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Increasing role of OTT platforms

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    14th Mar, 2022

Context

Public service broadcaster, Prasar Bharati has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with YuppTV, an over-the-top (OTT) platform, which will act as gateway for Doordarshan viewers across the globe. 

Background

  • The content hosting agreement was signed by Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO of Prasar Bharati, and Uday Reddy, founder and CEO of YuppTV. 
  • DD India is now available on the OTT platform of YuppTV in the USA, UK, Europe, Middle East, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

About OTT:

  • OTT stands for “over-the-top”.
  • It refers to the productized practice of streaming content to customers directly over the web.
  • An “over-the-top” media service is any online content provider that offers streaming media as a standalone product.
  • The term is commonly applied to video-on-demand platforms, but also refers to audio streaming, messaging services, or internet-based voice calling solutions.
  • OTT services circumvent traditional media distribution channels such as telecommunications networks or cable television providers.
  • As long as you have access to an internet connection — either locally or through a mobile network — you can access the complete service at your leisure.
  • OTT services are typically monetized via paid subscriptions, but there are exceptions. For example, some OTT platforms might offer in-app purchases or advertising.

What is the aim of this move?

  • Expanding reach at global level: With this move, Prasar Bharati aims to expand the global reach of DD India channel, to put forth the country’s perspective on various international developments on global platforms and to showcase its culture and values to the world. 
  • Increasing viewership: The move can be speculated owing to the increasing viewership of OTT platforms in India.
    • At present, several broadcasters such as Star India, Zee Entertainment, Tata Play and Sony Pictures have made their presence on OTT platforms to widen audience engagement on their shows as well as channels. 
  • Towards development: The country’s age-old DD India channel tying up with an OTT platform is a sure shot precursor of unfolded developments in the coming times.

About DD India Channel:

  • DD India, Prasar Bharati’s international channel, is India’s window to the world.
  • The channel, through its various programmes, offers international viewers India’s perspective on all domestic and global developments.
  • Available in more than 190 countries, DD India also acts as a “bridge between India and the Indian diaspora” spread across the world.

Significance of the move

  • DD India channel will put forth the country’s perspective on various international developments on global platforms.
  • With the new MOU signed, DD India would be available on the OTT platform of Yupp TV in the United States, United Kingdom, UK, Europe, Middle East, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
  • The content hosting agreement was signed by Prasar Bharati’s chief executive officer and Yupp TV founder.

IT Rules, 2021

  • The Rules aim to empower ordinary users of social media and OTT platforms with a mechanism for redressal and timely resolution of their grievance with the help of a Grievance Redressal Officer (GRO) who should be a resident in India.
  • Safety measures:Special emphasis has been given on the protection of women and children from sexual offences, fake news and other misuse of the social media.
  • Source identification:Identification of the “first originator of the information” would be required in case of an offence related to sovereignty and integrity of India.  
  • Appointment of Chief Compliance Officer: A Chief Compliance Officer, a resident of India, also needs to be appointed and that person shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act and Rules.
  • Complaint monitoring:A monthly compliance report mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken on the complaints would be necessary.
  • Code of Ethics:The OTT platforms, online news and digital media entities, on the other hand, would need to follow a Code of Ethics.
  • Self-classification: OTT platforms would be called as ‘publishers of online curated content’ under the new rules.
  • They would have to self-classify the content into five categories based on age and use parental locks for age above 13 or higher. They also need to include age verification mechanisms for content classified as ‘Adult’.
  • Redressal mechanism:A three-level grievance redressal mechanism has been mandated. This includes the appointment of a GRO, self-regulatory bodies registered with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) to look after the Code of Ethics and a Charter for the self-regulating bodies formulated by MIB.

What lies ahead?

With the increase in the user base of streaming content, thanks to deeper internet penetration, affordable data and Indian young consumers, the stage is all set for startups to play bigger role in mass media industry.

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