New biz models, revenue streams emerging for film industry: Assocham

NEW DELHI: The digital revolution is visibly impacting distribution and exhibition of films in India as the industry marches towards completion of 100 years with revenue projection of Rs 128 billion by 2015, up 56 per cent from Rs 81.9 billion last year.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) in a recent study said rising disposable incomes, growing popularity of alternate delivery mediums, digitalisation of film distribution, and value-added services like movie on demand and pay TV are set to open up new revenue streams and business models.

"Going forward, digital cinema will enable worldwide release of films on the day one like television broadcast and shorten the theatrical window. From the demand side, increasing mobile and internet penetration is significantly changing consumption pattern of viewers within the country as well as Indian Diaspora overseas,"it said.

Over 1,000 films are produced every year in more than 20 languages and dialects. Regional cinema from the south – Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada – constitutes a large chunk of this. Backed with 12,000 theatre screens, 400 production houses and a huge viewership, the country has the world‘s largest film industry in terms of number of films produced and ticket size.
Nearly 14 million Indians go to movies on a daily basis (about 1.4 per cent of the one billion population) and pay equivalent of an average daily wage of one to three dollars (or Rs 45 to 135). Employing six million workers, the Indian cinema will complete 100 years in 2013, which marked the production of the country’s first indigenous feature film ‘Raja Harishchandra’ by D G Phalke.

Box office collections currently contribute about 80 per cent of total film revenues. But technological advancements like digitalisation, onset of next generation networks and availability of sophisticated devices to access media are contributing to a growing chunk of ancillary revenues that comprise about 15 per cent of film revenues.

"Indian cinema is undergoing remarkable changes from where it began. The aggressive expansion of multiplexes, access to organised funding, foray of leading corporate houses into film production and exhibition, and popularity of digital cinema prints have been some remarkable changes seen over the last decade."

The Assocham study said there is requirement of more than 20,000 screens and the multiplex penetration is expected to improve further with the government allowing 100 per cent foreign direct investments through automatic approval route.

Though the number of multiplexes is rising, the average number of screens is extremely low in India at 12 screens per million compared to 117 in the United States. The film industry loses Rs 3 billion to Rs 4 billion a year due to piracy and there is a shortage of world-class institutions to provide training in film and media.

"With growing viewer expectations in terms of content’s quality and variety, film makers need to gear up and leverage global audiences as well besides making efforts to gain mindshare at international film festivals,"the study said.

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