Media and entertainment at digital inflection point

Jasmine Kohli
New Update

Indian media and entertainment sector is on the cusp of a strong phase of growth and as per industry reports the momentum is expected to continue over the next five years. According to CII-PwC report, the industry is expected to exceed `227,000 crore by 2018, growing at CAGR of 15% between 2013 and 2018.


The growth is backed by high technology usage driven by increasing digitization and higher Internet usage over the last decade. With media consumption patterns moving to anywhere, anytime, any device, the sector is rapidly adopting technologies like cloud, social media, mobility, analytics, and big data to engage customers in the connected world.

The fact is substantiated by a report by Gartner which

says that the enterprise IT spend for the media and entertainment vertical in India would grow at CAGR of 10.3% in 2015 as compared to CAGR of 9.3% in 2014.



India is the world’s youngest nation, with more than half a

billion people under the age of 25. With favorable demographics, proliferation of smartphone, and high Internet

bandwidth, digital adoption is at a tipping point. With the

onset of digital, everything from how the content was created, edited, and delivered has been transformed.

To get a clear view of how digitization is revolutionizing

content creation and packaging, let’s take the example of Walt Disney, which till a few years back relied on tapes for recording, which were then given to editors for editing. As this was a cumbersome and time-consuming process, the company went ahead and digitized its activities in 2013.

Today, the internal work processes, as well as content coming from third parties into the facility is digitized. Walt Disney stores the content on the server and then does all kind of work—editing, packaging, adding different languages, and animations. Also, the company is able to transfer the content to its Noida facility for translation activities through fiber network as compared to the earlier scenario of couriering each and every tape.


With digitization, the company has registered significant increase in work efficiency. Clearly, the sector is at a new inflection point called digital media driven by paradigm shift in consumer behavior and consumption patterns. From movie campaigns to catalogue content promotion, digital is being extensively used by media firms for direct calculation of RoI.

A case in point is Yash Raj Films, which has adopted a ‘digitalfirst’ strategy. The company today releases movie assets online, as opposed to hosting grand event launches. For instance, when a trailer or a song or any other audio-video asset is released, the number of views and comments on the asset serve as a direct benchmark to gauge popularity, reactions, and reception of the content served. This sort of rich data helps the company in not only tweaking its strategies and marketing approaches but also helps in taking important business decisions. “If there is one platform that allows direct calculation of RoI—it’s digital. The tangibility spectrum that digital medium provides goes beyond analytics and allows for direct actionable insights,” asserts Anand Gurnani, Vice President – Digital, Yash Raj Films.



Rapid shift to the digital medium is compelling the industry

to look at a platform that is scalable, cost intensive, and agile. This is where cloud computing is proving to be a game changer for the media and entertainment industry. Cloud can not only provide flexibility and scalability to manage media content demands during peak and trough periods, it is also a cost-efficient option for media management and archiving. Considering the benefits that cloud computing brings in, India’s top M&E companies, including Star India, Zee Entertainment, Sony, and Colors

have already shifted their content to the cloud. These firms are now able to collaborate in the areas of production

and distribution, supply video on demand to customers, and reach out to their overseas customers in a few hours of local telecast.


Companies across industries are using analytics to make strategic decisions, create new products or services, and reconstruct business models. Media and entertainment is also realizing the power of analytics in gaining critical business insights. For instance, Reliance Games, the digital arm of the Reliance Entertainment Group, is using analytics to improve product development. The company is leveraging its in-house analytics platform to gain better understanding of daily active users (DAUs), number of downloads, user behavior, game performance, dropouts, reasoning for dropouts, etc.


“Analytics helps us tap into user behavioral insights for product quality improvement. It helps us gauge why a number of people are dropping at a particular stage of the game and how can we retain them. Based on user behavioral insights, we can change the product to make it more interesting. After deployment of analytics we have witnessed a 50% increase in our in-app purchase,” informs Sayed Peerzade, Vice President-Technology, Reliance Big Entertainment & Reliance Entertainment-Digital.

Likewise, gaming site Zapak is using analytics to monitor conversations made by its users at every social platform. By adopting a big data analytics tool, Zapak has gained the ability to do a detailed analysis of conversations and look at engagement levels of fans on social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The company can also measure the growth of fans over a period of time and its linkages to the tweets and brand posts. The company is now able to monitor over 50,000 conversations a month and classify messages by type, content and sentiment and route a query if it needs to be solved to the right person. Going forward, digital media will continue to show stupendous growth with growing usage of Internet on mobile,driven by cheaper smartphones and data plans.

Also, the rising trend of Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to have a huge impact on the media and entertainment industry. For instance, IoT could simplify digital rights management due to the uniquely identifiable IoT devices and make it easier to trace any rights violation to the root.

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