Indian media, entertainment industry seen at $21 bn by 2013

Mumbai, Feb 17 (IANS) The Indian media and entertainment business that grew 15 percent annually since 2006 into a $11.68-billion (Rs.584 billion) industry in 2008 is seen to top $21 billion over the next five years, says a joint study by a leading chamber and a consultancy released Tuesday.

But the growth projection for the industry for 2009-13 has been lowered to 12.5 percent per annum from 18 percent predicted earlier for 2008-12, due to current economic meltdown, adds the study by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and KPMG.

Last year's report, also released during the annual FICCI-Frames exposition on media and entertainment industry, was prepared by the chamber in association with leading accountancy firm and consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"In many ways, 2008 was a testing time for the industry," says the study. "With the global economic slowdown affecting advertising spends, sectors like TV, print, radio and outdoor that depend on advertising revenues were affected."

The new study lowered the projections for the advertising industry during the two periods under review from 18 percent to 12.4 percent, adding that this segment had grown 20 percent during 2004-07 and 17.1 percent in 2006-08.

Among other segments, the study says the print media business, estimated to be a Rs.172.6-billion business, will grow at 9 percent between 2009 and 2013, while the television industry, now valued at Rs.240.5 billion, will expand by 14.5 percent.

"India is one of the few countries where economic growth will be led by domestic consumption," says Amit Mitra, secretary general of Ficci who has been closely associated with the study.

"India continues to be an attractive market for media and entertainment," adds Mitra, attributing his outlook to low advertising spend ratio, growing consumer class, young population, low media penetration and increasing spending.

The study bets high on gaming. Although it estimates this segment to be worth just Rs.6.5 billion, it sees gaming growing at 33.30 percent till 2013, while the Rs.6.2-billion Internet is seen growing at 27.9 percent.

Among the other findings of the study is the estimate on the number of direct-to-home subscribers in India, now estimated at 10 million households, but seen growing to 28 million by 2013.

The Ficci-KPMG study values the Indian film industry at Rs.109.3 billion and projects its growth at 9.1 percent till 2013, while the radio business is projected to grow at 14.2 percent though its present size is much smaller at Rs.8.4 billion.

Despite the gloom last year, the study sees better days ahead and suggests how the various players should go about defining their businesses.

"Behind every adversity lies an opportunity. Media companies are under pressure to change, innovate and re-examine their existing business models. Players need to draw upon new capabilities to survive in this environment," it says.

"In the immediate future, media corporates are likely to focus more operating margins, and assessing opportunities for consolidation, while building on core strengths."

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