SonyLiv recently went through an overhaul bringing a new interface, along with new original shows and the claims of a better overall experience. The company has now officially rolled out updated plans for its premium subscription. Customers will now have to pay Rs 299 per month, Rs 699 for six months, or Rs 999 per year if they want access to premium content. Until yesterday the service was available at Rs 99 per month, Rs. 299 for six months, and Rs 499 for a year.
To make SonyLiv more promising, Sony Pictures has announced three original shows, which will air on SonyLiv from Thursday, June 18. These include Your Honour – a remake of Israel's Kvodo, featuring Jimmy Shergill. The other two include English legal drama For Life, produced by ABC and headlined by Nicholas Pinnock, and Indian show Kadakh – a relationship drama starring Ranvir Shorey and Mansi Multani. With that SonyLiv will offer its wide range of sports content including TEN Sports live TV, as well as packaged telecasts of WWE, UFC, the UEFA Champions League and other sporting events.
SonyLiv's show roster is not weak but what has cost Sony in the streaming race is the lack of refinement in its app, as well as lacklustre streaming quality. The SonyLiv app has often delivered a half-baked streaming experience, offering pixelated feeds even on excellent network strengths. On top of the bad and unintuitive user experience design, sporting events have taken a back seat due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, the future of sports broadcast remains unclear, which may have set the alarm bells ringing at Sony.
Hotstar, which is Sony’s biggest streaming competitor in India, on the other hand has produced a series of original or exclusive shows, largely via international syndications. Its latest partnership with Disney to integrate the Disney+ service has also worked wonders. With all of this included, it will be interesting to see how far SonyLiv's new journey impacts users, and if it finally manages to attract new users based on the strength of its content quality.