SPN has seen 20-25% growth in time spent in some genres, post NTO: N P Singh

N P Singh, Managing Director and CEO, Sony Pictures Networks, spoke to exchange4media about how the network has benefited from NTO, why it will take some more time for stability in the system and more

e4m by Moumita Bhattacharjee
Updated: Sep 6, 2019 10:05 PM


NP Singh

The new tariff regime brought a certain amount of uncertainty but there has been a gradual growth since the implementation of NTO, says N P Singh, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sony Pictures Networks.

At the launch of ‘Balveer Returns’, Singh spoke at length about how Sony SAB in particular and the network in general has seen a growth in subscriber base.

In a chat with exchange4media, he spoke about how the network has benefitted from NTO and why there is still a need for stability in the market in the wake of the new regime transition.

Edited excerpts:

You mentioned at the event that you have seen a rise in subscriber base and the time spent has also increased post NTO. Has that enabled the network to see a rise in advertising revenue as well?
It was such a major change. One expected disruption and that’s what we saw. In the first quarter of this calendar, we saw a drop in Adex. Everyone saw that. There was uncertainty on the date of implementation and therefore the advertisers pulled back for some time. But after the implementation, we have seen a gradual growth. At present, unfortunately, because of the overall sentiment in the market being low, advertising is lower than what was expected. But I am confident that by the time the festive season kicks in, we will see an upsurge in advertising as well. NTO has helped us in achieving a growth in subscribers, the reach has also started to build. The time spent on all the channels has also gone up.

What kind of rise in time spent has the network observed?
We have seen 20-25% growth in some genres while in others it is close to 10%, which is why there has been an upsurge in the ratings of our channels. SAB has the highest time spent across the industry.

TRAI recently issued yet another consultation paper to review the new framework which addresses several topics like the number and pricing of bouquets, and discount caps. What do you have to say about that?
It’s still a consultation paper. All we are seeking at this stage is that it has been a herculean task to move people to the new regime. Over 130 billion people have been transitioned from the old to the new regime. We have done a great job in making sure that it was seamless. It will take some more time for complete stability to come into the system. At this stage, our request is to let stability come in and then review it. If some changes are to be made in the future, we should consider those but not right now.

The number of bouquets are driven by the number of channels that a network has to offer. If you are in multiple markets, you have to create bouquets. Too many bouquets were not created to confuse the consumers. They can pick and choose. We have seen a significant subscriber number on a-la-carte as well. That’s very encouraging and we should let that trend continue. There is a tilt towards bouquet than a-la-carte because of the ease of selection. If your content is not appealing, merely bundling it with big channels also doesn’t help. It might impact big channels negatively.

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