OTT platforms in India had to brace for riveting news when the Government issued brand new guidelines for content on February 25. The central government’s new norms were awaited with anxiety and apprehension since the focus was entirely on the nature of these guidelines.
‘The 3-tier regulatory mechanism” which came into effect for apps will directly set boundaries on the most popular giants including Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix.
To make it simple to understand, the laws set forth are a 3-parter. One will be international, pertaining to the headquartered location of the company. The other two levels are rolled out at the country and state level.
The direct impact of this move on the Entertainment Industry will of course be the rise in content disputes if the streaming platforms are not too careful.
If the content which is painstakingly being created by platforms are marked down, it will be a major challenge for them and will need immediate workarounds.
Over-the-top digital streaming platforms will henceforth see this purported ‘soft-touch regulatory architecture’ in hindsight while publishing content. The government’s motive behind imposing these restrictions is to bring digital media and traditional media houses on the same page.
There was a lot of chatter regarding possible pre-censorship being imposed on Indian OTT platforms by the Government. Just like television and movies, streaming platforms would have to bear the brunt if this ever became a reality. But it didn’t and this was good news, especially for the low-level start-ups.
The Government assumed overriding powers due to issues with OTT platforms around self-regulation.
Why was the law suddenly brought in?
The Government suddenly felt the need now to step in due to recurring grievances received from the audience. The Government assumed overriding powers due to issues with OTT platforms around self-regulation.
The need for regulation has suddenly arisen owing to several objections raised by religious and governmental bodies.
What’s in it for me?
Start-ups venturing into the entertainment space need to know the newest Indian IT laws like the back of their hand. Another note of caution here is that just like the seasons, content regulatory laws are changing as per the whims and fancies of governing bodies.
Start-ups need to be alert and active to survive the entertainment and OTT space. You need to be ready for quick changes. The bottom line here is that the big names like Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video will hardly be affected by the arrival of these laws.
But the smaller players, especially start-ups and brands associated with big OTT productions will need to take extra care. The fact of the matter is that a single piece of content, however mediocre is generally associated with close to 200 small production units. Since the industry is large, small companies like makeup houses need to check how their funnel flow is affected by the new regulations.