What forms of Entertainment lead the way in India?

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The media industry is one of the strongest growing industries in India. As the average income of Indian citizens continues to rise and as more people look for forms of entertainment in between their busy lifestyles, this sector is going to become even more lucrative. In fact, the country’s media sector is expected to make $39.68 billion by 2023 and it will employ more than five million people.

But which forms of entertainment are leading the charge when it comes to this explosive growth? And how are companies shifting their own strategies to better appeal to Indian consumers?

Watching Movies

While America has Hollywood, India has Bollywood, the film industry which, back in 2015, was worth an estimated 138.2 billion rupees (~$1.9 billion), a figure expected to see incredible yearly growth to reach 206.6 billion rupees ($3.16 billion) in 2021. The sector has been able to appeal to all kinds of Indian consumers – not just those with greater disposable income – thanks to the accessibility and availability of films and the cheap admission prices. The blend of music, story and sheer spectacle in Bollywood movies have all made them a huge draw.

Bollywood continues to be popular, but busy Indians, who have to fit their movie-watching habits around their careers have turned to streaming services. Local streaming platforms such as Hotstar are widely used, but internationally-available platforms like Netflix have vowed to increase their presence in the area. The competition to appeal to Indian film fans is only going to heat up.


Between 2018 and 2014, India’s gaming sector more than quadrupled its growth, from $253.6 million in revenue in 2014 to $1.167 billion in 2018. But it wasn’t traditional console gaming (e.g. PlayStation and Xbox) that drove this increase, it was mobile gaming. The affordability of mobile phone hardware and cheap mobile data plans has made mobile gaming the leading form of gaming in India and this will only increase further as phones with more powerful specs are released in the region.

This provides a great opportunity for game developers who are willing to make their existing console and PC games available on mobile. This perhaps explains why we’ve seen Indian casino games emerge as popular options. Live casino games are available on mobile devices now too, allowing players to interact with real-life human dealers as they play games like blackjack, roulette and other table-based casino titles. The quick reaction of casino game companies to the rise of mobile has led to this growth of interest.

Streaming Music

Bollywood movies are massively popular in part because of the music, so it will come as no surprise that music streaming is also huge in the region. In addition to buying music outright, Indians are keen streamers, putting dedicated music streaming apps on mobile devices to good use. Saavn and Gaana are two popular services in the region.

Many Indians also stream music on Google-owned video platform, YouTube, to the point that a Bollywood music YouTube channel is vying with gaming YouTuber PewDiePie for the top spot of the biggest channel.

These may be three of the “leading” forms of entertainment in India, but they aren’t the only ones. The sector has huge potential for huge growth and people should keep a close eye on it.

About Indianspice Staff Reporter

Report and write stories for Indianspice.co.za. It is our ambitious goal to cover issues/events/news concerning South Africa and the diaspora.

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