The coronavirus outbreak has had a significant impact on India's media and entertainment industry. Advertising revenues for the industry have shrunk by 50-90 percent over the last 3-4 months, according to industry estimates.
"The biggest bane for the industry has been its high dependence on advertising. If the media industry has to grow, the one thing that must be fixed is to get people to pay for what they consume," said Uday Shankar, President, The Walt Disney Company APAC, and Chairman - Star & Disney.
However, the emergence of the digital industry has changed the way India consumes content. The big challenge for the industry is to take this content overseas.
"Indian content still doesn't travel globally owing to the industry's short-sightedness. We have to expand & create a talent funnel across news and digital content," said Shankar at the FICCI Frames virtual conference.
Innovation in terms of content creation and delivery is expected to be the way forward to drive growth in India's media and entertainment industry. As India deals with the pandemic and lockdown restrictions, the government is also working on regulations as well as incentives for the media and entertainment sector.
"We will be coming out with SoPs for film shooting. We will also be releasing incentives on production for gaming, animation, and TV serials shortly," said Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. "Our share in the global market is small but can grow phenomenally," he added.
Owing to the immense content creation opportunities in the media and entertainment sector, experts believe that it could emerge as one of the biggest employment generators going forward.
"COVID-19 has redefined the labour market and created uncertainty in every aspect of business. The Finance Ministry is evaluating the situation regularly. We see immense potential to create jobs by investing in vernacular language content," said Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance.