The Indian media and entertainment (M&E) sector reached USD 23.9 billion in 2018. With its current trajectory, it is poised to cross USD 33.6 billion by 2021. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. With technological disruptions creating new opportunities, access to global audiences through online platforms, a large talent pool, post-production and VFX expertise, and policy and regulatory certainty, the sector is headed toward creating global media giants from India.
With a new minister at the helm, and the BJP having cemented its position as the central pole of Indian polity, it is time to get down to business. The national broadcast policy is overdue. The national e-commerce policy needs to exclude OTT from its ambit. Content consumption cannot be likened to buying products online. A separate policy, if at all, needs to be crafted for OTT platforms. The new DTH policy draft is also awaiting cabinet approval. In the backdrop of consolidation and falling ARPUs, whether the draft recommends cut in annual revenue share percentage, financial adjustments like removal of content-acquisition cost and adjusted gross revenue, and increase in licensing period from the present 10 years to 20 years, is not known. A revision of the policy guidelines for uplinking and downlinking of TV channels is also on the cards. They were last revised in 2011.
Amit Khare, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has promised a strategic paper for the film and entertainment industry, that will focus on issues like what incentives should be given by the government and regulatory changes that are required. The secretary has also proposed that the government play the role of a facilitator, intervening and supporting private initiatives. Khare has also committed to work on separate regulations for print, films, and broadcast in the world of convergence, and correct the anomaly of policies and regulations formulated on the basis of platform rather than by content.
India has the potential to establish itself as a global powerhouse, but not without the support of the powers that be, who must provide the necessary prop, whatever it takes!
We look forward to meeting our readers at 4U3-08, BroadcastAsia, Suntec Singapore; where we are media partners.