Value proposition of the Indian publishing

Sesh Seshadri shares a taster of the report on Value Proposition of the Indian Publishing and provides an outlook of what is forthcoming. He is not giving away too much, since he would very much like every reader to purchase his or her personal copy of the report when it is released.

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Government of India is making significant policy advancements within the Indian education space. This is developing and evolving from pre-school to advance research levels. The first ever report was brought out in October 2015, which was “Nielsen – The India Book Market: Understanding the India Book Market,” a comprehensive report on the India book market.

The Association of Publishers in India (API) & EY-Parthenon decided to publish a report on the Value proposition of the Indian publishing. It will show trends, challenges, and future of the industry and emergence of new business models.

The findings…

Among the developing countries, India has the second largest publishing infrastructure, second only to China. The publishing industry contributes to India’s economic development, not only by promoting learning and education among its 1.3 billion people, but also by creating employment and by generating revenue. In terms of revenue, publishing is one of the largest media-related industries in India, larger than print media (newspapers and magazines), digital media (social media, apps, online streaming, music, and games), filmed entertainment (movies), and radio and music.

Unlike most developed countries, India is dominated by educational book publishing with a small share of trade book publishing. According to EY-Parthenon’s estimates, the publishing market size nearly doubled between 2015 and 2019, driven by the increase in enrolment rates across education institutions, growth in demand for quality education, growth in book readership, increased spending on education and supportive government policies and initiatives. However, the industry is highly fragmented and competitive. With more than 9,000 publishers and 21,000 retailers (the majority of which are educational) across the market along with a substantial unorganized segment, low affordability of consumers and dominance of regional languages limits the potential of publishers to scale up. In addition, the involvement of various stakeholders across the value chain, including authors, publishers, printers, distributors and retailers, leads to increased complexity. The onset of digital publishing has further changed the supply-side paradigm. It has increased the challenges concerning intellectual property, piracy and the copyright ecosystem. There is a strong need for publishers to focus on enabling access to diverse, affordable and quality books for every section of the society. Additionally, there is a need for the Government to provide a conducive regulatory landscape to meet the various challenges faced by the industry.

Key objectives of the study

Keeping in mind the dynamic technological landscape and the changing consumer behaviour of our contemporary times, this paper aims to identify and analyze the key trends that will shape the publishing industry in the coming years while trying to estimate the economic impact, both direct and indirect, created by the industry in India. The key challenges faced by the industry along with potential solutions based on global best practices are laid out in this paper. Finally, the initiatives that the various stakeholders can take to support the industry are also outlined.

What can you expect?

You will read well-researched insights on:

  • Challenges facing the Indian publishing industry and learnings from across the world
  • Path forward: publishing industry’s role in shaping the future of India
  • Creating a knowledge society
  • How to follow, the Government’s latest agenda, towards transforming India into a vibrant knowledge society, is built on the foundational pillars of access, equity, affordability, accountability and quality of learning.
  • Free market due to a large market share of state-run publishers.
  • Education indicators
  • Research and development
  • Intellectual property ecosystem
  • Narrowed the gaps in data and derived key insights for the paper.

Sesh Seshadri is General Secretary, Association of Publishers in India; Co-Founder, Overleaf Books LLP; Co-Founder, Nisna Books; and Director South Asia – Twig Education.

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