“Script is the real hero”

NP Singh, managing director and chief executive, Sony Pictures Networks, says content that is true to its premise is bound to be successful

GN Bureau | October 24, 2020


#TV   #entertainment   #Media   #internet  


Basking in the success of the new web series, ‘Scam 1992: The Harshad  Mehta Story ’,on SonyLIV, the OTT platform from Sony stable where the lead actors are new faces, NP Singh, MD and CEO of Sony Pictures Networks, has said that the script is the new hero.

He credited the success of the web series for its good content  and said that it has led to a huge uptick in the SonyLIV subscriber base despite having unknown and new protagonists. “The focus has now shifted to strong story telling.”

Singh was in a live conversation with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, as part of the Visionary Talk Series held by the public policy and analysis platform.    

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He gave the examples of other successful web series like ‘Andekhi’, ‘Panchayat’, ‘Gullak’ and ‘Pataal Lok’ which he said have been highly appreciated by the viewers and has now set the trend for new faces and content.

“The focus has now shifted to strong storytelling. For me, the script is the hero. If the script is strong to support it and need established strong actors ...we will do it otherwise….force it…is not something we will support ….we will always back good quality content with narrative that will appeal to our viewers. If you have good quality content and stay true to the premise and the original idea it is bound to be successful,” said Singh.               

He was responding to a question as to why unlike international content like ‘Money Heist’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ that feature new talent, Indian studious, producers  and OTT platforms remain wary of putting their money on new and unknown faces.

While speaking on TV content he said TV consumption patterns are changing. The content will need to be segmented but its viewership will continue to grow even though it may only single digit.

“TV broadcasters will have a significant runway. TV consumption patterns are changing and will have to adapt to consumer choice and taste. It will no longer be one-size-fits-all which the broadcasters have done for the last several years. Changing consumer needs will define content strategy for each segment and also the budget for that segment. This is good time to understand consumer, segment and offer content based on their needs.”

The head honcho added that Sony started to position itself as content company more than three years ago with the intent to produce high quality content on multiple platforms and set up Studio Nxt which is creating content for the Sony channels and SonyLIV platform.

“Despite OTT platforms there is very strong viewership for TV content where huge amount of money will continue to get invested. Money will continue to be invested for TV content which has very strong viewership.”

Observing that during the pandemic movies have released on OTT platforms, Singh said we will see more of it happening going forward. “You may have movies produced with clear intent of premiering them only on OTT platform than taking them to cinema going ahead. Once the vaccine comes out, films segment will bounce back and grow. Both will co-exist,” he said.

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