Policymakers must create a single national policy for the M&E sector: K Madhavan


National Director and Chairman of Walt Disney Company India & Star India, K Madhavan, said policymakers must create a single national policy for the media and entertainment sector that is coherent, gives broad direction to the industry and brings greater clarity to industry and regulators alike. “With input from industry, this new national policy could guide regulators for years to come and ensure that consumers, industry and all stakeholders find certainty and clarity to an equal extent. Digital streaming has changed the pattern of global consumption, and our vibrant Indian content can have a serious impact globally, provided we get the right support from policymakers and the regulator, ”said Madhavan, who is also president. of the CII National Committee on Media and Entertainment, in his opening remarks to CII. Overall summit 2021.

Even though broadcasters are locked in a legal battle with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Madhavan said regulations such as New Tariff Order (NTO) 1 and 2 do not meet the interests of any stakeholder, including customers. He made the remarks in the presence of TRAI President Dr PD Vaghela and MIB Secretary Apurva Chandra. “With this in mind, given the power and influence of our industry, it is essential that we can flourish freely with the power of self-regulation. Self-regulatory bodies for TV and digital work extremely well in India and have proven that they can deal effectively with complaints and concerns, without any interference from policy makers and regulators. Regulations like NTO 1 and 2 did not meet the interests of any stakeholder, including customers, ”Madhavan said.

At the same time, he said that the new TRAI President, Dr PD Vaghela, and his team were keenly interested in addressing industry concerns as a matter of priority. “We hope to have a more proactive and positive approach from the regulator. There must be light regulation, so as not to hold back the industry.”

The head of Star and Disney India noted that 10 years ago television began to migrate its customers to digital and HD channels had just been launched. In addition, there were barely 13 million broadband subscribers and users spent just 8 hours per month watching videos online. “Today we have around 800 million broadband internet users and 600 million smartphone users, and Indians watch more than 5 hours of online video content per DAY compared to a global average of four hours. India is a digitally active country with a diverse consumer base with a very large appetite for entertainment, ”he added.

He also said that the television industry already creates 2,500 hours of original content each year for OTT, in addition to the 100,000 hours created for television. The gaming industry, he said, caters to 420 million casual gamers, even though the AVGC industry provides high-quality, cost-effective content for the global market. “We give consumers the power to choose the content they want, with no restrictions on platform, language, time or geography. Technology has enabled us to prioritize consumer convenience and deliver content for different consumer choices. The M&E industry also promotes India’s soft power across the world, in addition to directly and indirectly employing 4.5 million people. Ancillary industries like education, tourism and even software are all boosted as the creative economy grows, ”Madhavan said.

He also pointed out that CII, together with the Indian government, will seek to represent India at all major film festivals in the coming year. “CII’s big argument for the industry is to project the power of India’s media and entertainment industry around the world. After the IT industry, it is the M&E industry that has the potential to change the fortunes of a billion people through the creation of content that is unique, has global appeal, and touches the hearts of people everywhere. There should be a huge campaign to impress all the spirits India can create. This slogan, this mantra can be our message to the world. “

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