Indian video streaming app SonyLIV has reached a new milestone by clocking in over 100 million downloads on Android’s Play Store. It is the third service from the country to hit such impressive numbers after Star network’s Hotstar and Reliance’s JioTV app. To put things in perspective, the Sony LIV is right up there with the global giant Amazon’s Prime Video app. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the explosive growth in the number of online users in India. Thanks to the dirt-cheap data prices made possible by Reliance Jio, the internet user base in India has surpassed the 500 million mark. And it seems most of us Indians are watching videos, lots of videos. It is the reason why Indian music label T-Series managed to dethrone Felix Kjellberg known as PewDiePie on YouTube.
Growth Driven By Live Sports Broadcast
SonyLIV offers over 4,000 hours of entertainment in English, Hindi, Marathi, and a few more regional languages. It is one of the most popular destinations for Indian TV series and Bollywood films. Recently, the app has also begun focusing on broadcasting live sports including Cricket and Football. It also provides access to a few Internationally acclaimed series such as The Handmaid’s Tale. SonyLIV offers access to content from over a dozen of channels such as Set Max, SAB TV, Sony SIX, Sony PIX, AXN, Sony ESPN, Sony MIX, Republic TV, Sony Marathi, Sony BBC Earth, and Ten sports. Domestically, SonyLIV competes with ALTBalaji, Eros Now, and SunNXT.
The subsidiary of Sony Pictures Networks recorded three times increase in the number of monthly active users in 2019. The demand for the app has been so high that it has been clocking almost 100 downloads per minute. The app’s screen time has also grown by 7X. The major factor in its success is attributed to the live coverage of sporting events. In 2018, SonyLIV aired India’s cricketing tours of South Africa, England, and Australia. The app will also live stream India’s upcoming tour of Caribbean. Many Indians also enjoyed the FIFA World Cup on Sony’s streaming platform. As per the App Annie 2018 report, SonyLIV’s monthly active users doubled after it started streaming India’s cricket matches. During the same time app downloads recorded a massive 246 percent growth on the Play Store.
According to the global market research company Kantar, the number of online users in India is expected to hit 627 million before the end of 2019. The growth of Indian streaming platforms is not going to show any signs of a slowdown in the near future. It will be interesting to see if any Indian app manages to catch up with Netflix, which is sitting on top comfortably with over 500 million downloads.