- 2020 saw 28 million Indians (up from 10.5 million in 2019) paying for 53 million streaming subscriptions leading to a 49% growth in digital subscription revenues,
- Kerala registered the highest internet penetration among the southern states.
Streaming and digital platforms appear to be set to play a critical role in the growth of South India’s creative economy, driven by a renaissance in content creation, the rise of local talent, and globally appealing diverse stories of cultures, languages, and regions.
According to the Confederation Indian Industry (CII) Report on South India Media and Entertainment, the digital media and streaming platforms are growing at over 25%, the fastest growing medium in the media and entertainment verticals.
The report states that by the end of 2022, the South Indian streaming and digital media market is expected to be worth Rs 16,200 crore, almost two-and-a-half times the film revenues, with a 25% compound annual growth rate.
The affordable high-speed Internet and smartphone penetration are major factors in this growth. The Advertising Model (AVOD) is predominant compared to the Subscription model (SVOD). The user-generated content on YouTube is way ahead of others. Streaming platforms like Disney Hotstar, Amazon Prime, ZEE5, Netflix, and Sony Liv are vigorously positioning themselves in the southern states.
In this exercise they are adopting a very clear and clever strategy — to discover talent from the grassroots and groom them and not take the route of star elements. In the southern market alone over 100 scripts are currently being developed for straight to streaming or streaming and movie screens, thanks to creative liberty and content availability.
The emerging 5G technology will open up even more opportunities for growth in South India, allowing it to serve a global market with enormous business potential.
Given the increasing importance and relevance of streaming in the typical South Indian consumer’s life and the synergy between streaming and digital media, these two channels have been considered together in this chapter. In a converged environment, the user jumps from one medium to another using a smartphone to stream films and broadband to browse.
Growth in streaming subscription revenue over the last two years, particularly during the pandemic, indicates maturation, with consumers willing to pay for the specific content that they want to consume, which will continue to be a growth driver. 2020 saw 28 million Indians (up from 10.5 million in 2019) paying for 53 million streaming subscriptions leading to a 49% growth in digital subscription revenues, thus clearly indicating that subscriptions fared better than advertising revenues.
Streaming platforms have grown significantly in India. The potential for streaming platforms in India is 200 million subscribers, up from the current 30 to 40 million subscribers. The five Southern States put together to have huge legroom for growth and that’s visible in the way platforms are focusing on the South. Over 200 new films are set to be released in the coming year on the streaming platforms.
Despite being a mobile-first country, there has been increasing adoption of smart TVs in India during the year. The connected TV market registered a whopping 65 percent YoY growth during the second quarter of 2021, with Xiaomi, Samsung, Sony, and LG dominating the market during the second quarter of 2021. Increase
The purchase of smart TVs has resulted in the traditional TV channels uploading their popular serials to streaming platforms ahead of the broadcast medium.
At the same time, industry analysts point out that the TV medium is here to stay and co-exist with digital platforms.
Growth Drivers for digital media
Growth in digital consumption is outstripping all other segments. Today we have about 800 million broadband Internet users, and over 600 million smartphone users who watch five hours of video content a day compared to the global average of four hours a day.
South India has the highest percentage of WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube users, followed closely by north India. Kerala registered the highest internet penetration among the southern states at around 56%, followed by 47% in Tamil Nadu 39% in Karnataka, and 31% in both Telangana and AP. Internet penetration in India stood at 45.0% in January 2021.
Individual data consumption in India is 13 GB per month, which is the highest among different countries, while data rates are the lowest among all countries.