SonyLIV, a premium video on demand (VOD) platform backed by Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), forayed into Tamil digital entertainment landscape with the launch of a series of Tamil original content and a wide range of movies, TV shows and sports content in Tamil.
“We have planned to bring about 2,000-3,000 hours of content into this market and we would like to be the market leader in the Tamil over the top (OTT) content space.” Uday Sodhi, Business Head – Digital, Sony Pictures Networks India, toldBusinessLine after launching the Tamil service in the city.
SonyLIV which was launched in 2013, has a vast array of movies, sports and entertainment content across different genres powered by a network of 29 channels under the Sony group. Currently, the OTT platform’s contents are in Hindi, English, Gujarati and Marathi but the company is looking expand its footprint in the south Indian market.
On Monday, SonyLIV announced the launch of its Telugu services with its first-ever Telugu original ‘Bhajana Batch’.
“Out of 234 million internet users in India, 80 million are from Tamil and Telugu speaking markets,” Sodhi said and added that major OTT players are yet to discover the vast potential of these markets which gives SonyLIV a big opportunity.
To mark its entry into Tamil digital space, SonyLiv launched its first ever Tamil original content, Aivar, a political thriller based on a businessman’s struggle to revive his grandfather’s newspaper.
Besides, the OTT player also announced the launch of three other originals: Adithi, The Farm and My Marappu and remake of popular Hindu originals such as Pitchers, Tripling and Permanent Roommates in Tamil.
“We are in conversation with some of the big names in Tamil entertainment space and we are planning to bring in 10-15 original series by March 2020,” Sodhi said.
The company has tied up with film directors Gautham Vasudev Menon, Balaji Mohan and Singeetam Srinivasa Rao besides partnering with a host of production houses such as AVM Productions and Raaj Kamal Films International (RKFI). It is also tying-up with performing arts and stand-up comedy players such as Evam and Put Chutney.
Sodhi added that, besides investing on original content, the company is also investing on acquiring movie rights to air in its digital platform, dubbing popular Sony TV shows into Tamil, buying sports rights and investing in commentary in Tamil.
SonyLIV, which has 109 million app downloads so far, said it has witnessed 3x growth in its monthly active user (MAU) base in 2017-18.―The Hindu Business Line