Dilip Chandra, Vice President, Product and Analytics, Arha Media

The Indian media and entertainment industry is one of the fastest growing media industries in the world. Its growth has been largely driven by increasing digitalisation and high internet usage over the past decade. The rapid evolution of technology has transformed media and entertainment into an experience-led industry. All in all, the sector is on a growth trajectory and is presenting stakeholders with a plethora of opportunities. Industry players share their views on how new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), AR/VR and metaverse are transforming the media and entertainment space in India, their deployment status and the way forward…

What are the digital trends shaping the media and entertainment industry? What are the various ICT solutions being deployed by enterprises in the sector?

The surge in digital adoption during the global pandemic has benefitted the media and entertainment industry while other seg­ments have faced disruption. According to PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2022–2026, the Indian entertainment and media industry is projected to reach Rs 4,304.01 billion by 2026 at an 8.8 per cent compound annual growth rate. The sector requires constant innovation with several cutting-edge technologies sla­ted to come into our lives. Some of the digital trends that are potentially shaping the future of the industry are:

  • Personalised experience: Customers are hooked when the content packaged for them is as per their taste. Today, organisations use data and technology like AI/ML to identify and recomme­nd/ curate the content for their end customers. This trend will continue to see significant innovation to sustain key performance indicators (KPIs) like time spent and retention.
  • Interactivity and gamification: This is another trend that can engage a customer for extended periods and significantly improve stickiness. Inter­activity has a lot of scope for innovation from the perspective of content strategy, brand partnerships, social commerce, play-along features (voting/polls), etc. Ga­mification, especially for digital me­di­ums, adds value to the subscription and monetisation metrics.
  • Voice recognition: Voice is rapidly gro­wing to become the consumer preference, especially on over-the-top (OTT) platforms. Its use cases range from content discovery through voice search to AI-driven subtitles in multiple languages. Media organisations are investing in voice recognition systems to penetrate into the hinterland.

What has been the sector’s response to newage technologies such as AI, ML, IoT and AR/VR?

The sector has seen tremendous adoption of new-age technologies. They have be­come indispensable for organisations acro­ss telcom, broadcasting, OTT platforms, gaming, etc., providing automation, content distribution and discovery, personalisation, en­hanced experiences, and content and data security.

How will the rising adoption of metaverse impact the way content is produced, aggregated, distributed and consumed in the media and entertainment sector?

Adopting the metaverse will reshape the world of the media and entertainment sector. Forms of it are already part of today’s world such as immersive experiences in gaming (AR/VR), self-identification th­rou­gh avatars in social media, music concerts and fashion shows becoming virtual, and theme parks. The key to the growth of metaverse is also buoyed by devices such as Me­ta Oculus, Microsoft HoloLens and Go­o­gle Cardboard.

What, according to you, could be the possible impediments hampering technology adoption in the sector?

I believe new-age technology applications (read use cases) should find the right market fit as end customers will reject them ot­herwise. Other potential impediments in a country like India are internet penetration and device capabilities for mass adoption.

Going forward, what are the three key technology trends to watch out for in the media and entertainment sector?

A few trends to watch out for in the media and entertainment sector are AI-driven solutions and blockchain technology. In some core businesses, there is even digital transformation.