OTT Platforms now under Government regulation in India

OTT Platforms now under Government regulation in India 2020

So far in India, censorship was only levied upon movies and television. Online-contents were beyond the dominion of censorship. But in October 2020 Supreme court of India sought the response of the Government on why the contents on OTT Platforms are not being regulated.
And in November 2020 an official notice has been released that the Ministry of Information and broadcasting will be regulating online and digital media from now on.

What is OTT?

OTT stands for “Over The Top” platforms. OTT is an audio-video hosting and streaming services where users need to subscribe to stream the contents on the platform. Nowadays, internet and mobile service providers are bundling OTT subscriptions with their plans to lure customers.
OTT is getting bigger day by day as more people have access to the internet, and more people are watching content online. At the end of 2019, India has as many as 17 crores OTT platform users.
OTT services are not only restricted to hosting content, they are into production as well. As online content is gaining popularity, more feature films, documentaries, web shows are being produced and hosted by Over The Top service providers. Even big media houses like Star, Sony, Zee, Viacom18 are in OTT-business now.

What are popular the OTT platforms in India?

The most popular online platforms in India are Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, Sony Liv, Zee5, Voot, Hoichoi, MX Player Online etc.

How OTT platforms have been regulating?

So far in India, OTT platforms are self-regulated. Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), a representative body of the OTT platforms had proposed a self-regulatory model.
With the guidelines of age classification, content description, and parental control OTT platforms present their contents. But all the contents are available for subscribers and users are free to take their viewing decision.

What steps are taken by the ministry so far?

The Government has brought online mediums including films and news content under the ministry of information and broadcasting. The I&B ministry will also regulate online audio-visual programs and current affairs contents according to the amendment order signed by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on 9th November 2020.
As of now, it’s not clear how the I&B ministry will implement the regulation or exactly what restrictions are now imposed upon online media.

Pros: This amendment helps in monitoring the contents on the digital platform since the contents are free to all. Underage subscribers have access to all kinds of content as well. Excessive sexuality or violence can be depicted. Sensitive issues or misleading information can be propagated through the contents of digital media.

Cons: This amendment hampers the right to free speech to an extent. Several web series and documentaries are made on controversial social, political, and economic subjects that mainstream media seldom covers due to censorship. Restriction can be levied upon certain contents due to political influence. It also restricts the creativity of content makers to an extent.

Now it remains to be seen how the ministry regulates the digital media and how it affects the contents we watch in the future.
If you watch content on Online platforms hope you find our article informative. Do let us know in the comments what is your take on this. For more articles like this do follow us on our social media handles where we share our latest content to keep you updated.
OTT Platforms now under Government regulation in India
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