Insights by Nikunj Jain on the future of Media and Entertainment Industry

June 17 00:00 2020
The coronavirus outbreak raised uncertainty over the future of the vibrant Media and Entertainment Industry. Read Nikunj Jain’s opinion about it.

Wondering if you could go back to the old good days? Go to a movie theatre with your friends for the first show or watch your favorite batsman smash a century? Well, in this article Nikunj Jain has answered all the doubts arising in our minds.

You will not believe it but it’s been more than 75 days since you hit the dance floor in the club, watched your favorite stars perform live, or even got out of your colony (if so, then it’s good to know that you are staying home). 

The coronavirus outbreak has led us to a point in our lives where all we can do is remember the good days and think if the future is going to be like this.

The government and media repeatedly cover the issues of lost jobs in IT sectors, immigrant laborers, financial aid given to MSME’s and how to deal with the falling economy. Even when the lockdown is being lifted in some areas with certain restrictions, the worst affected and neglected industry, in Nikunj Jain’s view, is no doubt the Media and Entertainment Industry. 

Nikunj Jain mentions that the Media and Entertainment industry of India is one of the top sectors which contributes to the rise of the Indian economy. Over the past few decades, the onset of digitalization has opened new channels in this sector for both employment and growth. 

In Nikunj Jain’s view, it is such an industry that can hardly hit a bottom rock, because every person needs entertainment to feel relaxed and escape from the sadness in their lives. This sector includes movies, cinemas, music, dance, sports, live events, OTT platforms, advertising, OTH advertising, television, print, animation, and the list is huge.

Due to the coronavirus effect and the lockdown, the future of this sector is uncertain since any event goes hand in hand with large gatherings. Since many of  the job roles in this field require physical effort and presence, it is difficult for the work to progress when the people are at home. A lot of pre-planned events had to be canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak and thus there’s been a huge financial loss for the organizers, sponsors, venue partners, and also for the artists and audiences. 

Many people in this sector are paid based on their work delivery which is either contract-based, paid per performance or act, based on the collection of revenues post-release/performance. Since the entire country is in lockdown, most artists are out of cash and work .They are struggling to even afford basic amenities like food and water.

Nikunj Jain says he will not be surprised to hear ‘ All I’m doing is Netflix and Chill’ from any person during this period. With access to high-speed internet, people of all age groups are glued to the screens watching movies and web series. There are a lot of platforms where you can watch anything. Literally anything. Many high budget films that were meant to be released are on halt due to the coronavirus outbreak

There’s been a huge loss to the cinema distributors, producers, artists, and crew members since their income depends on the post-release collections. Gal Gadot‘s superhero movie Wonder Woman 1984, Fast and Furious 9, No Time to Die are the biggest Hollywood releases that got postponed. 

Talking about Bollywood, Kabir Khan’s ’83, Varun Dhawan, and Sara Ali Khan starred Coolie No 1, Salman Khan’s action thriller Radhe and Akshay Kumar starred Laxmi Bombwere meant to be released this year. Many pre-scheduled shoots in foreign countries got canceled and the financial losses are difficult to compensate.

Many directors released their movies on OTT platforms in order to not land themselves in full losses.Pon Magal Vandhal was released on Amazon Prime on the 29th of May,even after disputes arose between distributors and directors. 

The first mainstream Bollywood film that is set to make an OTT release is Gulabo Sitabo featuring Ayushmann Khurrana and Amitabh Bachchan. 

With the rise in the number of internet users and more OTT platforms coming up, there’s already less work for background technicians, workers, assistants, and small artists. And post corona, less number of workers are to be hired to prevent the spread of virus and thus these small artists are helpless.

The next worst-hit industry in the views of Nikunj Jain is the Music industry. This industry has artists such as singers, instrumentalists, sound engineers, artist and talent managers, live performers, background technicians, reality show musicians, independent artists. 

The main source of income is either by songs released in the films, digital streaming revenues, or by live performances. Even after several months of post corona period, it is not advisable to conduct any big live music events since it will lead to a mass gathering. 

Many pre-planned big-budget concerts and events didn’t take place and hence it is a huge loss to organizers, sponsors, and musicians. Many singers and musicians are using social media platforms like Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Twitch to connect with their fans and perform live. 

It is a feasible option for only those artists who have knowledge and access to vocal and video recording equipment. Small artists who are dependent on other musicians and engineers are again at a loss.

Next in Nikunj Jain’s list is sports. Well, sports are not just about the players on the field, umpires, referees, coaches, and countries. Any sport event involves big companies that sponsor the event, venue partners, event management crew, media crew, sports managers and it’s a very long list. 

This year’s biggest sports event, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, got canceled due to the coronavirus effect. There’s a huge financial loss to Japan since they were all geared up for this prestigious event. Whether it is the Indian Premier League, Euro 2020 tournament, or Wimbledon tennis championship, every major sport event has turned out to be a huge disappointment. 

Even if the authorities decide to conduct the tournament without any spectators post the corona period, yet watching it on TV, with no crowd to cheer our favorite stars is heartbreaking. 

Movies, music, sports. Any form of entertainment binds the people across the globe irrespective of gender, color, caste, and creed. The people of these industries bring joy in our lives through their performance. The kind of hardships these people are going through is unimaginable. Till the time there’s no surety about the improvement in the situation, the fight for survival continues. But ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’, signs off Nikunj Jain.

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