On Friday, 24th May, Uday Sodhi, Head – Digital, Sony Pictures Networks India was in a Twitter conversation with Adgully on the road ahead for the Indian OTT ecosystem.
Uday is a pioneer in the Indian OTT ecosystem. They launched their own OTT platform SonyLIV in January 2013 and brought original Indian and syndicated foreign content to Indian viewers. Since then SonyLIV has garnered 22.6 monthly active users as reported by Adgully on November 15, 208 and became the No. 2 biggest OTT platform in India.
In January 2019, the platform released a report on ‘State of Digital Entertainment 2018’ which said that Non-metros reflected a higher growth rate in digital consumption as compared to the metros; Lucknow, Indore, Patna and Jaipur surfaced as major growth centres.
Now speaking to Adgully, Uday Sodhi discusses the different turns the Industry has taken in the past year and a half and the various concrete trends that have emerged in the OTT space.
Excerpts from the chat
The Online Viewer
An online viewer today is evolved in terms of his viewing patterns. They prefer content that is engaging, differentiated, binge-worthy and most importantly, entertaining. Sports and TV shows have been a huge driver of consumption on SonyLIV. When SonyLIV was launched in 2013, India was gauging the possibilities of a digital takeover. A lot has changed since then with streaming reshaping India’s entertainment appetite. Lower cost phones, amazing data at low cost and some amazing content is driving usage.
Current research suggests consumers keep 3-4 OTT apps on their phones but this number is expected to go up as more players and more content is available.
Consumers will download and retain as many apps as they find useful. The draw of content drives consumers to download app. Consumers like to have a large number of TV channels and will also like to have a good number of apps.
Original vs Syndicated content
India a huge and diverse market. There is an audience for all kinds of content, short long, original or acquired, in English/Indian languages. As long as the stories are compelling enough and worth their time, audience interest would persist.
Original content allows OTT platforms like SonyLIV to expand user base beyond TV audiences and tell newer stories that may not find their way to TV.
Revenue and Monetisation
OTT platforms work on two forms of monetisation - ad supported (AVOD) or paid/subscription-based models (SVOD)
Both AVOD and SVOD models have evolved very quickly in India. Most consumer brands find the OTT audiences a highly engaged digital audience and look to target them on OTT. SVOD platforms charge monthly / Annual fees to access the content. We have offer Premium #sports Premium English shows to our subscribers. We recently introduced a sachet weekly subscription at Rs 29 per week.
Urban vs Rural divide
OTT adoption mirrors smartphone and 4G adoption. As networks become better across the country, we are seeing our content being consumed in smaller cities across the country.
Post the session, Sodhi announced the launch of ScreenXX Summit and Awards hosted by Adgully.
Thank you Uday. https://t.co/Ta8SWBFmq9— Adgully (@adgully) May 24, 2019
SCREENXX is a unique industry platform that recognizes the efforts of OTT platforms and content creators on them. It is a congregation of industry stakeholders to discuss the growth and opportunities in this space.
You can read more about the event on our microsite link.