Theweekendleader

Digital content industry weighs in on challenges, roadmap in India

Mumbai

02-November-2018

The time is right for India to tell homegrown stories with a global appeal via the burgeoning world of OTT platforms, according to international guest speakers and senior executives from Indias motion picture, television and digital industries, who discussed a plan for the transformation of the digital content ecosystem in the country.

The '2018 Fast Track India: Reimaging the Content Ecosystem', a knowledge series forum by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (Ficci) in association with CreativeFirst, was hosted here on Thursday, read a statement.

According to Brijesh Singh, Secretary and Director General, Information and Public Relations and Special Inspector General of Police, Cyber, Maharashtra government, India has a rich cultural history and a vibrant content industry.

"The time is right for digital content players to showcase India's soft power through homegrown stories that connect with a global audience. Sectoral regulations and policies will create new opportunities for the domestic industry in addition to boosting innovation and growth," he said.

Participants at the forum discussed how heavy dependence on data-based innovation and regulatory responses to privacy challenges, further raise policy questions for India, and how as governments and market participants seek to devise appropriate accountability and liability frameworks for global media platforms, isolated policy decisions can be detrimental to projected growth outcomes.

Michael Schlesinger, Vice President and Regional Legal Counsel, Asia Pacific, Motion Picture Association, said: "India stands on the verge of a bright digital future, one in which creators, consumers and intermediaries all function symbiotically in a healthy Internet ecosystem. Still, unique challenges like online piracy must be addressed.

"Thankfully, India is starting to ensure appropriate rules of the road, including site blocking to reduce piracy traffic, an infringing website list to choke ad revenues, and domain seizures by the Maharashtra Cyber Unit to keep the Internet ecosystem in India more honest. Steps like these should accompany others to ensure all players including Internet platforms are more accountable."

During a panel on 'Online Content Regulation: A New Paradigm of Accountability', Aamod Gupte, Group General Counsel, Eros International Media Limited, said: "While we have been discussing the need for self regulation of content by OTT players, in a sense we may have missed the bus. With the institution of the Digital Communications Regulator of India (DCRAI), there is possible regulatory oversight for digital content and that is something we need to watch out for. This is not just a name change but clear policy change."

What the boom in digital platforms is propelling is a need for innovation.

Kranti Gada, Chief Operating Officer, Shemaroo Entertainment Limited, said: "As digital video consumption goes mass and the market gets more and more crowded, audiences will compel us to innovate and this may not be just limited to technology and content but also in collaborations and partnerships. While we at Shemaroo sit on premium content and years of consumer insights, we are of the philosophy that collaborations and partnerships eventually make businesses sustainable and scalable."

Jonathan Dotan, Television and Virtual Reality Producer, said: "Viewers have demanded a world of technology innovation where content lives on multiple screens, so the exciting task for creators is to now tell innovative stories. We need to weave plots and characters that, as never before, live across traditional media, digital media, and social media." -IANS