Tushar Shah, Business Head, English Cluster, Sony BBC Earth and Sony AATH and Uday Sodhi, Business Head, Digital - Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) tell us about the conceptualization of Twinning, an AXN original, as well as the convergence between Sony’s TV plus Digital platform
Coming on the back of the success of ‘AXN Ultimate Cook-Off - The Marriott International Challenge’, the first AXN original home production, the Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI)-owned English GEC AXN recently launched its second original reality show ‘Twinning’.
Produced by Condenast, the 10-episode series is crafted around the theme of relatable fashion, with each episode sporting a distinct fashion theme and featuring notable fashion icons like Neeta Lulla, Pooja Dhingra, Elton Fernandes, Alisha Abdullah, and others who not only discuss their own fashion mantras on the show, but also share fashion and style tips which viewers can easily relate to without having to splurge. Hosted by popular youth fashion icons, fashion designer Gabriella Demetriades and fashion model Erika Packard, Twinning is hosted both on AXN, as well as SonyLIV.
Talking about the conceptualization of the show, Tushar Shah, Business Head, English Cluster, Sony BBC Earth and Sony AATH says, “The show is called ‘Twinning’ because it is hosted by two people who think alike, dress alike, have common interests, common fashion tastes, and they also get the audience to ‘twin’ with them. Besides, the fact that the show is viewable on twin platforms of AXN and SonyLIV is another way of looking at it.”
Early data has shown an over 30% increase in traction in the slot average (Sunday, 9 pm, English) after the launch of Twinning, as well as a viewership of over four million on SonyLIV, but Shah believes that more than the numbers, it is the quality of content and experience which is drawing in viewers.
TV PLUS DIGITAL On the value add that a show like Twinning presents to SonyLIV viewers, Uday Sodhi, Business Head, Digital - Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) says, “Today, SonyLIV is very skewed towards the Hindi content that we have, so we are trying to strengthen our English offerings for the English-speaking metro audiences and Twinning fits in very well in that respect. We will also be working closely with AXN for more TV plus Digital offerings, going forward.”
While AXN has a cumulative reach of over 12.5 million viewers (NCCS All 2+ Megacities), SonyLIV reaches over 40 million users. The combined force makes for an impressive viewership audience of over 50 million viewers, across cities and a diverse age bracket. Thus, it makes perfect sense to target viewers who watch in realtime (appointment viewing) as well as on the OTT platform (on demand). “We want to create synergy between the linear and digital platforms as it adds immense value to the consumer. The viewers have the choice to decide the time and place where they want to watch the content, and the advertisers get to reach their TG through integrated advertising solutions,” Shah tells us.
For Twinning, while Mia by Tanishq was the title sponsor, Fastrack and Skinn were other brands featured on the show, as part of the association with Titan.
“Today for an advertiser, the advantage that Sony offers is the multiplicity of integrated options across linear and digital screens to reach a varied audience where they are – something that is unique to us, and of greater value to a brand. Additionally, viewers on the OTT platform can promote the show on social media streams and thus the ability to interact with the content expands and reach increases – another plus point for an advertiser. Thus we believe offering the combined package of TV plus Digital, with the power of both platforms, in addition to our size and scale, gives us an edge over other players,” Sodhi explains.
On the content front, while there is competition in the form of originals from OTT platforms like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hotstar and others, Sodhi is undeterred.
“While there are a number of shows today, creating value and the relevance of the content to your TG is what will keep viewers glued to your platform, and where there are eyeballs, advertisers will also come forward. Today, we have over a 100odd shows on SonyLIV and our content is refreshed regularly. We will also continue to come up with more originals, based on our viewers’ preferences,” Sodhi adds.
Twinning is all set for a Season 2 launch sometime in 2019. “We are extremely encouraged by the response for the first two AXN originals and we will be releasing more original series in both, the fiction and nonfiction categories,” Shah concludes.