“India is a digitally active country with a massive and diverse consumer base with a very high level of appetite for entertainment,” said K Madhavan, Country Manager & President, The Walt Disney Company India & Star India and Chairman, CII National Committee on Media & Entertainment while speaking at 10th Edition of CII Big Picture Summit.
Madhavan was speaking on the theme, ‘Scaling new heights of Content, Creativity, Innovation’.
“As we kick-off the 10th Edition of this Summit, it is heartening to look back and see how far we have come. Ten years back, television had started migrating customers to digital, and HD channels were just being launched. There were barely 13 million Broadband subscribers, and users spent only 8 hours a month watching videos online. Today, we have about 800 million broadband internet users and 600m smartphone users, and Indians watch over 5 hours of online video content a DAY compared to the global average of four hours a day,” said Madhavan.
Speaking about the original content he said that the industry is already creating 2,500 hours of original content each year for OTT, over and above the 100,000 hours created for Television.
“Our Gaming industry caters to 420 million casual gamers, even as our AVGC sector provides high-quality, cost-effective content for the global market. We are giving consumers the power to choose what content they want, unrestricted by platform, language, schedule, or geography. Technology has allowed us to put the convenience of the consumer first, and deliver content to the consumers’ various choices. The M&E industry also promotes India’s soft power across the world, in addition to directly & indirectly employing 4.5 Mn people. Ancillary industries like education, tourism, and even software are all boosted as the Creative economy grows,” he added.
He further spoke about self-regulation in TV and the Digital industry. Madhavan further stated that Regulations like NTO 1 and 2 did not address the interests of many stakeholders, including the customers.
“Given the power and influence of our industry – it is essential that we be allowed to freely flourish with the power to self-regulate. Self-regulatory bodies for both TV and digital are working extremely well in India, and have proved that they can effectively handle complaints and concerns, without any interference from policymakers and regulators. Regulations like NTO 1 and 2 did not address the interests of any stakeholders, including the customers.”
“The silver lining in this matter is that the new Chairman of TRAI Dr Vaghela and his team are taking keen interest to address the concerns of the industry on priority. We hope to have a more proactive and positive approach from the regulator. There needs to be light-touch regulation, so as not to hold the industry back. Another important task from the policymaker is to Create a single National Policy for the Media & Entertainment sector, one which is coherent and gives broad direction capturing the industry’s aspirations and brings in greater clarity for the industry and regulator(s) alike, going forward. With the inputs from the industry, this new National Policy could guide regulators for years to come, and ensure that the consumers, the industry and all stakeholders find certainty and clarity in equal measure,” he stated.
He further said that Digital streaming has changed the global consumption pattern, and vibrant Indian content can make a serious impact at the global level, provided we get the right support from policymakers and the regulator.
“Our film industry is eager to bounce back from the pandemic. CII, working alongside the Government of India, will seek to represent India at all the Major Film Festivals in the upcoming year,” he said.
“CII’s Big Pitch for the industry is to project the power of India’s Media and Entertainment industry across the globe. After the IT sector, it is the M&E sector that has the potential to change the fortunes of a billion people through the creation of content that is unique, which has a global appeal and which touches the hearts of people everywhere. There should be an extensive campaign to impress upon every mind that India Can Create. This slogan, this mantra can be our message to the world,” Madhavan concluded.