Exclusive with Mr Uday Sodhi, Head – Digital Business at Sony Pictures Networks India, SonyLIV OTT,Digital Content Digital Video

30 . Nov . 2017
Reading Time: 3 minutes

SonyLiv, the digital business of Sony Pictures Network India (SPN), is becoming a popular platform for digital entertainment. Uday Sodhi, Head – Digital Business at Sony Pictures Networks India, SonyLIV OTT, Digital Video, Digital Content shares more information about the platform which turns 5 next year in an exclusive interaction with TheDigitalHash.com

  1. You recently joined hands with Flipkart’s brand, Billion, to offer free content for 3 months on Capture+. What is your criterion for such collaborations? Are similar alliances in the pipeline?

We at SonyLIV believe in strategic partnerships which help us generate scale and reach the target audience. Ecommerce is a sector which is booming and has immense opportunity to grow further. The OTT space is also going to see aggressive growth in the coming years. The benefit Flipkart has is to give their users access to a variety of content across genres. We see this as a win-win situation for both of us.

  1. SonyLiv will complete 5 years in January 2018. How do you look back at the journey so far?

It’s been a great journey for SonyLIV. We created this category in India and over the last 5 years, we have transformed the way content is made available to the audience. It has been our constant endeavor to deliver top notch content and give our viewers an experience like never before. Being a thought leader in this space, we have touched various spheres of content like entertainment, sports, food, music, originals to name a few. Our audience are loyal to us and we constantly strive to enthrall them in every possible way. We stand true to our brand philosophy ‘We LIV to Entertain’.

  1. Between fiction and non-fiction, which one brings more viewers to the OTT platform?

With 22 years’ worth of rich content we have a unique mix for all kinds of audiences.  Honestly it is a mix of both fiction and non- fiction which drives traction to SonyLIV. We launched India’s first-ever original show exclusively for the online platform earlier this year; #LoveBytes and it became the country’s first digital video-on- demand (VOD) platform to introduce an innovation of this nature. SonyLIV also launched YOLO – You Only Live Once, the first-ever regional language web-series on an OTT platform in India and LIV FIT the first-ever health and wellness segment again on an OTT platform in the country. In October 2016, SonyLIV also introduced LIV Kids as its premium content especially designed for children. Largest contributor for us is catch-up TV, followed by sports. Live sports, short films, web originals, TV, Video on demand content, drama, comedy and thrillers are the biggest contributors.

  1. What is your view of regional web entertainment as a game changer? Which are your priority markets – Gujarati -Marathi-Bengali- (Need Inputs)?

As pioneers in this business we have realized that growth in digital goes beyond the metros, a lot of demand for content will be coming from the regional space. With regional content we want to address ‘Bharat’ and localize and personalize it. The next wave of Internet users is going to be from the depths of India including the smallest of towns. With the internet scenario changing in this market, I do believe that regional content is going to change the viewing patterns of India and the rise of content consumption in Indian languages will be inevitable. We already have a good mix of regional shows and we will be aggressively working in this direction.

  1. Comparing original SonyLiv content with the VOD (video on demand), which is a bigger play for SonyLIV?

We at SonyLIV strongly believe that giving variety and robust content is key to keep our users engaged and coming back for more. Both VOD and originals are of equal importance to us and both have their own select audiences with overlaps. While VOD is viewed primarily as catch up, web originals are viewed as TV ++. We will be introducing more of originals both in English and regional languages and that will be the game changer for us.

  1. There’s much hoopla about how Netflix commissions its shows, what criteria does SonyLiv follow?

The digital video eco-system needs new and more engaging stories and ‘entertainment’ is our only criteria. We plan to introduce new shows which will appeal to a varied set of audience in the country. Parameters such as scale, star cast, director, set-up etc. will have its role.

  1. By 2020, what kind of evolution do you foresee Indian digital industry going through?

With nearly 460 Million internet users and 200 million videos viewers, India represents a digital economy, which has the biggest market potential. This is an excellent opportunity for companies looking at establishing and expanding their presence in the country, and making the most of the India digital growth story. From media to advertisements and viewing patterns everything is rapidly becoming more digital. The convenience of good entertainment will be the main ask from consumers.

  1. What is the new show/genre line up for 2018?

Year 2017 has been great and 2018 is going to be very exciting for us at SonyLIV. Our line-up on the sports front for 2018 is going to be thrilling with the India vs South Africa Series, FIFA World Cup etc. We also plan to release at least 4-6 original web shows along with the TV and VOD content.