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Media News Digest June 25, 2021

admin   June 25, 2021

Focus on Toyconomy: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the Indian toy industry has the capacity to bring growth to the neediest segment of the society. Calling it ‘Toyconomy’, he said that the global toy market is about $100 billion and India has only 1.5 per cent of this market. Noting that India’s share in global toy market is only around one-and-a-half billion dollars, Modi advised the country’s gaming and toy industry to play a big role in this sector. Addressing participants of Toycathon-2021 via video conferencing, he said, “Today, we import around 80 per cent of our toys as well. That is, crores of rupees of the country are going out on these. Today, the world wants to understand the present potential of India, the art-culture of India, the society of India in a better way. Our Toys and Gaming Industry can play a big role in this.”

Mukesh Ambani Bets Big on 5G

Reliance Jio, together with partners, has tested its 5G solutions in India, successfully demonstrating speeds of over 1 GBPS, and its ‘Made in India’ solution is “globally competitive”, RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Thursday at AGM. He also exuded confidence that the company will be the first to launch full-fledged 5G services in the country. He announced the launch of JioPhone Next, a fully featured smartphone, that is developed in partnership with Google. “JioPhone Next is one of the most affordable smartphones globally, which has cutting-edge technology,” Ambani said. JioPhone Next will be launched first in India on September 10, and later it will be taken to many other countries.

Producers Plan Theatrical Releases Amid 3rd Wave Fears

With the second wave of Covid-19 flattening, producers are busy planning theatrical releases of their movies, as over 50 films are waiting to see the light of the day. Amid fears of a third wave, many producers are lining up offerings as they hope that State governments will lift curbs on operating cinema halls by the middle of July amid a decline in Covid cases. While Akshay Kumar’s Bell Bottom is scheduled for 27 July release, Mohanlal’s Malayalam film Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham has confirmed an Independence Day weekend release on 12 August. Three Tamil films- Laabam, Doctor and Border – are looking at an August release. Also, the release of Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi, John Abraham’s Satyameva Jayate 2 and Hollywood film Fast and Furious 9 are also imminent.

Marriage Between Theatres and OTTs?

Though it was feared that the reach of OTT would eventually put an end to theatre-going culture, it is not happening. It is becoming clear that films will need to release in theatres at least for two weeks and leading OTT platforms would want to see audience reaction. This is something similar to old days of movies getting published in print and trades before getting to theatres. Except mid-budget and few independent films, other movies would hit the big screens first, especially with the Covid restrictions being eased. There is also a buzz in the market to have some OTT web series streamed into theatres, as it would feed theatre’s hunger for content.

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No Commission on New Microsoft’s Windows App Store

Microsoft, which recently took its place in the history books as just the second US public company to reach a $2 trillion market value, has launched Windows 11. Chairman Satya Nadella has brought in a real transformation to Microsoft — giving an alternative to Google and Apple with Windows Store. Windows App Store will enable software developers to use their own in-app payment system and no commission to Microsoft. This will also let users run it in Android Mobile Application, Laptops and desktop PCs.

Peacock to Add Colours to Amazon Fire TV

Nearly a year after NBCUniversal launched Peacock, the streaming service is now coming to Amazon’s Fire TV set-tops and Fire tablets. As per an agreement between NBCU and Amazon, Peacock was launched on the Amazon devices in the US starting Thursday, June 24. In addition, the two companies reached a distribution agreement for NBCU’s 15 network apps for Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablet devices including NBC, Bravo, NBC News, NBC Sports and Telemundo. The Peacock pact for Amazon’s family of devices comes just a month before the start of the Tokyo Summer Olympics, for which NBCU holds the US. media rights.

Tarun Katial Unveils Tech Platform for Writers, Production cos

Former chief executive officer at video streaming platform ZEE5 Tarun Katial and former head of content and communication at The Walt Disney Co. for APAC (Asia and Pacific region) in Hong Kong Keertan Adyanthaya have joined forces to launch Serendipity Media Technology, an AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered platform for writers, producers and entertainment companies. The service will help writers with insights and tips on how to make their scrips better besides providing them timelines of topical events that could make for interesting stories and the characters that could feature in them. At a later stage, the platform will also have critics on board that will evaluate and rate scripts sent in by writers and production houses.

Limited Regulations, Unlimited Possibilities

admin   February 9, 2021

Now that the OTT services and digital news aggregators have been brought under the ambit of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, streaming executives are hoping that the new regulatory guidelines may not lead to censorship of creative expression.

Content creators and OTT platform leaders deliberated on ‘Digital content regulation: Learning from best global practices’ at FICCI’s Knowledge Series Fast Track Digital.

Tarun Katial, Chief Executive Officer, ZEE5 India, said the government has always encouraged the industry to come up with a self-regulation code and supportive of content diversity. “Unlike other places, there has been no show that the government has ever said should be pulled out unless it was issues of pornography,” said Katial.

Ajay Chacko, Co-Founder & CEO, Arré, did not favour any regulation. “My simple point is that if you’ve seen industry grow with less regulation, relative self declaration, or offering informed choices to people, maybe it’s time to liberalize cinema, TV, print, and radio,” opined Chacko.

Karan Bedi, CEO, MX Player said the right way forward would be to create a framework of standard practices that would be common to all platforms and settle on a denominator acceptable to all. “I think it’s only a matter of time where we come up with a set of standards that are acceptable to all.”

Gourav Rakshit, Chief Operating Officer, VOOT favoured self-regulation. “We have robust laws of the land to protect against content that’s inflammatory. The ability to be able to narrowcast to an audience and provide age-gating capability is what will take our existing framework forward. We are optimistic to work with the government on this self regulation process,” said Rakshit.

Sanjeev Lamba, Executive Producer, Hungama Originals, pointed out that having an informed audience, free to make their own choices, was as important as establishing clear and consistent guidelines in self-regulation.

Vivan Sharan, Partner – Koan Advisory Group, said self regulation is step in right direction. “I would sit down and actually create a list on what I think is a reasonable standard,” he said.

We have robust laws of the land to protect against content that’s inflammatory. The right way forward would be to create a framework of standard OTT practices