With the era of smart TVs upon us, most Indian users are directly connecting their TVs to the internet, ringing music to the ears of OTT players and broadband providers. This trend has now been corroborated by Sony, which has the lion’s share in the 55-inch and above smart TV market.
Speaking to BusinessLine, Sachin Rai, Head of TV Marketing at Sony India, said that 80-90 out of the 100 Sony customers connect their TVs to the internet immediately after purchasing them, as opposed to 30 out of 100 customers who did so 5-6 years ago.
He attributed this adoption to burgeoning OTT content providers, as well as the ease of broadband availability in the country. This trend will also help OTT service providers, by driving up the demand for content.
However, this doesn’t mean that the dish and the set-top box are disappearing. “I think almost everybody who buys a TV uses a set-top box. But on the side, since they have broadband available, they use OTT services to access special content,” Rai.
Rai also said that many buyers across segments are upgrading larger screen sizes. “The jnumber of first-time buyers for flat panels is, I think, somehow lower than it used to be. We have a lot of repeat customers now purchasing larger screens,” he said.
Large screen TVs on the higher-end of the market are a strong growth driver for Sony. The company had a 40 percent market share by value in FY18 for panel sizes of 55 inches and above. Rai stressed that the “large screen premium” segment will continue to be a focus area for the company. Mid-range TV offerings will also continue to be promoted. Fifty five-inch screens and above are growing at 100 percent compared to the previous 1-2 years.
Despite the influx of several affordable brands in the TV space, Rai insisted that Sony’s product prices will be governed by the quality the product delivers. “I don’t think there is any question of us chasing price,” he said.―The Hindu Business Line