Rewind 2022: TV has a great opportunity to reinvent itself - Neeraj Vyas

It’s time to review the most significant industry developments as the year 2022 draws to a close. Adgully is reviewing the year 2022 for the M&E, advertising, digital, marketing, PR, and communications, along with leading names in the industry as part of our annual Rewind series.

Recapping the year, Neeraj Vyas, Business Head - Sony SAB, PAL, and Sony MAX Movie Cluster, speaks about challenges faed by the M&E industry in 2022, especially the cinema industry and television. At the same time he is also optimistic about television being a sustainable reality and leveraging the great opportunity to reinvent itself to stay relevant.

The M&E ecosystem in India in 2022

The year 2022 has been a bit of a challenge for the media and entertainment industry. Overall, it has been a cautious year. For example, for the movie industry, it has been a challenging year. We saw a lot of movie releases post COVID, but a majority of them did not work at the box office. There is clearly a new trend as far as cinema-going is concerned. This is largely because people are lot more objective about the choices they are making. The last two years of COVID have led to a very significant change of habits of the viewing consumer and that has caught the film industry by surprise. A lot of reworking is required.

The South industry has emerged as a major challenger. The concept of Indian cinema has picked up, so that has been a big positive. Today, consumers are able to appreciate and understand cinema from across the country. If the end product is good and interesting, if it is well presented and, most importantly, if the idea is novel, then viewers across the country today have absolutely no problem in experimenting. That, I believe, has been one major shift in viewing habits.

Multiple screens across multiple devices have also caught the attention of the viewers and clearly there is more and more fragmentation that has also led to a lot of fragmentation on TV as well. Television reach has gone down a bit this year, but I think at the same time television is still a sustainable reality. TV will certainly manage to sustain for the next few years and that is what even data tells us. So, these are a few interesting trends that emerged this year.

Key trends and developments in 2022

From a television POV, at least in the HSM space, television reach has gone down a bit, but that is clearly due to the fragmentation of content, and due to the growth of various options across the small screen. Clearly, the viewers’ time is now divided between TV, OTT and free-to-air content that is available across many screens. That is a clear indication even for the TV industry – that all of us will also have to rework the way we do things to keep the audiences engaged. Something that I have said very often is we need to look beyond just ratings reality. We need to be conscious of the fact that there is a large section of the audience beyond just the ratings homes. They expect a lot more variety, a lot more entertainment, a lot of new thoughts, a lot of newness in the presentation of concepts and characters.

It is also a great challenge for television to reawaken itself, because today the viewer is a lot more mature and is a lot more accepting, but it will all depend on how we take this challenge up. From a writing and presentation perspective, it’s a great opportunity for TV to reinvent itself so that we stay relevant and so that television doesn’t go the cinema way. TV has a great opportunity to reinvent and bring back a lot more stories and ideas directed to more members in the family, not just the female viewers, as has been the trend since the last few years.

Sony’s performance in 2022

As a company, we have had a decent year. Being profitable has always been the focus for us at Sony. A lot of this has been achieved by being conscious on the cost part of it, but at the same time we have also been innovative and sharp with our ad sales and distribution. All in all, we have had a decently profitable year.


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