Control on OTT content is Must – PHD Chamber

No.PR-243 September 8, 2020 New Delhi Control on OTT content is Must – PHD Chamber OTT (Over the Top) platforms is the future of Media & Entertainment Industry, with its diverse content and growing audience. It will be the new normal in Entertainment Industry, said Vikram Sahay, Joint Secretary (P&A), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, in a webinar organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry on ‘OTT Platform- The New Normal for Indian Media and Entertainment Industry’. Sahay appreciated the Knowledge Report submitted by the Media Team of PHD Chamber on’ Outlook of Media and Entertainment Industry in the COVID Scenario’ to the Minister Prakash Javadekar. He mentioned that OTT has given an opportunity to young Indian talent to produce good series to export abroad so that India can be one of the entertainment leaders in the world. Dr. D K Aggarwal, President, PHDCCI deliberated about the daunting impact of the pandemic, especially in the M&E industry. He mentioned the pivotal role of OTT platforms in this new normal that has paved a new pathway in industry. Mukesh Gupta, Chair, M&E Committee, PHDCCI, while giving an industry perspective towards OTT platforms, discussed the disruption of healthy and meaningful content in some OTT platforms which are giving away messages related to violence, crime, and other inappropriate content leading to negativity in the minds of young audience. Gupta suggested the need for the intervention of the government , through stringent regulations like the formation of censorship board to minimize the usage inappropriate content by the industry players to save the Indian Culture and social values. As a business model, OTT has given an opportunity to young minds and producers to showcase their talent and creativity in a different way and reach out to a bigger set of masses. In fact, television channels should also divert towards OTT as it’s economical, profitable and flexible with an enormous reach, said Mukesh Gupta. He said that with its rising popularity and a better reach, an OTT platform needs to be a mix of ethnicity, spirituality, entertainment and at the same time ensure dissemination of knowledge and information leading to enhancement of social well-being. Explain the OTT platform concept in detail Gupta also suggested that the government should start their own OTT platforms, just like Doordarshan, that will encourage programs like Vocal4Local, Make in India, AatmNirbhar Bharat, Achievements of PSUs and also showcase the developments of the nation, keeping the citizens well informed. Zubin Dubash, COO – Digital, Shemaroo mentioned that due to lockdown and shut down of theatres, the target audience was looking for interesting content and this derived demand was fulfilled with the OTT platform that delivered all genre content at the same time with an affordable rate and flexible watching. He said the need for self-regulation while balancing the creative liability at the same time providing information to the audience of what they will be watching. While the OTT platforms are giving a new turn in M&E, it also needs to look at creating value in its customers. Ashi Dua, Founder, Flying Unicorn Entertainment said that OTT is here to stay and, it has given content wings to fly making it reach a wider audience. She highlighted that OTT is a gold mine for writers and, it’s giving a golden opportunity to showcase their creativity and imagination with an increasing demand for varied genres of content. Sushil Chaudhary, Founder & CEO, Picture Time, discussed the regulatory aspect of the OTT platform and the need for a moral code of conduct at the level of creators, producers, and filmmakers. He shared that a lot of OTT players have signed the code of conduct for self-regulation related to the content shown on their platforms. Chaudhary mentioned that in this digitalized world, Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) would take over consolidated with the OTT world. The cinematic theatre experience will remain but, it has to tweak itself depending on the viewers’ preferences and to be more effective for the target audience. Shagun Singhal Garg, Educationist discussed the advantages of OTT and behavioural changes and habit formation towards entertainment post-COVID-19. Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary-General, PHDCCI, said due to popularity of OTT, many people disconnected their Cable and DTH connections. The webinar was moderated by Dr. Yogesh Srivastav, Principal Director, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and was supported by Picture Time. The webinar received extensive participation of many industry stalwarts pan-India. Webinar was attended by lot of entertainment industry stalwarts END Media Team PHD Chamber