With a population of more than 1.3 billion, India represents a prime destination for M&E companies looking to expand.
India is one of the most diverse and vibrant media markets in the world. For media and entertainment (M&E) companies looking to expand geographically, opportunities for growth in India are extensive and exciting.
The M&E market has enormous room for growth in several areas
India’s M&E market is strategically interesting to global players seeking to monetize content and capture growth, either as a participant via licensing or other commercial arrangements, or as an outright owner through an in-bound acquisition or organic investment approach.
While there are positive growth trends across a number of M&E subsectors, these are some areas that are seeing strong interest from global players:
India has the second largest pay-TV market in the world in terms of subscribers after China, with 197 million TV households growing at 7.5% YoY. Pay-TV penetration in India has more than doubled from 32% in 2001 to 66% in 2018 (by comparison, in 2018 pay-TV penetration was 78% in the US and over 90% in China).
While the size of the Indian pay-TV market in terms of revenue is smaller than its peers, the runway for growth provides exciting opportunities for global players. Regional pay-TV markets continue to be attractive, as they outpace the national market in terms of advertising. We expect global broadcasters to expand their presence in these markets by acquiring or partnering with local broadcasters.
The rise in digital video consumption is powering growth for major international film studios, many of which have already established domestic divisions or are collaborating with local studios. Non-theatrical releases are becoming more commonplace, with Indian filmmakers increasingly open to making movies for exclusive digital release.
At the same time, Hollywood movies are also seeing strong growth at the Indian box office. Collections for the top 10 Hollywood films in India reached over INR7.5b in 2018 from INR4.8b in 2017.
India has the world’s second highest number of internet users after China, with around 570 million internet subscribers, growing at a rate of 13% annually. The impressive scale of the market and a liberal foreign investment environment are attributes that appeal to global streaming platforms looking to capitalize on the country’s fast-growing digital consumption.
The increased availability of competitively priced 4G services enables companies to reach a broader set of Indian consumers in diverse regional markets and smaller towns. Localization and differentiated content are crucial to engaging the attention of these audiences.
As such, there has been a strong focus by global streaming platforms in the last year to invest in local content and originals, as they look to gain scale. This is a favorable backdrop for content creators, who are seeing both global and local streaming services invest in greater volumes of content with larger budgets.