Nitesh Kripalani is Executive Vice-President, New Media, Business Development & Digital/Syndication at Sony Entertainment Network (Multi-Screen Media). He is a member of the core Management team at Sony Entertainment Network India, with strong vast experience in New Media, Telecom/Tech and Strategy across start-ups and corporations. Currently he heads three different portfolios (Sports, New Media and Business development).
Nitesh Kripalani is Executive Vice-President, New Media, Business Development & Digital/Syndication at Sony Entertainment Network (Multi-Screen Media). He is a member of the core Management team at Sony Entertainment Network India, with strong vast experience in New Media, Telecom/Tech and Strategy across start-ups and corporations. Currently he heads three different portfolios (Sports, New Media and Business development). Nitesh has led initiatives/projects and supported CXOs across industries and geographies covering new market entries, investment decisions and M&A.
In an exclusive interaction with India Digital Review, he talks about trends in Video on Demand industry, uptake of Sony LIV and company’s future plans.
Tell us about Sony’s current digital strategy (both internet and mobile)?
Our key objective is to target and mould the consumer thinking. We are focused to establish Sony LIV as the most innovative Video On Demand Service provider. We closely monitor our user data and believe in leveraging the insights to drive a superior world class viewing experience, accelerated through innovation. The approach has always been to provide the best of our content in the most seamless and user friendly way possible, hence you can find features through which users can personalize their content on our platform, create playlists of their choice and search for videos as per their mood/genre.
When we monitored the consumption behavior of over 50,000 unique visitors on an average who log on to Sony LIV, everyday, we found that today’s viewers increasingly prefer short content formats on digital platforms. Hence, in addition to original complete content, we introduced content formats like Catch-up episodes, Quickisodes and Short crunch episodes on our platform.Sony LIV is presently available on mediums such as online, mobiles and tablets.
How has been the uptake of Sony LIV so far? If you can share user no, traffic details, views etc. What is the percentage of user traction are you getting from the mobile medium? If you can share the app download and update numbers.
As per a Sony LIV report, it is learnt that 53 percent of viewers watch videos on their mobile phones, 32 percent view them online and 15 percent, on their tablets. The report is derived from Sony LIV user data. Hence it is clear that the maximum number of video content is consumed on mobile phones. Between January to July 2013, 24.4 million cumulative video views occurred across mobiles, online and tablets. On an average, over 50,000 unique visitors log on to Sony LIV, across all platforms i.e. online, mobile and tablet, every day
What type of content is the Indian user hooked onto?
As per Sony LIV user data analysis, nearly 78 percent of the videos consumed are comedy, drama and thriller. Comedy is viewed by 30 percent of the audience, followed by drama at 25 percent and thrillers at 23 percent. Reality shows and other genres of shows are watched by the remaining 22 percent.
Have you forged any significant content or revenue partnerships recently?
Sony LIV platform comprises of 18 years of rich content from Sony’s stable, covering genres including drama, comedy, thriller, reality shows and many more. Viewers can watch their favorite current shows and archive shows from Sony, anytime and from anywhere. We are a self-sustaining entity.
How has social media helped in dissemination of the online content in India?
Social media is offering a host of new opportunities for brands to connect directly with their target audience and to engage and interact with them, real time. The same scenario applies when it comes to brands providing video content online. You can receive direct feedback from your consumers without any assistance from a third party research firm or distribution channel and can leverage that feedback to your advantage.
Historically, it used to be enough to have an online presence on the Internet for the one-way broadcasting and dissemination of information. Today, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are driving new forms of social interaction, dialogue, exchange and collaboration.
Usually, VOD services work on ad revenue and subscription based revenue model. How are you monetizing Sony LIV?
We want to partner with brands to deliver their reach and branding objectives. Sony LIV is advertising supported.
How fruitful has been your association with Affle? Have you got significant revenue?
We are very happy to associate with Affle and will look forward to more such strategic partnerships in future.
What percentage of Sony’s business is coming from digital? How much growth do you see in the number?
As a corporate policy, we do not disclose revenue figures. Nonetheless, the numbers are significant and we anticipate a sharp rise over the coming times. Our presence across diverse digital platforms like mobile, online, telecom and YouTube is quite strong and these are important sources of revenue for us. We are growing at a rate which is faster than the projected digital market growth.
How do you plan to take on competition from players like Eros Now, Zee’s DittoTv and Reliance’s BigFlix?
We believe that the competition will help grow the market. It is a good thing. Our proposition is very clear – A premium video service with content from the Sony stable from the last 18 years. We will be available wherever the user is. Our key goal is user engagement. We want fans to be immersed when they use our platform. Users can use the Mood Wheel on Sony LIV to watch their favorite video as per their mood/genre, they can create playlists of their choicest of shows through My Q and be rewarded as a LIV Guru, by consuming Sony LIV content multiple platforms, be it tablet, PC or mobile phones.
Please share your future plans for Sony LIV.
Our aim is to be the leader in the Digital Video Entertainment space.