Govt says OTT platforms will not be strangulated by regulation

The three-day annual CII Big Picture Summit 2020 is being held online from December 16 to December 18 this year, featuring over 25 Knowledge Sessions and more than 120 speakers deliberating on a wide range of issues that cut across the spectrum looking to develop a cohesive industry engagement with core cross sectoral policy dialogues and strategic exchanges.

In a special address at a session entitled, ‘Under Scrutiny: Will OTT be Able to Get Over It?’, Vikram Sahay, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, noted that OTT platforms have provided a huge opportunity for young artists, directors, actors, singers, musicians, and technicians to come up and present their skills to a larger audience.

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“It is yet another opportunity for us as a country to showcase across the world that we can present the best among the best,” he added.

Addressing regulatory concerns, Sahay said that the Government is trying “to ensure that our consumers are protected in all ways” from fake news and other unacceptable content. “The concerns are uniform across the world. It has nothing to do with India specifically, it is concerned with protecting children from content not suitable for them. And therefore, we have been in touch with the industry and we will continue in touch with the industry to work out a model which is acceptable to all of us,” he added.

Also speaking at the Summit was SK Gupta, Secretary, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, who remarked that today India is passing through a “digital revolution era”.

“We have got 750 billion broadband subscribers and 550 million smartphone subscribers, their smartphone adoption rate is 30% year on year, meaning there are a large number of people who will have a smartphone and can see TV or other contents on the phone,” he said.

He further added that the media and entertainment industry is modelling the society. “You are actually modelling the society. You have got a lot of responsibilities on your shoulder as to how you project our future to happen, which is going to affect our children, our young people, and almost everybody.”

Gupta also pointed out how changing consumer behaviour has opened new challenges for the industry. “Productivity of individual is increasing and therefore available time for the entertainment is reducing. Due to this, individuals want good quality time with the entertainment. He has become more demanding in terms of what he really wants, at the time and place he chooses. So, this gives a challenge to the industry to slightly tune up to their requirement.”

He said that India is at the stage of adoption of the 5G technology. “So, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are going to be very important areas to work together. While it could be a challenge also, it can complement the capabilities of the media and entertainment industry. This can give us a lot of leverage to export our content to other countries,” Gupta added.


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