The Indian media and entertainment sector could grow more than four times over the next decade with digital media playing a key role, a report said.

The report by management consultancy the Boston Consulting Group and the Confederation of Indian Industry said that India's media and entertainment sector grew 10 per cent annually over the past five years and will likely touch Rs 115,500 crore (about $18 billion) by the end of 2015. The industry is projected to grow to between Rs 380,000 crore and Rs 500,000 crore by 2025, it said.

The report, titled 'Shaping the Industry at a Time of Disruption', predicts that digital media will reshape the fundamental principles by which the overall media industry operates. “India is gearing for a consumption explosion,” it said.

The report said India has 250 million digital screens including smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs. This is more than the number of TV and film screens put together. This number is projected to rise to 600 million by 2020, implying that every second Indian will have a personal media consumption device.

As a result, new patterns of consumption behaviour will emerge across multiple devices and time frames. “The distinction between prime and non-prime time will become redundant due to these changing patterns and behaviors of online consumption. It will also create fragmented audiences,” the report said.

According to the report, consumers will gravitate towards the most popular content or niches of personal interest, while mid-tier, filler content will start fading out. In such a scenario, broadcasters and marketers will need to re-imagine advertising in terms of metrics, formats and techniques. “Metrics revolving around prime time and front page will become archaic as the focus moves to 'my time' and 'my page',” the report said.

The report said that, though digital has hurt print, music, TV, radio and films businesses globally, India could be very different. The monetization benchmarks in digital media are substantially different, both for subscription and advertising. For example, Netflix with its $8 a month offering disrupted the $80 a month pay TV connection in the US. But digital pay TV, priced at under $5 a month, is already one of the cheapest items in an Indian household’s purchase basket.

Likewise, at $3-5 a month, Indian consumers have access to newspapers delivered daily to their doorsteps. This creates a stronger case for continued momentum in the traditional media sectors in the short to medium term, the report said.

The report pointed out that, irrespective of how the monetization models evolve, the industry structure is expected to change. It said that content aggregation and content management will become as important to the value chain as content creation. The industry structure will become more complex and players will need to collaborate and compete at the same time, it added.

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