2021: Growth and Control of OTT

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The year 2021 began with the controversy over the Amazon Prime web series ‘Tandav’ which became the tipping point for the government which was already deliberating the regulation of digital media including social. The show and its star cast was accused of hurting the religious sentiments of a particular community prompting the show’s director Ali Abbas Zafar to issue an unconditional apology on social media. The spate of FIRs and threats continued unabated despite the omission of two ‘objectionable’ sequences, and apologies from the platform and its then country head Aparna Purohit.
Adding to this, was the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021), announced in February which set the ball rolling for regulation of digital and social media. This was followed by the Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2021 (CTNA 2021) and the proposed amendments to the Cinematograph Act, 1952, all of which sought to regulate content across media including digital, and align it with ‘public interest’.
Netflix slashes prices
Global streaming giant Netflix has reduced the prices of its subscription plans. The biggest hike has come for its Rs 499 basic plan that will not cost subscribers only Rs 199, a decrease of 60 per cent. The basic plan allows users to stream SD quality video across mobile, tablet, laptop and TV devices. The new prices came into effect on 14th December.
The insanely popular Squid Game
Squid Game, a Korean thriller web series, is one of the most fantastic Netflix alternatives right now. Nobody believes that online shows have become that successful. Years ago, the original developer of the Squid Game series attempted to create this web series, but everyone thought it was a waste of time. On the other hand, Netflix takes a bet and broadcasts Squid Game season 1 worldwide in September 2021. Squid Game is currently accessible on Netflix in various languages, including Korean, English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and others.
Squid Game has achieved global mainstream visibility in a way that arguably no other non-English language film or TV show has ever managed. Quietly, Netflix has been cultivating the exact circumstances on the platform for a global phenomenon like Squid Game to emerge. The most obvious likely effect of Squid Game’s success is more South Korean content being fast-tracked on to screens around the world. There certainly seems to be an appetite for it: in late October, an article on The Guardian full of suggestions of K-dramas to watch if you enjoyed Squid Game was one of the top 10 most-read articles on the site, up there with whistleblower reports about Facebook’s internal practices and rumours of another impending coronavirus UK lockdown.
The acclaimed Netflix series “Squid Game” has become one of the most successful shows in TV history, with millions upon millions of fans tuning in and even more being collected in revenue by the streaming giant. According to Bloomberg, nearly $900 million in “impact value” was produced by the hit survival drama. Squid Game” cost just over $21 million to make. That’s nearly a $1 billion total profit for Netflix.

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