Indian media industry bodies face off against Google, government

While the Indian Newspaper Society is demanding a greater share of ad revenues from Google, the IAMAI is upset with looming regulation for video streamers.

Two key industry groups in India are on the warpath with technology platforms and regulators. The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has written to Google to compensate newspapers in the country for the use of content published by them, and share its advertising revenues and The IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India) has stated that its streaming platform members are dismayed about the reports that the Government intends to notify guidelines for OTT platforms shortly. 

L Adimoolam, president, INS, has addressed a letter to Sanjay Gupta, country manager, Google India, to address this concern. The letter states that the content which is generated and published by newspapers at considerable expense is proprietary, and it is this credible content that has given Google the authenticity in India.

The INS added that there is a huge distinction between the editorial content from quality publications and fake news that is spreading on other information platforms. This follows Google agreeing to better compensate and pay publishers in countries like France and Australia.

This is based on the fact that advertising has been the financial backbone of the news industry. Newspapers are feeling the pressure, as its advertising pie is shrinking according to various media reports since budgets are shifting to digital. The INS insisted that Google should increase the publisher share of advertising revenue to 85 percent, and also ensure more transparency in the revenue reports provided to publishers by Google.

Meanwhile, according to a note shared by the IAMAI, the industry states it has been working collectively to create transparent and stringent guidelines for self-regulation. The association is unhappy with the lack of any consultative process administered with the stakeholders that usually proceeds such guidelines or regulations, the note adds.

IAMAI is of the view that they have recently in consultation with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting agreed to a universal self-regulatory code that has been adopted by 17 of the leading Online Curated Content Platforms [OCCPs] in India. The association has committed to its speedy rollout through an ’Implementation Toolkit’. The self-regulatory code, which is under implementation, effectively delivers on the goal of providing strong consumer protection, while delivering a solid foundation for content providers to build from.

Apart from the OCCPs, there are producers, actors and other stakeholders who too should have been consulted before the guidelines are published. On the basis of this, the IAMAI wants to appeal to the concerned ministry to consider initiating a public dialogue by inviting comments on the draft guidelines for OTT Streaming Platforms.

This story first appeared on Campaign Asia.

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