Mumbai: India’s media and entertainment industry grew a tepid 12% to Rs. 92,000 crore in 2013, compared with a 12.6% rise in the year before, as the economic slowdown suppressed advertising revenues, according to the 2014 Ficci-KPMG report on the sector.
Digitization and expansion of regional media helped the sector overcome the decline in ad revenues and the depreciation of the rupee that affected print, cable and direct-to-home satellite broadcast companies, the report said.
The full report will be released at the FICCI FRAMES 2014 event being held in Mumbai on 12-14 March.
The focus of media and entertainment firms in 2013 shifted from revenue growth to profits, with increasing attention on operations and efficiency, it said.
“In spite of a very challenging macro environment, the industry grew 12%, a far better performance than many other industries,” said Jehil Thakkar, head of media and entertainment at consulting firm KPMG in India.
Growth in ad revenues for television firms was soft last year, but they gained from higher subscription revenues, Thakkar said.
Growth was steady in the print sector, the second-largest in the industry behind television. English publications, however, were affected due to lower advertising expenditure but regional print companies fared well as a result of the assembly elections in five states in December, the report said.
“The regional unmetro (non-metro) markets of Dainik Bhaskar group coverage have shown sustained growth and has clearly outperformed the overall print market so far in FY14 (fiscal year 2013-14),” said Pradeep Dwivedi, chief corporate sales and marketing officer, Dainik Bhaskar Group, the publisher of Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar and Gujarati daily Divya Bhaskar.
“As we move into FY15, we anticipate an enhanced polarization of ad-spend skew towards the number one and number two print publications in all markets, in view of inventory constraints of other media,” he added.
“The growth is largely led by ads from commercial enterprises, and impact of political advertising in enabling this growth is very minuscule, since it comes at loss of opportunity vis-a-vis government advertising,” Dwivedi said.
There was also some movement of advertisers from television to print due to the recent 10-12 minutes per hour cap on advertising on television. “Also print was able to raise cover prices in 2013. So the topline improved, but bottomline was impacted as the rupee crashed,” Thakkar of KPMG said.
Print grew at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.5% in 2013 to Rs.24,300 crore. Regional markets did exceedingly well on the back of steady advertiser spending, the impact of the state elections and new launches.
The sector, however, may be under stress now as the veracity of the Indian Readership Survey, the data used by advertisers to buy print media, has been questioned, the statement said.
The film sector grew in low-double digits.
As for new media, the total Internet user base in India increased to about 214 million in 2013 from 124 million in the previous year, with almost 130 million users going online using mobile devices, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) and KPMG said in a statement on Tuesday.
Mobile Internet users dominated the total Internet user base capturing an overall share of 61%, they said.
Digital media advertising in India grew faster than any other advertising category. According to a report from GroupM, the media buying agency of WPP Group, digital advertising grew at 30% in 2013 and was pegged at Rs.2,520 crore. It is expected to grow at 35% in 2014.
Uday Shankar, chairman of the Ficci media and entertainment committee, said the industry will raise issues around “inadequate policy support” during the three-day conference next week.
“We believe that media and entertainment sector has not been able to play its role in either building society or as in generating wealth and creating employment, as much as it could...and through the sessions at FICCI FRAMES, we would like to articulate some of the critical support issues that we would expect from the government,” he said.