Technology Changing The Landscape Of Media And Entertainment Industry

Kailash B Gupta, Chief Financial Officer and VP, Inox LeisureEntertainment industry in India
Initially cinemas were exhibited in tents and Jamshedji Framjee Madan was the first to establish India’s first cinema hall in 1907 called ‘Elphinstone Picture Palace’ in Kolkata. The first cinema halls known as ‘film theatres’ or ‘picture palaces’, were constructed in places with dominance of British population. This phase was marked by silent movies and continued till 1931 when the first Indian sound film ‘Alam Ara’ was made.

Most theatres had two or more shows a day and some times 12 shows a day during festivals. The increased audience involved the introduction of the tickets which were priced at fraction of a rupee. Slowly theatre became a profitable business and more people ventured into this exhibition business. This marked the beginning of an emerging Indian film industry which was to become a medium by itself. By way of this, the industry has evolved from a single screen to double screen to multiple screens in a single complex leading to multiplexes and digital experiences. At present, the industry generates employment for 5-6 million people, including both direct and indirect employment. India produces the maximum number of hours of content globally, across 2,000 films, 800+ television channels, 250+ radio stations, 100,000+ newspaper and magazine editions and thousands of live events.

Technology trends transforming the multiplex industry
The Industry has to constantly change and adapt themselves to the new technologies in line with the change in taste and preferences of the consumer. Every time, some uniqueness must be present. Accordingly, Companies have started looking beyond traditional portfolios. Almost all the Companies in entertainment and media sector have shown a paradigm change in their approach. Indian cinema, with its century old rich heritage, has evolved from celluloid to digital and multiplexes. Most of the multiplexes have switched to digital film projection with better picture quality. This has also led to introduction of laser projectors and LED screens thereby offering the highest contrast and stunning brightness.With the improved technology, multiplexes
have introduced their own Premium Large Formats, for instance, IMAX in USA, MAX in Middle East, Giant Screen in China, Vue Xtreme in UK. Premium Large Format is transforming the movie going experience with extra large screens that stretch from floor to ceiling, providing audiences a bigger and more immersive presentation than ever before. The viewing experience goes beyond the giant screen combined with the enhanced sound systems, plush upgraded seats and other special amenities, moviegoers can now see blockbusters in the ultimate viewing environment. We have seen the multiplexes growing from 2D to 3D and now to 4DX, which is the next step beyond 4D. There are also some exciting technologies in this space, for instance, Screen X which is world's first multi projection theatre technology that provides moviegoers with a 270-degree panoramic viewing experience by expanding the screen onto the side walls of the auditorium. It’s a cinema that not only stimulates your eye and ears but your other senses too, thereby giving our audience an unforget table experience.

The Industry has to constantly change and adapt themselves to the new technologies in line with the change in taste and preferences of the consumer

The number of screens rose 10% in fiscal year 2018 and is expected to grow 9-10% in the coming years, till 2023. The share of multiplex screens is expected to increase to 46% from 24%. Additions are expected in Tier-I and Tier-II cities, as metros are seeing a slowdown in the growth of malls. In fiscal year 2018, multiplexes accounted for 24% of the overall domestic screens, but commanded an impressive 51% share in exhibition revenue. Theatrical revenue is estimated to have grown 13% because of strong content, and is expected to rise to 21% in fiscal 2019, aided by screen additions, rising average ticket prices and strong content pipeline, which shall increase footfalls.

During this evolution various developments in terms of technological advancements took place not only in film making, marketing, distributing and exhibition. In view of the increasing demand booking of tickets through an online platform has caused a lot of convenience to the moviegoers as they can make bookings at their comfort. Online booking facility was first introduced in the late 90’s when it was not so popular. Within a decade of its inception, online booking database has over 40% to 45% market share in the entertainment ticketing space.

The technology has advanced to a level where piracy of movies can be detected. The recent development of screens in the cinema halls have a kind of watermark which one cannot see with the naked eye, however, if a person tries to record a video, the watermark is captured in the video thereby displaying an unclear video. This watermark shows exactly the place, day and time when the video was getting captured. With the constantly evolving technology, the current situation has changed and now, a centralized team can operate all the screens of a multiplex from one control room. This proves to be extremely cost efficient considering the number of screens a multiplex operates.

We think that the Cinema journey would be more entertaining in the time to come with technology evolution and will become closer to the Moviegoers.