At the 9th edition of RedSeer Strategy Consultants’ Ground Zero event, panellists discussed ‘Shifting Sands in the $12 Billion Digital Media & Entertainment’ industry. The session, moderated by Mukesh Kumar, Associate Partner, Redseer, had Lal Chand Bisu, Co-founder & CEO, Kuku FM; Madhukar Sinha, Partner, India Quotient in attendance. The session was divided into two parts, with a presentation by Kumar followed by a discussion.
“India added approximately 20 million internet users in 2023. As users mature, they will continue to spend across digital medium formats, at shops and continue to book vehicles online, and we estimate that there is going to be continuous graduation from explorers towards more matured users (those who spend more than 50 pc of their retail wallet online). By 2030, we estimate that India will surpass the mature user base in the US to have 100 million internet users,” said Kumar.
On internet users, he said, “The users display variety of personas. Explorers primarily are middle-aged, those who are new to the internet, and senior citizens. These are the ones who are spending time just browsing through content or listening to music. Matured users are higher in Metro and Tier 1 cities and belong to high income households. These are users who practically do most of the transactions online. We estimate that the digital media market which constitutes video, audio streaming and gaming etc will be worth Rs 35 billion to Rs 40 billion by 2030. Regional content will continue to drive the market.”
India has over 400 million gamers and if one were to see it with a pre-covid lens, a majority would be casual gamers. “India is transitioning from that phase of playing hyper casual and casual games to more hard core games, which explains why games like PubG are becoming more popular in the country. eSports is gaining popularity and a popular tournament garnered 16 million users. It is becoming so mainstream that traditional or mainstream TV is also starting to broadcast it,” Kumar said.
The panel discussed the emerging trends within the content sector.
Sinha said, “The emerging trends are that there are multiple media formats that are working. The audiobooks and podcasts – and at the same time we are beginning to see some kind of experiential content as well. Monetisation is also happening on the platforms that happens through micro transactions, in-app subscription purchases, bundling etc. The most interesting trend according to me is the rise of micro influencers. In the next five years, we will see the micro influencers doubling at a faster pace, who will be pursuing it as a career and making money, and that’s an encouraging sign.”
According to Kumar, brands are increasingly considering micro influencers as new age celebrities. They are used by the brand for micro targeting and online platforms are also becoming a revenue engine for them through advertisements and many other formats.
Bisu added, “I agree with Madhukar’s statement on micro influencers and it will become very huge in future. Apart from these, there are new verticals that are emerging; five years back, audio in digital format was not in the picture. One of the interesting factors is AI, which is helping us create content faster.”
Sinha said that in the regional space, content becomes richer and the creators and platforms are providing value to users. Bisu said, “We started Kuku FM for Bharat audience. We started with Hindi and later expanded to other regional languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu etc. The biggest concern was monetisation, but I knew that Indians will pay, provided we show them the value of products. We focused on that, and we succeeded.”
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