It also dismissed the plea which has sought removal of explicit content from online platforms. Last month, Netflix, Amazon and a few other OTT players including Eros Now signed a self-regulatory code restraining them from broadcasting certain content banned by Indian courts. Ali Hussein, COO at Eros Digital, which controls Eros Now, a subscription-based OTT video on-demand platform talks about the way forward.
Keeping OTTs free and fair
Censorship of content on TV is not an issue, as the self-regulation model adopted by the broadcast industry is now well-settled and fully functional, to the satisfaction of all stakeholders, including the government. OTT players have not been offered any directive from any authority. More importantly, there is no move to censor any content by OTT players. We, along with other OTT players have adopted the Code of Best Practices for self-regulation, under the aegis of the IAMAI. This is essentially an initiative, which is intended to remove disparities in addressing consumer grievances and build unified approach to such issues.
How self-regulation works
The Code is an enabler, which assists us to offer engaging and cutting-edge content to subscribers. We believe this strategy is a lot more progressive, keeping in mind the form of Internet video, and it will benefit the ecosystem at large. The Code applies to all content available on the OTT service. The mechanism is one of the several options players may engage in to inform their customers about the content type and make an informed choice before proceeding to view the same. This Code will encourage greater creativity and freedom of expression among creators, who can create niche content, unavailable on traditional media, with limitations of time and bandwidth. Regional language content will see a huge boost giving customers wider choice of content in a language of choice.
For consumers and players
While both TV and OTT services cater to a distinct set of audience, the latter has an edge when it comes to meeting the ever-growing consumer demand for fresh and engaging content, available at the end users’ fingertip, on-demand and on the move. The Code will facilitate our vision to expand consumer choice. We have the right mix of talent and content to satisfy the demanding needs of its subscribers who are looking for compelling and relatable programming offering at an optimum price point. This is going to support all aspects of the value chain including the subscribers, advertisers, OTT brands and scale business. The opportunities are huge. The move by the signatories to adopt self-regulation will build subscriber demand and enhance customer experience.