Of the 570 million Internet users, around 2.5 million use only digital media and eschew the traditional media, according to the report which forecasts that this digital-only customer base is slated to double to 5 million by 2021.
"Digital consumption will grow,and monetisation avenues will see innovation to meet customer demands and one big growth driver will be OTT players on the back of telcos bundling their offerings with data. Already advertising growth has outpaced subscription growth and is expected to comprise 52 percent of the total pie by 2021," says the report.
TV industry grew from Rs 66,000 crore to Rs 74,000 crore in 2018, a growth of 12 percent, of which advertising grew 14 percent to Rs 30,500 crore and subscription grew 11 percent to Rs 43,500 crore. Television viewing households rose to 197 million, a 7.5 percent rise over 2016.
Television can reach Rs 95,500 crore by 2021, with advertising growing at 10 percent and subscription at 8 percent, it said.
The print, though is the second largest medium growing a tepid 0.7 percent, has reached Rs 30,550 crore in 2018, of this ad revenue was Rs 21,700 crore and subscription revenue was Rs 8,830 crore, up a marginal 1.2 percent.
Significantly, newspaper advertising degrew 1 percent, and magazine advertising fell 10 percent in the year.
"The fall in advertising is due to both lower volumes as well as pressure on effective rates.Hindi dailies continued to lead with 37 percent of total ad volume, followed by English at 25 percent. Rising newsprint prices and the rupee fall put pressure on their margins," it said.
Regional advertising outpaced national growth on the back of national brands spending more to develop non-metro markets where GST created a level playing field for both.
The report notes that broadcasters have started selling ads combined across OTT and linear platforms to enable better monetisation of marquee properties and increased utilisation of digital inventory.
The impact of the Trai tariff order can have implications on total viewership, free television uptake, channel rates and ad revenue. However, 2019 promises further growth due to the elections and the cricket world cup.
The year also saw a 26 percent growth in digital news
consumers over 2017 when 222 million people consumed news
online. Page views grew 59 percent over 2017 and the average time spent almost doubled to 8 minutes a day.
On the contrary, digital media clipped past 42 percent to reach Rs 16,900 crore in 2018. Of this, ad revenue stood at Rs 15,400 crore, grew 34 percent and subscription stood at Rs 1,400 crore, registering a growth of 262 percent. This makes the digital ad pie around 21 percent of the total ad market.
Video subscription revenue almost grew three times to reach Rs 1.340 crore, thanks to rising smartphones penetration on the back of almost free data, regional content, and live streaming of major cricket properties.
Main reason for the growth in digital subscription that touched Rs 1,400 crore is telcos bundling content with their data plans.
The film segment grew 12.2 percent to reach Rs 17,450 crore driven by growth in digital/OTT rights and overseas theatricals. Of this, domestic film revenue crossed Rs 10,000 crore (Hindi--Rs 3,250 crore, the highest ever and overseas grew to Rs 3,000 crore from Rs 2,500 crore in 2017) where China is the largest international market.
The number of deals in the space remained flat at around 40 but deal value more than doubled to $ 2.8 billion from $ 1.3 billion in 2017, led by digital (41 percent) followed by gaming with 20 percent.
The report sees consolidation move accelerating as large media houses strengthen their presence for achieving scale, reach and relevance and the interest that global players evince on the domestic market.