World Media in 2005: India

Though most of India's one billion people still live in poverty, the opening up of its economy has precipitated rapid growth, attracting foreign investment and creating a burgeoning middle class.

India, the world's largest democracy, is home to one billion people, making it the world's most populous country after China. Its economy is growing at breakneck speed, thanks largely to its service-oriented industry.

This makes it an attractive outsourcing proposition, and Bangalore and the Delhi area are particular magnets for Western companies' call centres, back-office processing and software development.

Yet India is still hampered by a 58-year-long feud with Pakistan and the fact that an estimated 700 million still live in poverty. Many have attributed the left-wing Congress Party's surprise success in last year's general election to disaffection with the rival Bharatiya Janata Party's trumpeting of India's economic success story.

It is undeniable, though, that India's middle class is expanding. The Tata Economic Group estimates that, by 2006, there will be 75 million "consuming class" households with an annual income of between $1,000 and $4,800 - nearly three times as many as in 1995. This growth has largely come about because India opened up its economy during the 80s and 90s.

Media has been no exception. The government's monopoly over TV was broken in 1992, paving the way for players such as Star (part of News Corporation), Sony Entertainment Network and Zee TV. Newer channels include Star One and Zoom TV. Doordarshan TV, the state-owned operation, still operates some 21 national, regional and local services.

TV claims 43 per cent of adspend and newspapers come a close second, with 38.7 per cent. As in China, the world's media owners are seeking to capitalise. In June 2004, the Financial Times began publishing an FT-branded page of editorial in India's second-largest financial daily, Business Standard. And The Wall Street Journal has teamed up with Bennett, Coleman & Co on an Indian edition.

Mumbai, home to the Bollywood film industry, is a natural location for the many branded-content companies springing up in India. The latest is FBC, which produces Fashion House, a reality-TV show where designers compete for their own catwalk show.

Unilever's Lakme cosmetics brand sponsors the Star One show. The FMCG giant also helped to inspire MindShare's foray into media ownership. In May 2004, the media network launched T-Matrix, a drama-biased cable channel that runs for four hours a day in two million Indian homes.


USdollars million at current prices. All years based on US$1= Rs

47.19 *Estimated

News- Mag-

Total papers azines TV Radio Cinema Outdoor Internet

1992 401 268 - 84 13 2 33 0

1993 479 322 - 99 14 3 41 0

1994 707 428 - 210 20 2 46 0

1995 839 526 - 240 21 2 49 0

1996 1,015 600 - 333 24 2 56 0

1997 1,208 695 - 423 24 2 62 0

1998 1,152 566 - 458 21 5 102 0

1999 1,293 640 - 510 32 5 105 1

2000 1,536 753 - 603 39 8 129 5

2001 1,768 693 163 717 48 7 133 8

2002 1,917 751 154 803 56 13 134 8

2003 2,091 808 166 899 61 14 135 8

2004 2,716 1,204 213 1,052 69 17 152 9

2005* 2,864 1,277 225 1,095 72 24 161 10

2006* 3,057 1,339 228 1,202 77 26 174 11

2007* 3,299 1,442 254 1,288 82 28 193 13


1) Includes production costs

2) Includes agency commission

3) Includes classified advertising

4) After discounts

5) TV includes non-terrestrial from 1992

6) Newspapers include magazines until 2000



Newspaper: Dainik Bhaskar (daily, 1,600,000)

Business magazine: Business World (weekly, 135,000)

Consumer magazine: India Today (weekly, 445,000)

Most-watched TV programme (2003): India vs Pakistan cricket match

Best new TV format: Indian Idol


Readership: Indian Readership Survey

Circulation: ABC, Registrar of Newspapers for India

TV viewing: TAM (AC Nielsen)


Newspapers: Bennett, Coleman & Co, Bhaskar Prakashan

Magazines: India Today

Television: Doordarshan (public), News Corp, Zee


Media topic du jour - The lack of media talent.

Reigning media guru and why - Andre Nair of MindShare. He can make or break a new TV channel.

Media mogul to be seen dining with and why - Kunal Dasgupta, the chief executive of Sony Entertainment, whose passion for food exceeds even his appetite for deal-making.

Car to drive - Honda CRV. Clients reserve the right to reduce the media rates or agency fees if you are seen driving a more expensive car.

Top-selling beer brand - Kingfisher.

Phone to carry - Motorola Razr V3.

Whatever you do, don't say ... "Do you mind if I keep my phone on?"

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