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SonyLIV's amplified focus on English content portfolio

The OTT platform to add original regional content too

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MUMBAI: Sony Network India’s (SPNI) OTT platform Sony Liv recently extended its English content portfolio in the premium offering. It also has plans to add originals in regional languages.

On the back of SPNI’s FIFA World Cup 2018 broadcasting right in India, SonyLIV attracted thousands of football fans across the country. The month-long sports event gave a major boost to the platform. Soon after it ended, it expanded the English content library to retain viewers. Three critically acclaimed and admired shows from Hollywood- Damages, Unforgettable and Timeless have also been added.

“Understanding the need for quality international content, we have consistently focused on bringing shows that promise intrigue and entertainment. Post a successful tournament like FIFA 2018 that set new benchmarks in consumer engagement with over 70 million views, we wanted to add onto this momentum further. We expanded our English content portfolio to offer world’s most fascinating stories to our audience and keep them glued onto out platform,” SPNI digital business head Uday Sodhi said in an interaction with Indiantelevision.com.

Sodhi, happy with the initial response, says other shows from the genre such as Underground, Outsiders and Line of Duty continue to garner good traction. However, the new shows which have been added recently span across genres to ensure they appeal to a wide section of the audience. Continuing the development, the platform is about to announce a string of 8-10 new launches.

Meanwhile, the English entertainment channels AXN, Sony PIX, and Sony LePLEX HD from the network have recently made their digital debut. For traditional TV broadcasters, promoting catch-up TV through existing content catalogue is a common formula though.

“Live TV continues to be a potential driver for us as its viewership is significantly large. There has been a natural on-boarding of viewers who like the content offered by these three channels,” Sodhi commented.

Primarily, viewers aged between 18 to 24 is the target audience of the platform, while the 25-34 age group is targeted next. To create awareness of new content, SonyLIV is making the most use of social media and digital platforms. It is also optimising TV ads and outdoor marketing given the great reach of these two mediums among the audience.

While sci-fi and crime thriller shows are trending in Hollywood right now, SonyLIV’s newly added English content bouquet includes both the genres being a definite option for making an engaging watch. “We have ensured that our current and upcoming shows have gripping content. Indians have a huge appetite for content that keeps them at the edge of their seat and I do not see a reason for these genres to not work in the Indian market. We are positive about the response these shows are going to get,” said Sodhi.

The media veteran gave a witty answer to the question of competitors in this category. He said that as they operate across all three business models and various segregating buckets, every player in the market is a healthy competitor. The digital right of Game of Thrones gave a major boost to the subscriber base of Star India’s digital arm Hotstar. International players like Amazon Prime and Netflix already offer a huge chunk of popular international shows. Thus to woo the young urban audience, SonyLIV definitely has to add several other titles to make the library more lucrative.

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