Viacom18-Zee, merger talks?
Viacom18 Media which called off talks with Sony Picture Network India (October 2020) is now said to be exploring potential merger with Subhash Chandra’s Zee Entertainment Enterprises. All these days, this was speculated, and today made news in page one of Mint, the financial daily of HT Media. Viacom18 is a joint venture between TV18 Broadcast and Viacom CBS. TV18 is part of Network18 Media (majority owned by Reliance Industries Ltd). Zee is majorly owned by Foriegn Institutional Investors and Subhash Chandra’s Essel Group (3.9%). Network18 and Zee Entertainment Enterprises are listed entities. This merger buzz tops the radar of every media and telecom executive in the country.
Action Time at I&B Ministry
The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has never been busy, particularly when it comes to regulatory corrections and new policy initiatives in the media and entertainment sector as we are witnessing now. Cable TV Network Amendment Rules 2021 (giving statutory recognition to self-regulatory bodies), calling for public views on amendments in the Cinematograph (Amendment Bill 2021), The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (registration of self regulatory bodies for video streaming and digital news platforms) top the agenda. The recent interactions by the I&B Ministry officials with all stakeholders and handholding industry explaining the nuances is now happening with regional players too. With all this action, many in the film fraternity (especially independent filmmakers and producers) are looking for long pending announcements with regard to incentive package for film shoots and co-production under the champion sector scheme.The Indian media, entertainment and technology services are witnessing new growth opportunities (in current pandemic times) on the back of growing offshore services domain, especially in animation, VFX, gaming, AR/VR and digital media are keenly looking forward to the draft National AVGC (animation, visual effects, gaming) and AR/VR policy from the government.
Who is Lina Khan
Born and grew up in London to parents from Pakistan, 32-year-old Lina Khan is a champion to protect the public from corporate abuse (read Big Tech). US President Joe Biden has named Khan as Chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Earlier, Khan was an Associate Professor at Columbia Law School. She has been one of the vocal critics of tech giants. Khan’s article in 2017 in the Yale Law Journal called “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” went viral. No doubt, Lina Khan is now chair of FTC, and feared too. We will get to see her in action in the coming months on what’s in store for Big Tech. Nations across the world are to take a cue from this consumer protectionist.
2,500 buyers, 700 films, 85 countries, at Pre-Cannes Screening
Around 2,500 buyers and festival programmers will be online to discover more than 700 films from around the world at the Pre-Cannes Screenings (June 21-25). These films come from 85 countries and the genres are eclectic (dramas 32%, thrillers 20%, comedies 17%, documentaries 14%, animation 14%, horror 14%). The most represented countries are the USA (198 films), Europe (395 films) including France (78 films) and Asia (108 films). The Pre-Cannes Screenings take place on marchedufilm.online and are reserved for accredited buyers, distributors, streamers and festival programmers. The physical Marché du Film (Cannes Film Market) runs from July 6-15). Due to the pandemic, India will be participating virtually at Cannes Film Market 2021.
Madan’s YouTube Channels Blocked, Videos Deleted
Close on the heels of the arrest and remand of YouTuber ‘PUBG’ Madan, Central Crime Branch has blocked his four YouTube channels and deleted all the videos. Also, police have advised his fans, mostly school students and juveniles, to stop playing PUBG. Madan Kumar Manickam alias Madan OP, an engineering graduate came under police scanner for talking obscenely to under 18 boys and girls through online games and extorting money from them. The games were live streamed from his YouTube channel. Madan and his wife are arrested. On Thursday, the Madras High Court expressed shock to hear the recorded conversations between Madan and his teenage subscribers. The cybercrime wing cops registered a case under sections of the IPC, Information Technology (IT) Act and The Indecent Representation of Women Prohibition Act, 1986, after receiving more than 100 complaints against Madan. Even after the Central government banned PUBG, it is said many are using virtual private networks (VPNs) to continue accessing the game.
Trends of Creator Economy Tracked
Creator Economy is defined as the class of businesses built by over 50 million independent content creators, curators, and community builders including social media influencers, bloggers, and videographers, plus the software and finance tools designed to help them with growth and monetization. The three top trends in the creator economy, according to SignalFire’s Creator Economy market map, are:
- Creators moving their top fans off of social networks and on to their own. websites, apps, and monetization tools
- Creators becoming founders, building out teams and assembling tools to help them start businesses while focusing on their art.
- Creators gaining power in the media ecosystem as fans seek to connect with individual personalities rather than faceless publishers.
Celebrating Music, the Universal Language
For music lovers around the world, today is a special day. For, June 21 is celebrated as ‘World Music Day’. It honours musicians and their contribution towards making everything all that more melodious. World Music Day was first celebrated in France in 1982. The Minister of Art and Culture, Jack Lange, gave this festival a green light, along with a renowned French composer named Maurice Fleuret. Every year, it is celebrated on the day of the summer solstice, which is June 21. The aim behind this was to bring people out on the streets and enjoy themselves listening to the music, however they like it. More than 120 countries celebrate World Music Day and organise free public concerts in parks, stadiums and public places. Music lovers organise different musical concerts and events on this special day.