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Powered by technology the future seems disruptive

The last decade has been an interesting one for the Indian media and entertainment (M&E) sector owing to innovations and digital disruptions, which have helped shape the sector. According to KPMG in India’s Digital Future: Mass of Niches report, the M&E industry posted a solid growth of 13 percent during FY19 to reach a size of `1631 billion. The journey ahead looks promising as innovative technologies continue to disrupt and bring new opportunities for M&E industry while paving the way for new business models.

Growing number of smartphones and cheap data plans have fueled the growth of digital user base in India, and this figure is projected to touch a billion users by 2030. Sharp uptake in demand for digital infrastructure and content consumption in regional languages have been responsible for more content being churned out across different languages and genres. While TV holds sway with the largest share within M&E, going forward, digital and online gaming will take the lead. Increasing digitization and growing consumption palate for regional content have resulted in regional market emerging as the next frontier of growth. New technologies will drive both business models and monetization for M&E companies in the future.

Key technology trends that will drive sector transformation
5G is the next generation of broadband that will deliver new levels of performance and efficiency and enable new user experiences with faster data speed and lower latency rates. It will change the way media is consumed in India, as well as how organizations operate. From being a catalyst for cord cutting/shaving through digital distribution, to be an enabler for innovations like AR/VR and digital labor, 5G holds tremendous potential in shaping the M&E industry of the future.

Content delivery networks (CDN). With data consumption increasing multifold in the recent years, and most of the requests being for video content, which add a lot of traffic to the network, advanced developments in CDN technology will help in delivering content to mobile devices without the hassles of saturated networks, packet loss, limited bandwidth, etc. It will result in reducing site latency, boosting webpage load time, reducing bandwidth usage cost, and ensuring global availability of content. CDNs offer tremendous scalability and help to accommodate high viewership and unexpectedly high number of live audiences.

8K content. This is a trend to watch out for given emerging high-bandwidth connectivity options (FTTH, 5G) that would be available. However, the availability of 8K content, the bandwidth to stream HD content, improved HDMI standards, and affordable means to store content could pose a major challenge in the future. India is yet to see a strong traction in the development of 8K content.

AR/VR. AR and VR continue to impact stakeholders in the M&E sector in terms of how content is created and consumed. Big players like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Magic Leap are also coming up with their innovative products and solutions to the market. In India, VR content production is gaining traction in areas like gaming, tourism, sports, advertising, etc.

Digital labor. Digital labor opens a plethora of opportunities for M&E players ranging from something as basic as OCR/screen scraping technologies that automate routine simple tasks to enhanced automation. For content-streaming platforms, cognitive technologies can help in delivering a consistent personalized experience to the user and can reduce cost on manual, non-value-added activities. In addition, digital labor improves overall system quality, reliability, and auditability. Automation and AI will continue to be a critical area of focus for investment for media and entertainment.

In this digitally driven era, both, consumers and businesses demand innovative experiences from media and entertainment companies. With digital media, distribution and consumption becoming the norm, it is imperative for businesses to innovate and build technology-driven business models to stay relevant.

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