OTT Sector in India Has Been Disciplined With the New Rules Announced Last Year

The Indian government had said that OTT platforms will have to follow certain code of ethics and a three-tier grievance redressal mechanism (also applicable for news platforms and digital media.) OTT platforms were asked to classify their content into five age based categories - U (Universal), U/A (Universal and Adult, 7+ years), U/A (13+ years), U/A (16+ years), and A (Adult).

Highlights

  • Over-the-top (OTT) sector, which has seen a lot of growth in India and the world has been disciplined with the new rules that were announced last year.
  • All the content marked U/A (13+ years) was asked by the government to be put under the parental lock.
  • OTT platforms have been offered the power of self-regulation which is better than the government setting up a regulatory body any day.

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Over-the-top (OTT) sector, which has seen a lot of growth in India and the world has been disciplined with the new rules that were announced last year. The Indian government had said that OTT platforms and digital news publishers will have to follow a certain codes of ethics and this has brought in a lot of discipline in the sector, said Vikram Sahay, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Joint Secretary.

As per a PTI report, Sahay said that India has over 40-50 OTT platforms and none of these platforms required permission to launch services. Multiple international, as well as domestic OTT platforms, have come up in the country due to this.

OTT Platforms Need to Follow These Rules

In the previous year, the Indian government had said that OTT platforms will have to follow a certain code of ethics and a three-tier grievance redressal mechanism (also applicable for news platforms and digital media.)

OTT platforms were asked to classify their content into five age-based categories – U (Universal), U/A (Universal and Adult, 7+ years), U/A (13+ years), U/A (16+ years), and A (Adult).

All the content marked U/A (13+ years) was asked by the government to be put under the parental lock.

A lot of media industry people didn’t like this move from the government. However, according to Sahay, a platform as pervasive and powerful as OTT shouldn’t be allowed to act freely without any discipline.

The joint secretary said that a lot of other countries are also trying to study the regulatory framework that India has put into place with regard to the OTT platforms so that they can do the same.

OTT platforms have been offered the power of self-regulation which is better than the government setting up a regulatory body any day. This keeps the power within the hands of the OTT platforms which both the viewers and the industry people love.

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