Hot­star, Sony Liv Gear Up to Take on Net­flix in In­dia

The Economic Times - - Brands: Creating Desire - Gau­rav.Laghate @times­group.com

Mum­bai: Hol­ly­wood’s pop­u­lar­ity in In­dia should never be un­der­es­ti­mated. Dis­ney’s The Jun­gle Book has not only clocked more than .₹ 150 crore but also man­aged to top Bol­ly­wood su­per­star Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan in the process. Now, me­dia con­glom­er­ates Star and Sony plan to cash in on this Hol­ly­wood rage in a dif­fer­ent way.

Sony Liv, the over-the-top ser­vices player owned by broad­caster Sony Pic­tures Net­works (SPN) In­dia, and Star In­dia’s Hot­star will use Hol­ly­wood movies and English TV con­tent to take on Net­flix in the In­dian mar­ket. Hot­star, which claims over 50 mil­lion down­loads, has launched its first pay wall (.`199 per month) with the launch of sixth sea­son of ‘Game of Thrones’, an HBO orig­i­nal se­ries, along with other TV se­ries. Sony Liv, with over 20 mil­lion down­loads, has taken the films route and re­cently launched a sub­scrip­tion ser­vice for Bol­ly­wood movies. It is bank­ing on its Hol­ly­wood li­brary to of­fer English movies on sub­scrip­tion and plans to of­fer ti­tles like The Goose­bumps, The An­gry Birds, Ho­tel Tran­syl­va­nia and Con­cus­sion to its users be­fore their TV pre­mieres on a per-trans­ac­tion ba­sis for .₹ 120.

“While we have sub­scrip­tion plan for .₹ 150 per month, we are of­fer­ing re­cent movies on a pay-per-view and trans­ac­tional VOD ba­sis for .₹ 120. As th­ese films are not aired on TV, we hope that peo­ple will pay to watch it on Sony Liv,” said Uday Sodhi, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent and dig­i­tal busi­ness head at SPN In­dia.

Both Hot­star and Sony Liv have priced sub­scrip­tions well be­low Net­flix’s min­i­mum of .₹ 500. “Con­sumers of con­tent in English have al­ways been as­so­ci­ated with higher spend­ing power. They are also more amenable to pay­ing for con­tent if they can get it on a when-and­where-I-want-it ba­sis,” said Ashish Pher­wani, head – ad­vi­sory for me­dia & en­ter­tain­ment at EY.

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