Sony Entertainment Television (SET): Engaging & Entertaining Today's Urban India

Danish Khan,Business Head
Danish Khan, Business Head

The Indian audience is watching more television than ever before. Unfazed by competitionfrom on-demand entertainment networks, TV viewership in India has shot-up by 12 percent since 2016, concluded a BARC Broadcast India survey. Although ad spends have plummeted across television in FY18, the Hindi General Entertainment Channel (GEC)segment still commands a lion’s share of the total ad spend owing to the number of hours spent by audience watching GECs. Naturally, every industry’s big wig is striving hard to capture audience time in order to gain a larger share of the GEC ad spend. However,capturing audience attention for a prolonged period of time has become tougher than ever. The need of the hour is engaging programsthat resonates and appeals to the sensibilities of today’s Indian audience.

Having stayed receptive to the pulse of audience and creating engaging yet path-breaking content since its very inception is Sony Entertainment Television(SET), a premium 24-hour Hindi GEC. Initiated in 1995, SET has been a dynamic channel that responds to the diverse needs of its viewers and offers a complete spectrum of genres from mytho to dramas, events to comedies, and game shows,to dance shows among others. Rendering complete family entertainment, SET has pioneered some genre defining shows such as CID, Kaun Banega Crorepati, Super Dancer and Indian Idol, amongst several others.

Understanding & Catering to the Right Audience
Over the years, Indian television viewers have been bestowed with a plethora of entertainment channels. With options galore, at just a click away, it becomes imperative for television channels to completely comprehend the tastes and requirements of their viewers and evolve their programs accordingly. Having cracked this code, SET has been able to stay relevant to the audience by evolving with their consumption patterns and offering a differentiated palette to maintain
freshness. As a consequence, the channel has remained as the one-stop-family entertainment destination amongst metros and large towns over a long period of time.

“We have been focused on creating content that appeals to an affluent urban audience with relatable characters and differentiated narratives. With finite stories, we want to continue offering our viewers a wholesome and an engaging experience that not only triggers conversations, but also encourages people with hope and happiness,” explains Danish Khan, Business Head, SET.

"SET has been able to stay relevant to the audience by evolving with their consumption patterns and offering a differentiated palette to maintain freshness"

Cracking the Weekend & Weekday Programming Code
Television audience’s expectation differs in terms of content for weekend and weekdays. For any channel to be successful, building compelling weekend programs is critical. Having successfully identified and delivered on weekend programs, SET has come-up with marquee shows spanning various genres ranging from crime to talent and comedy such as Indian Idol, Comedy Circus, The Kapil Sharma Show and the most celebrated home-grown format Super Dancer. Having specifically designed these shows to capture the weekend strength, SET ensures whole some entertainment for the entire family.

Other than having mastered weekend programming, the channel’s weekday contentslate also offers differentiated, impactful and urban stories delivering on the promise of novelty, variety and quality with finite stories and relatable characters. Shows such as Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi, Beyhadh and with new offerings such as Patiala Babes and Ladies Special, SET has become a force to be reckoned with. Additionally, the channel has successfully redefined its weekday’s appointment viewership through the revival of the path breaking show, Kaun Banega Crorepati.

Next Gen Second Screen Engagement
As our world gets increasingly engulfed in the digital explosion, content consumption through mobile phones and other digital devices has been on the rise. While naysayers perceive other visual devices as television viewership's direct competitor, yet
broadcasters across the globe have been leveraging second screen engagement as an opportunity to increase audience loyalty. A report by EY, suggests that interactivity increases time spent on linear television, as well as builds program loyalty which can be utilized by advertisers.

Adept at staying ahead of the times, SET has judiciously leveraged second screen engagement to cater to the millennial audience. It started with Kaun Banega Crorepati – Season 9. This year, KBC Season 10 play - along experience was hosted on SonyLIV that recorded registrations by more than 8.2 million users, while the total time spent registered over 47 million hours, and total interactions of 596 million. Taking the success and the scale of the secondscreen initiative a step further, Dus Ka Dum became the most interactive television show through the SonyLIV app. The engagement with the audience happened in three phases viz. ‘Survey’ leading to ‘Audition’ and ‘Play Along’ once the show launched. It is a first in the history of world television that viewers’ insights were recorded and formed the backbone for the content in the form of probable questions in the show. The second screen engagement was successfully used in shows like Crossroads and Indian Idol as well.

Creating Lasting Partnerships with Audience
For any content to be successful, it needs to connect with the audience. Functioning on the motto of ‘Partnerships’,SET believes that when a relationship turns into a partnership, life looks up and leaps forward, our differences dissolve and we appreciate each other more, laugh together more and hence it's a win-win for all. With its prudent storytelling, the channel continues to rule the roost with stories that are relevant, engaging and entertaining.


Popular Shows:
Patiala Babes, Ladies Special, Chandragupta Maurya, Main Maike Chali Jaungi, Mere Sai - Shraddha Aur Saburi, Yeh Un Dino Ki Baat Hai, Vighnaharta Ganesh, Crime Patrol, CID The Kapil Sharma Show, Indian Idol, Super Dancer and Comedy Circus