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SonyLIV extends its digital footprint in South India

SonyLIV, India’s first premium video on demand VOD platform, has announced the launch of its services in Tamil and Telugu with over 4,000 hours of language content. The platform has added TV shows, web originals and films to enable its viewers in South India to enjoy a localised viewing experience. In its bid to offer genre binding, authentic and relatable stories, SonyLIV is partnering with biggies like Jagapathi Babu, Gunnam Gangaraju, Maruthi, Navdeep, Sharath Marar, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Singeetham Srinivas and Balaji Mohan across markets to lead its regional content catalogue.

Headlining the announcement is the launch of its first ever originals – ‘Bhajana Batch’ and ‘Aivar’ in Telugu and Tamil, respectively. The extensive Telugu slate also includes a string of diverse titles like ‘They call him Animal’ and 'Artha Sastram' (a political thriller), among others. The upcoming line-up has interesting shows like 'My Marappu', which scores as the first regional show to be shot completely in USA. In addition to the new content libraries, a hefty chunk of Sony’s existing shows, TVF originals like 'Pitchers', 'Tripling' and 'Permanent Roommates' will be available in Telugu and Tamil, effective June.

Uday Sodhi, Business Head – Digital, Sony Pictures Networks India, commented, “As pioneers, SonyLIV recognised the potential in localising the entertainment experience for its consumers by amplifying reach and engagement. We are delighted to launch our services in Tamil and Telugu and strengthen our brand further in the digital ecosystem. Riding on our content portfolio, we are confident of offering viewers relatable stories and local stars coupled with a seamless digital streaming experience.”

Launched in 2013, SonyLIV records around 109 million app downloads riding on the most sought after stories and a seamless viewing experience. As pioneers in the digital entertainment space, SonyLIV was quick to acknowledge and address the growing need for regional content and launched India’s first ever language original – 'Yolo' in Marathi, followed by 'Kacho Papad Pako Papad' in Gujarati. Currently, over 400 shows across Indian languages cater to the growing demands for local content amongst SonyLIV subscribers.

Pegged at $0.5 billion with 355 million OTT viewers [KPMG_M&E_Report_2018, M&E Trends Report_2019 (Delloite)], the Indian digital ecosystem is brimming with growth. Falling data costs have propelled a change in viewing habits with an increasing thrust on regional content. By 2021, the regional viewership is estimated to increase 2.5 times its current levels, outpacing the growth in English language content. Reports state that Tamil is the second largest population in India today, followed by Telugu which promises sizeable potential for SonyLIV to curate, create and experiment with local stories and cater to an underserved audience in both markets.

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