A year off-script: Time for resilience

There has been a perceptible slowdown in global economic activity since 2019 with rising trade barriers and increasing geopolitical tensions constraining growth. In line with trends in the global economy, India’s real GDP declined from 6.1 percent in 2018 to 4.2 per cent in 2019.

The tepid economic climate combined with a slowdown in domestic consumption had an adverse impact on the media and entertainment (M&E) sector in India, which grew slower than anticipated at 7.4 per cent in FY20, to reach Rs 1.75 trillion. While the slowdown caused segments like print and TV advertising to suffer, digital media and gaming continued to grow at a rapid pace and contributed to the growth of the sector.

With the outbreak of the global pandemic, India announced stringent measures to combat COVID-19 in March 2020 and headed into a long phase of lockdown. This led to pressure on supply chains, manufacturing, consumption and incomes as economic activity came to a halt and unemployment rose. As a result, India posted a steep 23.9 percent decline in GDP in Q1FY21 as consumer spending and investments dried up due to COVID-19.

Within M&E, all forms of outdoor entertainment came to a standstill, there was a significant slowdown in advertising spend and content supply chains broke down. As a result, the M&E sector is expected to contract by 20 per cent in FY21 with major segments like TV, films and print all seeing major declines. On the other hand, an extended lockdown accelerated digital consumption and segments such as digital media and gaming saw rapid growth in user penetration and engagement levels.

The M&E sector is expected to bounce back in FY22 however with a growth of 33.1 percent over FY21 to reach Rs 1.86 trillion, with gaming and digital being the fastest growing segments. – BCS Bureau

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