By: Yohan P Chawla
SonyLIV has launched 3 new web originals, Heartbreak Hotel, Holycross and 16. Gullak, another show which is already live on the platform was launched sometime back and has been able to captivate the audiences with the simplicity in its story telling.
While OTT platforms create original content and make the consumers pay for the same, all these four shows are available to all viewers on SonyLIV at no subscription fee, now that indeed is an interesting way to increase the user base and the time spent on the platform.
Medianews4u.com caught up with Uday Sodhi, Business Head – Digital Business, SPNI for a brief chat on the slate of the new and fresh original content.
On the brief that SonyLIV shared with the creators of the respective shows Sodhi said, “The brief to creators is always about good stories, relatable stories, stories which will bring in the audiences and will connect with the audiences.”
“I don’t think we want to restrict ourselves to one type of storytelling. When you look at the four shows we’ve sampled today are very different. One is a show has nine stories which are at some point inter linked, we have Gullak, Heartbreak Hotel, and Holy Cross, which is a sci-fi show. Then we have 16, which is a vigilante murder mystery.”
“So basically, we want to tell good stories, with great artists, producers, and of course great writers. We are able to create an environment where people will love the stories they see.”
On the genres that attract people to the platform, Sodhi said, “I don’t think we want to restrict ourselves to genres right now. That will restrict our story telling and restrict what the consumers want. I think at this point in time, we want to tell good stories. And the genre, for us is good content, which everybody will be able to relate to.”
Talking about the original content plans including content in regional languages Sodhi said, “We have a very strong original content pipeline with shows coming in Hindi and regional languages such as Telugu, and Tamil. We are looking at 20 to 25 new shows in 2019 across three to four languages.”
Adding, Sodhi said, “And the best part is that none of these shows are behind the pay wall so viewers can watch them without having to pay anything.”
Commenting on the recent achievement of SonyLIV Sodhi said, “We are in an exciting zone as we have just crossed 100 million downloads on the Android Play Store. It’s a huge milestone for an Indian OTT app. I think before us only Hotstar from a broadcaster has crossed that. It’s a huge milestone for Sony and I think we’re headed for great times.”
On upcoming LIVE sports content on SonyLIV, Sodhi said, “We have India’s tour to West Indies coming up on the platform in the first week of August. After which we have the football season and then the basketball season will start.”
SonyLIV has acquired over 100 great international shows with riveting stories such as Discovery of the witches, Community and Victoria etc, boosting their English content offering.