TV ad spend touched Rs 35, 015 crore in 2020 despite pandemic

Demand for localised content, increased internet penetration to drive M&E growth in India.

New Delhi: Despite the pandemic’s devastating blow to businesses worldwide, the Indian media and entertainment sector showed ‘remarkable resilience’, according to PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2021-2025.

TV advertising continued to expand in 2020 as the country emerged from the onslaught of the first wave and reached Rs 35, 015 crore, making India the fourth-largest market globally after the US, China, and Japan. Further expansion at a 7.6 per cent CAGR is likely to take TV ad revenues to the level of Rs 50,660 crore in 2025, according to PwC.

The outlook for India suggests, multichannel advertising will account for nearly 92 per cent of the total TV advertising market in 2025. Online TV advertising will make modest inroads in the forecast period, with broadband penetration likely to remain extremely low at 7.3 per cent of households.

The pandemic hit the industry hard, and according to PwC, the total global M&E revenue fell 3.8 per cent year on year in 2020, by far the most significant drop in revenue ever. While sectors like cinema, live music, and trade shows suffered unprecedented setbacks, the persistent growth of digitisation softened the blow for the broader industry.

Amid all this uncertainty, PwC's outlook suggests that India’s M&E industry is likely to reach Rs 412656 crore by 2025 at 10.75 per cent CAGR. A significant part of this growth story will be written by demand for great, localised content, increased internet penetration, and the creation of new business models. Technology and internet access will continue to influence the way Indians consume content, says the report.

The report also shed light on how India is emerging as the fastest-growing Internet advertising market in the world at a CAGR of 18.8 per cent during 2020-2025. Around the world, pandemic lockdowns made home entertainment effectively the only choice, with internet access an essential. Growth in mobile ad revenue overtook wired revenue in 2019 and is expected to be 74.4 per cent of the total internet advertising revenue of Rs 30471 crore by 2025. In 2020 revenue from mobile internet advertising in India was Rs 7331 crore and will rise to Rs 22350 crore in 2025 – increasing at a 25.4 per cent CAGR.

“This makes India the fastest-growing mobile ad market in the world, reflecting the growth potential, with over half the population yet to take up a mobile Internet subscription in 2020,” says the report.

One of the worst impacts was seen on the cinema industry, which saw a 70.4 per cent collapse in revenues. With theatres shut, and movies heading to the OTTs, the box-office revenues in India plunged by 75 per cent year-on-year in 2020 to Rs 2,653 crore. However, according to PwC, the box-office revenue is expected to recover and grow at a CAGR of 39.3 per cent grossing up Rs 13,857 crore by the end of 2025.

“The overall segment comprising box-office and cinema advertising is predicted to grow back to pre-covid level by mid of 2023,” says the report, providing a glimmer of hope to the industry.

Meanwhile, the gaming market in India continues to enjoy exceptional growth and shows enormous potential. Video games and esports revenue reached Rs 11250 crore in 2020 and is set to expand to Rs 24212 Cr in 2025, at 16.5 per cent CAGR. India’s gaming market is dominated by the social/casual category, which accounted for 77 per cent of all video games and esports revenue in 2020.

“India’s esports market is small but as awareness grows and, crucially, the mobile esports offering becomes stronger, this sector will see rapid expansion, at a 31.6 per cent CAGR over the forecast period,” it says.

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