Trade publications play a key role in the growth of any domain, and the Indian film industry is no different. The current market size of the business is estimated to be around Rs 100 crore, and experts in the space are expecting it to grow despite the slowdown. The last five years have seen trade publications in India’s most glamorous industry grow at multiple levels – in the print side, on the web and on-ground. exchange4media takes an indepth look at the space and the players that make a difference.
Business to business space steadily growing for Indian film industry
According to a CII–AT Kearney Report, the Indian film Industry that was pegged at $1.8 billion in 2006 is expected to reach the level of $5.1 billion by 2011, with an annual growth rate of 25 per cent. The industry is considered to maintain the same pace for the next four years. In India, films have the highest inter linkages with other sub-segments of the media and entertainment industry like music, television and radio. The Indian film industry has the distinct honour of producing maximum number of movies across the world. On an average, the industry produces over 1,000 films annually and becomes the feeder of 2,000-3,000 high quality screens in India, mostly in Tier II and Tier III towns.
The print players
Even as the Indian film industry commands a significant size, at present, there are only a few prominent media players that are active in this sector. Some of the key names include ‘Screen’, ‘Pickle Entertainment Biz Guide’, ‘Bollywood Reporter’, ‘Super Cinema’, ‘Trade Guide’, ‘Film Street Journal’ and ‘Complete Guide & Film Information’.
‘Screen’, the weekly broadsheet from The Express Group, is one of the oldest in the space. Now in its 56th year, it has earned a reputation of being a reliable and comprehensive source for information and analysis on the entertainment industry in India. However, ‘Screen’ has had to fight the growing clutter in the space to continue enjoying credibility and respect in the industry.
‘Super Cinema’, ‘Trade Guide’, ‘Complete Guide & Film Information’ are some of the most dominating players in the film trade business. Players like ‘Film Information’ have been around for nearly 35 years. ‘Pickle Entertainment Biz Guide’ was launched with the objective of providing information and analysis that would keep the industry informed on the dynamic changes currently reshaping the sector. Another publication in the space is ‘Bollywood Reporter’, which is a part of Masala Satellite Network Pvt Ltd, a media house with a focus on print, television and FM radio.
Even as these are the Indian players competing in the space, the Indian film industry also seen international publications give the space some attention. Some of the international publications that cover the space in India include ‘Variety’, ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ and ‘Screen International’.
The web masters
Much as was the case in any other domain, the online space of the industry has picked up in the last few years, even as there are players that would soon complete a decade in the space. Some of the key players include the likes of Ibosnetwork.com, Glamsham.com, Businessofcinema.com, Boxofficeindia.com, Bollywoodhungama.com, Indianfilmtrade.com and Filmtalkies.com.
While every player is delving on more or less the same sphere, each tries to differentiate itself in some aspect and some have evolved over time. To see a few examples, Ibosnetwork.com, one of the oldest online news services is geared towards providing news focusing on the business of cinema and related media metrics. Glamsham.com, on the other hand, was founded by two professionals – Bhavik Shah & Nitin Sethi – and provides news, reviews, interviews and business news of the Hindi film industry, and is targeted towards the youth as well as the industry professionals. Businessofcinema.com, which is a Join The Dots (JTD) Entertainment Media venture, was established in March 2006. This portal attempts to be a platform to facilitate cinema business.
Bollywoodhungama.com, which was earlier known as Indiafm.com, is popular among the trade audience, but has recently shifted focus to consumers.
A dearth of relevant trade events
Despite the size of the industry, there are not many events for those interested in the trade space of the Indian film industry. Most of the film events, like Screen Awards, Filmfare Awards, Cine Awards, among various others, focus on the consumer. Two key industry players that organise events for the trade aspect of the Indian film industry include FICCI and Assocham. The FICCI FRAMES 2009 is a must attend in many calendars as is the Assocham organised summit, Focus 2008.
The south Indian film industry has events like Variety Films Awards 2008 organised by Super Cinema Group and South Cinema organises Cinema Today.
Quick look at Events, Conference & Seminars
Industry sees a bright trade future
Bhavik Shah, Co–Founder & Director, Glamsham.com, explained that the B2B entertainment industry was growing at a steady pace, and within the next 2-3 years, would be more organised and structured than what it was today. Seconding that, Film Information’s Komal Nahta added, “We have seen a growth of around 60 per cent in the last five years.”
Sudeep Malhotra, Publisher & Editor, Bollywood Reporter, which is one of the youngest publications in the space, said that the film B2B was still a niche segment. He said, “However, over the next five years, it is set to grow in keeping with the overall growth of the industry.”
Shah believes that as the industry got more structured, the scope for growth and avenues like industry platforms that drove growth, would increase. He said, “In the last couple of years, many corporate and international studios have ventured into the entertainment sector. This would bring about a change in the way the industry works and we’ll then see lot of more events and activities happening in the B2B sector.”
Malhotra took cognizance of the fact that there is a severe lack of serious conferences and seminars, both commercial as well as technical, to train and educate filmmakers on the finer aspects of the various craft involved in this industry. He explained, “We desperately need script-writers workshops, technology sessions for editors and cinematographers, as well as advanced workshops for directors and producers – both for existing established players, as well as for the newer and upcoming personnel of this industry.”
Clearly, the industry believes that the B2B publications are set to see growth.
The Indian film industry has captured the attention of the globe, but the full potential of the trade publications is yet to be tapped in this sector. Some of the international markets have seen growth, such as in the case of ‘The Hollywood Reporter’, to the extent that the publication has presence in other mediums like television as well through its own shows; magazines have their own film-based shows and not just commonly seen awards in the other markets. However, India still has to find such parallels. There are a significant number of players in the space, to the extent that some media experts may even call it cluttered, but there is more desired for a deeper and wider growth. That said, if the experts’ opinions are anything to go by, Indian B2B publications are on the right track to see that growth and significance.