India to regulate video streaming platforms, online content

FILE PHOTO: The Netflix logo is pictured on a television remote in this illustration photograph taken in Encinitas, California, U.S., on January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

India‘s federal government will regulate content on video streaming platforms, including global services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Walt Disney’s Hotstar, as part of rules announced this week.

India‘s ministry of information and broadcasting will oversee streaming video content, which was previously unregulated, a brief government circular said on Tuesday, without providing further details.

Earlier this year, more than a dozen local and global streaming services, including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hotstar, had signed a code for self-regulation.

India‘s internet and mobile lobby group, and Netflix declined to comment, while Amazon and Hotstar did not respond to requests for comment.

Filmmaker Vikram Malhotra said the industry will have to “wait and watch” how the government’s regulation of online content unfolds.

“My only concern is that rules that currently govern access to content as well as its creation and distribution on other platforms, cannot and should not be simply applied to the online medium,” said Malhotra, whose studio Abunduntia Entertainment produces films and shows, including for Amazon Prime Video.

Streaming services have gained traction in India because of the availability of affordable smartphones and cheap mobile data, making the South Asian nation a battleground for Amazon, Netflix and Disney as they seek to expand outside their home markets.

That growth in streaming services, along with internet advertising, sports and music, is expected to help India‘s media and entertainment industry increase 10.1% annually on average to reach $55 billion by 2024, PwC predicts.

News and current affairs content on online media, such as Facebook and Twitter, will also come under the new regulatory regime, the government circular added. Online news was not previously regulated.

Twitter and Facebook did not respond to requests for comment.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.