The post-pandemic world has served up adversities and new opportunities alike for the domestic media and entertainment (M&E) industry, whose current size could grow nearly five times by 2030, according to the government.
Consultancy firms such as the Boston Consulting Group estimate the M&E market, currently valued at $23 billion, to touch $55-60 billion by 2030, led by sectors such as streaming platforms, gaming, animation, and VFX (visual effects).
However, at the two-day FICCI Frames Fast Track 2022, Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Secretary Apurva Chandra believed the overall size of the market could even touch $100 billion, provided the industry received the necessary impetus and support. The summit concluded in Mumbai on Wednesday
“Today, the media entertainment industry in India constitutes one per cent of the GDP of the country. We need to improve these numbers, even as India is aiming to become a $10-trillion economy by 2030,” Chandra said during his inaugural address at the summit on Tuesday. He also said that the I&B ministry was working at multiple levels with the industry to facilitate the creation of more film screens, attract more investment with a dedicated office, and meet the requirement of skilled manpower.
Back after a two-year hiatus, industry executives and government officials also deliberated at length on the issue of piracy. According to Uday Singh, managing director, Motion Pictures Association, piracy results in an annual loss of $2.8 billion to the industry, impeding growth.
Dipti Kotak, chief legal officer, media business, Reliance Industries, said that the industry players routinely spent millions of dollars procuring John Doe orders before the release of a show, film or movie to avoid piracy.
“The challenge is that piracy has become sophisticated with the influx of digital technology. Pirates are often a step ahead of authorities, with leaks happening quickly on the day of release. Also, there are a number of consumers of pirated content, notably, on torrent sites. And there are advertisers too on these websites,” she said.
She pointed to the need for an awareness drive among consumers and advertisers to desist from consuming online pirated content as well as placing ads on these websites.
A presentation on the subject has recently been made to the Advertising Standards Council of India, asking the regulator to look into advertising on torrent sites.
Singh said that he welcomed the government’s initiative to include stringent anti-camcording provisions in the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2021 as part of its attempt to curb piracy.
“That is a step in the right direction since it was easy for a pirate to get into a movie hall and record a film on his camcorder before releasing it online,” he said.
The I&B ministry has proposed to table the amended Cinematograph Bill 2021 in the winter session of Parliament. Apart from anti-piracy provisions, the Bill also has provisions for certifying films that have raised concerns in the film industry. They fear the provisions could threaten the autonomy of film-makers and the Central Board of Film Certification in particular.
Chandra told <Business Standard> that he had fruitful meetings with the film industry to address their concerns on the issue.
The I&B ministry has also proposed a National Centre of Excellence for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC), which would be set up jointly with the private sector.
“We have taken an in-principle decision to set up the AVGC centre of excellence in collaboration with the private sector. We are proposing a 48 per cent stake for the I&B ministry, 26 per cent for FICCI, and 26 per cent for CII. It is private industry and not the government, which will lead the AVGC transformation in India. It is the next revolution in media and entertainment,” Chandra said.