Leaders of over-the-top (OTT) industry companies in India are disputing the government regulation of digital entertainment content.
In light of the surging demand in cloud-based entertainment, these private firms believe that such type of monitoring may hamper the consumers’ rights and innovative developments in the country.
At the onset of 2018, Indiaâ€™s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting established a government panel whose task is to oversee online content.
This statutory regulation sparked protest among OTT industry leaders who contended that OTT media is at poles apart with print media and TV content.
Amrita Mukherjee, Hotstar’s Senior Vice President – Legal for digital content, pointed out that the statutory regulation for the OTT industry is completely unacceptable.
Speaking recently at the Pixels 2018 congress held in Mumbai, she explained that it is at the discretion of consumers to decide what they desire to view on their digital devices.
Hence, with this principle, Mukherjee argued that government monitoring should be out of the equation.
By defending that they are responsible as corporate entities, the Hotstar executive explained that the OTT industry should operate by self-regulation which will help develop the sector.
Other industry insiders who shared their views at the conference maintained that any regulation in digital content, whether statutory or voluntary, should take the shifting interests of the Indian customers into consideration.
Ajay Chacko, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Arre, an entertainment content platform based in Mumbai, remarked that any form of control, whether voluntary or statutory, should not hamper the development of the OTT industry.
Moreover, he said that consumer choices should be allowed to flourish. After all, as an OTT player, his firm has been serving nearly 400 million customers without any formal controlling entity getting in the way.
The head of the Indian infotainment platform that offers non-fiction, documentaries, fiction, podcasts, and social experiments emphasized the fundamentals of informed decision, similar to Mukherjee’s perspective.
Chacko said that a relatively shared disclosure standard across the digital entertainment industry is ideal, particularly when it comes to professionally made or curated material.
As an OTT industry leader, he added that the principle of informed choice should be the foundation of any monitoring system.
There has been a continuous upturn in digital entertainment content across mobile devices and desktop computers in India.
OTT industry players are seen to carry on with their fight versus the government supervisory activities.
These companies will continue to champion new insights and technological breakthroughs, fighting the government panel which they fear would go overboard, imposing censorship and other restraints.