10 Jan 2011

Careers in Media & Entertainment Industry

The Indian media and entertainment (M&E) industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Its various segments—film; television, advertising, print and digital among others—have witnessed tremendous growth in the last few years. According to a 2009 report published jointly by FICCI and KPMG, the media and entertainment industry in India is likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5 per cent per annum and touch US$ 20.09 billion by 2013. In terms of purchasing power, India has now become the world’s fourth-largest economy. With an estimated 30 million Indians joining the ranks of the middle class every year, it is of little surprise that their appetite for entertainment, desire for greater choice and willingness to pay for sport, films and other content is rapidly refiguring the marketplace. India’s staggering demographic profile i.e. “in 2020 the average Indian will be 29 years old or younger” – has also caught the attention of the world’s largest media owners who are eyeing the sector with great interest.

There are 12,000 cinemas in India but this only amounts to 12 for every million residents, compared with 117 per million in the US. Even after the landmark deregulation of the radio industry last year – which saw the government award more than 300 new licenses – India now has about 20 FM radio stations compared with 6,000 in the US. All this amounts to huge possibilities for future growth. The Government has initiated many other major reform measures such as permitting 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) through the automatic route for the film industry and advertising, permitting the setting up of up linking hubs for satellite up linking by private TV broadcasters from Indian soil, giving industry status to the films segment, allocating US$ 50.13 million in the current Five-Year-Plan for various development projects for the film industry and so on. These initiatives have made the media marketplace ripe for development and growth. Rapid growth is visible across all sectors of media and entertainment industry.

According to the study by FICCI and KPMG, the television industry will expand by 14.5% between now and 2013. DTH industry is estimated to grow by almost 100% in the next few years while Mobile TV is poised to grow big with the advent of 3G. Tata Teleservices became the first service provider to offer mobile TV on high speed broadband wireless allowing users to access channels on desktops and laptops. As if in corroboration of the trend, Sun Direct, Bharti Airtel DTH and Big TV have reportedly increased their marketing budget by 20-25% in this fiscal year. Radio, the cheapest and oldest form of entertainment, reaching 99 per cent of the population is also likely to see many dynamic changes and is expected to double its size in the next 3-4 years.
Advertising is another growth sector. The number of brands advertised on television witnessed an 82% increase during the last one decade. Again, it is advertising in digital media (internet, mobile and digital signage) that’s expected to emerge as the medium of choice for advertisers.

For the Music industry, the most important driver over the coming years will be digital music. Though for a long time, cassettes and compact discs (CDs) have accounted for most music sales, future growth is also expected to come from digital downloads and ringtones, among others. Also, within digital music, mobile music is expected to continue to maintain dominance and further increase its share.

India is emerging as a hub for graphic industries like animation and digital media. Animation, gaming and VFX industry will continue to maintain its current pace of growth. Companies such as Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) are reworking their strategies in India to grow their businesses in the computing segment. The move has been triggered by the emergence of high-end games involving real-time 3D rendering. A considerable number of Indian special effects artists and animators are moving up the ranks of established US animation studios such as Walt Disney and DreamWorks Animation SKG and creating a niche for themselves in the special effects market.

Print/Publishing is also projected to grow albeit at a slower rate of 5.6%. Newspaper sales in India, China and Japan which stand at 60 % in terms of circulation are the highest in the world. A survey carried out by research firm Valuenotes Database, spanning 237 consultants, publishers and service providers reveals that India continues to be a favoured destination for publishing outsourcing.

The Indian film industry is the largest in the world in terms of number of films produced per year. The opening of the film industry to foreign investment coupled with the granting of industry status to this segment has had a favourable impact, leading to many global production units entering the country. Non-resident Indian (NRI) filmmakers are also now focused on ethnic communities and the diaspora which assures them of an audience in India, UK and the US. For example, Eros International – one of the world’s leading international distributors of Bollywood films – owns the rights to 1,300 of Bollywood’s most popular films that it is keen to exploit in various formats. Eros is visualizing a much wider market in countries across Europe, from Scandinavia to Germany and Russia for these Indian films.

Indian content is also gaining popularity in the world market in general and South Asia in particular. The Indian entertainment industry players are venturing abroad to tap this booming segment. Consequently, many domestic players like Yash Raj Films, Reliance-Adlabs and UTV, among others, have set up distribution arms overseas.
A Theatre project billed as India’s answer to Broadway has been inaugurated in Gurgaon. The project called the Kingdom of Dreams, has been conceptualized by the Great Indian Nautanki Company, a joint venture between the Apra Group of Companies and Wizcraft International Entertainment which plans to be active in the genre of musical theatre.


Media is a very vivid and versatile industry. Today, the definition of media includes Broadcasting with the help of TV and radio, Entertainment with use of audio visuals – films, videos and games, Internet that includes blogs, forums, music, news, Publishing of books, papers, magazines, and it also includes postal mail, telephony and other interactive Media. Thus the scope of a career in this field is vast and varied.

Business opportunities in Indian media and entertainment industry are enormous. Most media organizations in India are in the private sector, while quite a few are owned by the government. Media organizations that are directly under the control of central government come under the ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The government media units in which one can seek jobs are: Akashvani (All India Radio), Prasar Bharti, Doordarshan, Direct to Home, Press information bureau, Publication Division, Photo Division, Registrars of newspapers, Directorate of advertising and Visual Publicity, Press Council of India, Song and Drama Division, Film Division, National Film Archive of India, Directorate of Film festivals, National Film Development Corporation, Central Board of Film Certification, Childrens Film society etc.

The Indian press, is predominantly in private hands. News agencies like Press Trust of India, United News of India, Hindustan Samachar and Samachar Bharati, form the major sources for disseminating information to the public.

Besides the government agencies, Media companies, industrial houses and start-ups backed by venture money are all launching newspapers, magazines and television channels. Some of the reputed media companies in India are – Times Group which owns Indiatimes, Filmfare, Planet M, Times of India and many other brands, Adlabs, Zee telefilms, UTV, Nimbus Communications, Sahara Group, Mukta Arts, News Corporation, Sony, Walt Disney, Sun Network, BMG, Universal, The Indian Express, Manorama etc. In the film industry, technical jobs include story and script writing for film and television, copywriting for advertisements, cinematography, photography, Sound mixing and recording, direction of films and promotional ventures etc.

Advertising industry is another major employer for media professionals. Some of the top advertising companies in India include O & M (Ogilvy & Mather), J Walter Thompson, Mudra Communication Pvt. Ltd., FCB Ulka Advertising Ltd., Mc-Cann Erickson India Ltd., RK Swamy Advertising Ltd., Leo Burnett India Pvt. Ltd. and Contract Advertising India Ltd.
Indian media and entertainment industry is one of the fastest growing in the world and has the largest output by any media industry in the world. Raised regulations, quality content development, competitive pricing, increased consumer base and significant marketing, creative use of technology and work effectiveness are driving the growth of this industry. Many media companies in India have grown up speedily and are recruiting newer and younger talent for increased efficiency and creativity. The challenges and scope for growth for those who decide to make a career for themselves in the field of media and entertainment are varied and endless.

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