds in advertising. However, except for television, all segments of the M&E sector experienced growth.

New media, including digital and online gaming, emerged as the fastest-growing segment, contributing ₹12,200 crore to the total growth. As a result, the contribution of new media to the M&E sector increased from 20% in 2019 to 38% in 2023.

The M&E sector is projected to grow by 10.2% in 2024, with various segments reaching significant milestones. Television, digital media, filmed entertainment, and animation and VFX are estimated to touch ₹71,800 crore, ₹75,100 crore, ₹20,700 crore, and ₹13,200 crore, respectively.

At the Ficci Frames event held in Mumbai, the report highlighted specific trends in different segments. Television advertising experienced a decline of 6.5% due to reduced spending by gaming and direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands. However, subscription revenue saw growth after three years of decline, driven by price increases.

Print media continued to thrive, with advertising revenues growing by 4% in 2023. Subscription revenues also saw a 3% increase, indicating the resilience of print as a medium for affluent and non-metro audiences.

Digital advertising grew by 15% to reach ₹57,600 crore, representing 51% of total advertising revenues. However, digital subscription growth slowed to 9%, as premium cricket properties such as the Indian Premier League (IPL) became available for free.

The online gaming segment witnessed a growth slowdown to 22% in 2023, reaching ₹22,000 crore. Real money gaming accounted for 83% of segment revenues, with over 90 million gamers paying to play.

The film segment grew by 14% to reach ₹19,700 crore, with theatrical revenues reaching an all-time high of ₹12,000 crore. However, the rise in box office was mainly due to increasing ticket prices, as footfalls remained below pre-pandemic levels.

Animation and VFX experienced a modest growth of 6% in 2023, impacted by global supply chain disruptions. Potential mergers and falling ad revenues also affected the production of animated content for broadcast in India.

Despite the challenges, industry experts remain optimistic about the future of the Indian M&E sector, emphasizing the enduring appeal of traditional media alongside the rapid growth of digital platforms. With evolving consumer preferences and technological advancements, the sector is poised for continued expansion in the years to come.

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