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Outdoor is a very brand friendly medium for OTT platforms: Uday Sodhi

SonyLIV, the premium Video on demand (VOD) service by Sony Pictures Networks (SPN), has beefed up its content line-up with 3 new web originals – ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, ‘Holycross’ and ‘16’. 

Starring an ensemble cast of Kushal Punjabi, Viraf Patel, Saloni Khanna, Karan Vir Mehra, Flora Saini and Vivek Muskaran, among others, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ is an episodic series about love and its many manifestations set around the Navras or the Nine Emotions. Set in a secluded, sleepy town like Matheran, this hotel is home to unique individuals hit by unrequited love. 

‘Holycross’ sees Dr Rhea stuck in a weird hospital premise as she transcends time and space. 

‘16’ is the story about a gang of young vigilantes who have taken it upon themselves to lend justice to all those who have been wronged, even as they are hunted by the city police. The web series stars Ravi Kishan, Ali Haji, Vani Soon and Richa Mukherjee. 

Read More: Gullak: TVF’s slice-of-life look at middle class India wins over viewers

In addition to these, the newly-launched series ‘Gullak’ is also live on SonyLIV that explores the imperfect relationships and aspirations of the Mishra family. Within the small confines of their home, their lives are no less than a medley of emotions, arguments and laughter, all rolled into one. 

On coming up with 4 Originals after a long gap, Uday Sodhi, Business Head - Digital | SonyLIV OTT App | Sony Pictures Network India, explained that the idea is to offer a range of shows and not go with just one offering as that would get only one set of users. “We are making some early moves by offering 4 stories in 4 different genres. One show has been done by TVF, other is by Vishal and one by Vikram Bhatt. If you look at ‘Gullak’, it is different, ‘16’ has a different feel. We felt it would be better to go together as it would give people who are looking for different genres a chance to watch them over a period of time and will build SonyLiv as the destination for original content,” he explained. 

He further said that the horror genre is a tough nut to crack, but it’s also an interesting genre and SonyLIV would want to work on that. 

Speaking about the response received by ‘Gullak’, Sodhi said that it has been “Absoluetly mind blowing!” Adding further, he said, “We were very taken aback by the kind of feedback we have got from consumers. The interesting part we have seen is that organic response and word of mouth recommendation has been very high. In fact, we have seen on social media people posting on their own, saying that they have seen it and liked it, which very rarely happens given the noise in the original space. Very few of these things get picked up on their own, which is what we saw. In our original plan, we only planned promotions in UP and Delhi and see how that would pan out. But the kind of viewership that we are seeing in Mumbai and other markets has surprised us. That is what made us do this event here in Mumbai and we also decided to do an outdoor campaign.” 

Sodhi maintained that outdoor is becoming the go-to platform as far as marketing is concerned. “Along with being local, outdoor also gives the eyeballs and visibility because it also helps create a destination for us. There is a lot of sampling to it. Outdoor is a very brand friendly medium and something like ‘Gullak’ really stands out here, everything else may not,” he added. 

SonyLIV has not planned an outdoor promotion plan for ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, ‘Holycross’ and ‘16’ as the objective is to drive viewership once and get consumptions on everything else. The new shows are being promoted on SPN’s network channels as well as across channels.



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