Entertainment industry best paymaster, highest ad spender: Assocham

New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) India's $2.5 billion entertainment industry is little affected by the slowdown and has emerged as the highest spender on advertisement and the best paymaster, says a study conducted by a leading lobby.

This industry also registered a top line growth of close to 40 percent with the intention to spend close to $700 million over the next three-four years, said the study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

The entertainment industry's growth was also more then double the 17 percent logged by the services sector, added the study, titled "India Entertainment Sector: A Financial Stock-Taking".

The ad spend, said the study, accounted for 4.1 percent of the total expenditure incurred by the entertainment industry, as opposed to 0.9 percent for services and 0.5 percent for manufacturing.

Equally high is the salaries paid to the workforce in the industry.

"The sector is spending 40 percent higher on salaries from last two years, which is the highest amongst all sectors," said Assocham president Sajjan Jindal, while releasing the study, adding that the figure was 25 percent for industry in general.

In 2005-06, the entertainment sector had the third highest ratio of ad spend after 3.3 percent of expenditure for consumer durables, 2.9 percent for liquor companies. But with a 38 percent rise in the advertising expenses, the entertainment industry rose to occupy the top spot in 2006-07.

The study said certain key factors that accounted for this fast growth in entertainment sector included high per capita income and favourable demographics with 57 percent of the country's population below 50 years.

"While the country has 50 million strong middle class, it is also witnessing a cultural shift."

The study estimated the present size of the recreation sector is estimated to be more than $2.5 billion with continuous rise in the contribution to services. The entertainment sector at organized level contributed around 2.2 percent to services industry in terms of turnover.

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