India’s live music industry shed two thirds of revenue during the pandemic, says new PwC report

India’s music, radio & podcast segment grew at 18% in 2021 and is set to grow at 9.8% CAGR to reach Rs 11,536 crore by 2026, according to a report by global consultancy firm PwC.

The document titled ‘Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2022-2026’ is PwC’s 23rd annual report chronicling and forecasting the sector spending by consumers and advertisers across 52 territories.

India’s Recorded Music industry (a key sub-segment) is undergoing steady progress at a CAGR of 13.6%, thanks to streaming models. This segment has witnessed growth from Rs 1,663 crore in 2017 to Rs 2,568 crore in 2021. The progress is expected to continue on this path to Rs 4,849 crore by 2026.

On the other hand, the country’s Live Music industry remains small, and it shed two-thirds of its revenue in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Revenue ticked up in 2021 to Rs 434 crore and is forecast to grow to revenues of Rs 1,052 crore in 2026, increasing at a 19.2% CAGR.

Industry perspective

As a whole, India’s Entertainment & Media industry expected to grow at 8.8% CAGR to reach Rs 4,30,401 crore by 2026. “The Indian Media and Entertainment outlook for the next few years is quite unique,” says Rajib Basu, Partner & Leader – Entertainment & Media, PwC India. “There is an exciting pace of growth of digital media and advertising led by the deeper penetration of internet and mobile devices in our market. At the same time, traditional media will hold their steady growth rate over the next few years. We shall see a very different profile of media and entertainment related businesses and revenue models emerging in the digital space once we have the rollout of 5G.”

When it comes to OTT video content, this segment’s revenue has more than doubled in 2020, partly driven by the absence of public entertainment and additional time at home. The trend continued in 2021, with double revenues again.

While growth rates will slow, the market will still expand at an impressive 14.1% CAGR to reach Rs 21,032 crore in 2026. Subscription services are driving this rapid growth, accounting for 90.5% of revenue in 2021 and set to account for 95% in 2026.

Digital advertising too is set to increase at a 12.1% CAGR to reach Rs 28,234 crore by 2026. The mobile sector dominates the country’s Internet advertising market, accounting for 60.1% of total revenue in 2021, rising to 69.3% by 2026.

Display advertising dominates the mobile sector, accounting for 90.7% of revenue in 2021 though its share will fall to 88.9% of the total in 2026. India’s wired Internet access revenue amounted to Rs 6,379 crore in 2021 which is predicted to increase at a 6.3% CAGR to reach Rs 8,829 crore by 2026.

Looking forward

The ‘Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2022-2026’ report stresses on the potential of the metaverse for the sector’s growth. The report states that the metaverse is an evolution that may profoundly change how businesses and consumers interact with products, services and each other. Its potential financial and economic value goes far beyond VR. In time, much of the revenues associated with video games, music performances, advertising and even e-commerce could migrate into the metaverse.

 “Industry press tends to focus on the companies that have dominated the E&M industry,” said Werner Ballhaus, Global Entertainment & Media Industry Leader, PwC Germany. “But it is the choices that billions of consumers make about where they will invest their time, attention and money that are fuelling the industry’s transformation and driving the trends.  We are seeing the emergence of a global E&M consumer base for the coming years that is younger, more digital and more into streaming and gaming than the current consumer population. This is shaping the future of the industry.”

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