Clear regulatory environment will accelerate M&E sector growth in India: PricewaterhouseCoopers

The entertainment and media industry continues to grow and has surpassed US $ 1 trillion in 2001 spending despite the dotcom fallout and a weak global economy.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2002-2006' projects global E&M industry spending to grow at 5.2 per cent CAGR, reaching $1.4 trillion in 2006.

Despite the combined "triple whammy" of the spillover from dotcom failures, a global economic/advertising market downturn, and the impacts of the 9/11 tragedy, the global entertainment and media (E&M) industry spending grew in 2001, rising by 1.5 per cent and exceeding the $1 trillion mark. Global E&M spending will reach $1.4 trillion in 2006, for a 5.2 per cent CAGR over the next five years, predicts the latest edition of the annual PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2002-2006', the only global five-year industry forecast.

The TV networks, broadcast and cable TV business will also contribute to the growth of the E&M sector in a big way in India. "A clear regulatory environment will accelerate the growth in both the sectors," Deepak Kapoor, head, Technology Infocom and Entertainment, PricewaterhouseCoopers in India, said.

Declaring that film entertainment will play a major role in the growth of the E&M sector in India, Kapoor said: "Lagaan and very recently Devdas at Cannes attracted a lot of attention globally, providing the much needed exposure for Indian film industry. Indian brand of cinema with its uniqueness of style is being accepted in the west. Market for Indian films abroad is now crossing the NRI lines to English speaking audiences as well. This popularity will drive the film entertainment business, poised to grow to $ 1,115 million by the year 2006."

On a global basis, notwithstanding the entertainment and media industry's resilience in 2001, weak economic conditions will continue to dampen spending in 2002 and 2003, but faster growth will resume in 2004-2006.

Digital distribution, piracy and a rebounding global advertising market will be three main factors impacting the industry's growth over the next five years.

What will be the principal drivers of growth? 

Digital distribution of content, aided by rising broadband penetration, will be the greatest driver of new entertainment and media spending in 2005-2006, according to the forecast. For example, broadband connections in the US, driven by music and video-on-demand content that require high-speed connectivity, will surge from 9.4 million households in 2001 to 35.3 million in 2006 - nearly equalling the narrowband sector at 38.2 million households.

Piracy and unauthorised use of copyrighted material will continue to limit growth throughout the forecast period, especially in recorded music. Unless an industrywide solution is reached, piracy issues will begin seriously affecting other major E&M sectors, including filmed entertainment, home video and consumer book publishing. 

Despite the near catastrophic year the global advertising market had in 2001, the PWC Outlook forecasts a gradual rebound with the ad market beginning to re-solidify in 2002, gaining strength in 2003, and turning out strong single digit growth during 2004-2006. Global advertising spending is predicted to increase at a 4.8 per cent CAGR, reaching a total of $405 billion in 2006, compared to $321 billion in 2001.

"The E&M sector's promising future is coming - it's just taking a longer and more circuitous path than initially expected," a PwC statement, quoting Kevin Carton, Global Leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers' Entertainment & Media Practice, stated.

According to Carton: "To see where the 'digital evolution' is headed, take a look at the surge in spending for digital cable and broadband internet access. Consumers who have demanded a more diverse entertainment experience are leading the charge by subscribing to these upgraded distribution platforms, and new and more diverse content offerings will follow." 

Growth by Region 

At $438 billion in 2001, the United States was the largest market in terms of overall entertainment and media spending. It is projected to expand at a 5.5 per cent CAGR through 2006.

Internet Advertising and Access Spending will enjoy significant growth, due mainly to broadband and subscriber upgrades to higher-priced access packages. This segment will experience double-digit compound annual growth of 10.8 per cent in the US, with spending jumping to $40 billion by 2006.

Increased channel capacity, coupled with a 'fatter pipe,' will not only drive Internet access spending in the US, but also television distribution spending. With digital cable and DBS comprising 73 per cent of multi-channel subscribers, TV Distribution spending will soar to $100 billion in 2006.

Asia/Pacific's E&M industry will be fuelled by telecommunications deregulation, low internet penetration levels that leave room for substantial growth (a 17.3 per cent CAGR is expected), as well as government initiatives to promote internet usage. In addition, the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea will bolster the sports market.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' Asia/Pacific E&M Practice leader, Marcel Fenez, "Despite the sluggish Japanese economy and lost revenues due to piracy, the Asia/Pacific market has a promising future, with strong consumer markets for internet and multichannel television and DVD offerings." 

Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) is the second largest region with 2001 E&M spending of $339 billion. Once again, the internet will be the fastest growing segment, followed by sports, which will be bolstered by the 2006 World Cup in Germany and its associated television rights. EMEA will continue to experience moderate growth for the duration of the forecast period, with spending reaching $426 billion by 2006.

Commented Robert Boyle, European leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers' Entertainment & Media Practice, "EMEA will continue to grow at a pace reflecting consumer demand for new entertainment and information options. We project strong growth in internet and TV Networks and Distribution, fuelled by consumer desire for digital technology and multi-platform access to premium content such as sports, movies, news and business information." 

Canada, the smallest region with $24 billion in entertainment and media spending in 2001, is expected to be the fastest growing, at 5.7 per cent CAGR. Primary drivers have been an advertising market that has held up relatively well despite the global economic downturn; a healthy home video and film production business; and the establishment of new digital channels. 

The PricewaterhouseCoopers Entertainment and Media Practice addresses business challenges for its clients including developing business strategies to leverage digital technology; marketplace positioning in industries characterised by consolidation and convergence; and identifying new sources of financing. 

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