SonyLIV, which crossed the 100 million apps-download mark on Google Play store on the back of a 3X increase in monthly active users in 2019 to record around 100 downloads per minute with a rise of 7X in total time spent on the platform, plus the extension of services in Tamil and Telugu with the launch of over 4000 hours of content across both languages – is keeping up the momentum with the original series engine, which has chugged new life in India’s content factory. It has announced three new web series, Heartbreak Hotel, Holycross and 16 this monsoon. With some unique themes across popular genres, and decent casting, the three sound pretty promising.
Three new shows on SonyLIV
The three shows will span the drama and thriller genres: Heartbreak Hotel, Holycross and 16 are about a deserted hotel, a doctor lost in an estranged hospital and a group of vigilantes trying to seek answers, respectively, and star an ensemble cast of Kushal Punjabi, Viraf Patel, Saloni Khanna, Karan Vir Mehra, Flora Saini and Vivek Musharan, amongst 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 who have grappled with unrequited love.
- In Holycross, however, things are a little different with Dr. Rhea, who is stuck in a weird hospital premises. As she comes across instances she can’t explain, she tries to find answers. But as they say, truth is stranger than fiction. How will she save humanity? The series is about Rhea’s journey, transcending time and space.
- In 16, city police is on the hunt for a gang of rebels who call themselves 16. Undeterred and brave, these youngsters have taken it upon themselves to lend justice to all those who have been wronged. Corruption, murder, rape – everything is fair game for their vigilante hearts. Starring Ravi Kishan, Ali Haji, Vani Soon and Richa Mukherjee, 16 should keep one glued.
SonyLIV’s newly launched series Gullak (piggy bank) too is live on SonyLIV, and explores the imperfect relationships and aspirations of the Mishra family. Within the small confines of their home, their lives are a veritably cacophonous medley of emotions, arguments and laughter. Gullak has added up to SonyLIV’s extensive repertoire of more than 150 titles to engage digital viewers.
SonyLIV is also India’s first OTT gaming destination
In another industry first, SonyLIV was also the first OTT service in India to announce the launch of 100-plus games on its platform spanning Multiplayer Video Quiz, Augmented Reality formats and games on SPN’s most popular shows. As India’s first OTT gaming destination, the platform aims to capture 50 million new consumers in the months ahead.
Active subscribers not known: Of course, it is not so much the number of downloads as the number of active users, and within those, the number of subscribers, and yet again, from amongst those, the number of regularly paying, active subscribers. (The number of active subscribers for SonyLIV is not known, and of course, in all fairness, no OTT platform will ever share that number. ) That percentage, for the industry can be as low as 5 to 7 percent of total downloads, and the only OTT player that’s head and shoulders above and ten track lengths ahead of the rest of the pack, on that, is Netflix. However, Netflix too has been burning budgets on content costs. (Read ‘A third of Netflix subscribers would consider switching to a less expensive ad-supported tier’Will under-pressure Netflix change tiers?)
KBC, other attractions upcoming soon
SonyLIV will also bring the 11th edition of Kaun Banega Crorepati this August with the play-along feature for its viewers. There are also highly rated English shows like The Discovery of Witches, LA’s Finest, Sweetbitter S2, Brittania and Riviera, which will also be launched, scaling up SonyLIV’s English content line-up. Subscribers will also get to binge on the upcoming India-West Indies series along with tournaments like the NBA, Ashes and more.
Also read: SonyLiv ties up with Amazon Pay