In an effort to give viewers more power to choose the type of content they want to watch, video streaming platforms have adopted Universal Self-Regulation Code for Online Curated Content Providers (OCCPs) in India.
Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) unveiled the code on September 4.
As many as 15 OCCPs have adopted the code. These include Zee5, Viacom 18, Disney Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, MX Player, Jio Cinema, Eros Now, ALTBalaji, Arre, HoiChoi, Hungama, Shemaroo, Discovery Plus, and Flickstree.
What does the code mean for Indian consumers?
Universal Self-Regulation Code will introduce a transparent and structured grievance redressal and escalation mechanism for reporting non-compliance within the prescribed guidelines.
Under this code, each OCCP will set-up a Consumer Complaints Department and/or an internal committee, as well as an advisory panel, which will deal with complaints, appeals and escalations.
The advisory panel will constitute a minimum of three members, including an independent external advisor and two senior executives of the respective OCCP.
The Universal Self-Regulation Code includes a framework for age classification and content descriptions for titles as well as access control tools.
The Code has been effective from August 15 and allows OCCPs to comply with all guidelines in a time bound manner.
Each signatory to the code has agreed to appoint an external advisor as part of the grievance redressal mechanism within 60 days from September 4.
“With the framework for age classification, content descriptions and parental controls in combination with a grievance redressal system, we have made it easier for consumers to make the right viewing decisions for themselves and their families. Most of the major streaming services have adopted the code and we look forward to others joining,” said Tarun Katial, Chair, Digital Entertainment Committee, IAMAI.
When it comes to self-regulation, video streaming platforms in India have been taking steps to address concerns of viewers around objectionable content.
Last year, many video over the top (OTT) platforms had signed 'self-regulatory code' for not showing in India any content considered disrespectful to national symbols and religions.