OTT content gaining popularity but feeding Violence, Sex and Nudity in the mobile era

OTT content gaining popularity but feeding Violence, Sex and Nudity in the mobile era

OTT content gaining popularity but feeding Violence, Sex and Nudity in the mobile era

With the advent of video on demand platforms in India, the face of the media and entertainment industry has changed beautifully. Consumers found a new form of entertainment medium. Where they can watch as and whenever they want. There is no regulatory authority keeping a check on the online content. Therefore, bold and explicit content shown in the web shows available on these platforms has become a debatable issue.

   

Emergence of OTT in India

children watching adult content on netflix indiaWorld’s second-largest base of internet users in India. When Reliance Industries stepped in the telecom sector. Internet became very cheap. And that’s how binge-watching became the new cool.

 

The Concept of Video-on-demand platforms came to India in 2008. BIGFlix by Reliance Entertainment was the first OTT (Over-The-Top) platform of India. Two years later nexGTv was launched. It became the first of its kind platform to live stream the Indian Premier League (IPL). Since then many other OTT platforms like Ditto Tv (now merged with ZEE5), SonyLiv, Voot, AltBalaji, Airtel Xtream, Vodafone Play etc. emerged. At present, there are approximately 40 Video-on-demand platforms in India. They provide you content in English, Hindi and other regional languages.

 

Popular OTT Platforms

Popular OTT Platforms india

Among all the available platforms, some became extremely popular. Hotstar was launched in 2015. It is the highest subscribed OTT platform in India. Till 2018, it had 150 million active subscribers. After investing INR 120 crore in 2019, it started its original shows labeled as ‘Hotstar Specials’. In 2020, Hotstar’s ‘Special Ops’ became extremely popular.

 

American OTT platform Netflix came to India in 2016. With time it became extremely popular among the youth. ‘Netflix and Chill’ became the all-time favorite pass time for Netflix subscribers. It has 15.8 million paid subscribers until March 2020. Its first Indian web series Sacred Games gained immense popularity.

 

Amazon Prime Video is another popular video-on-demand platform. Launched in the same year as Netflix came to India. Its web series Mirzapur gave tough competition to Netflix’s Sacred Games. It has around 2000 movies and 300 web shows. Recently, Shoojit Sircar’s “Gulabo Sitabo” is all set to be released on Amazon Prime Video on 12 June.

 

Web Content: A debatable issue

top adult webseries on netflix hot sexyThe entertainment industry in India is handled by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Every Film before releasing for the public is censored and certified by the concerned authorities. But there is no such board or authority for censoring the content available on the web. And that is the biggest issue of recent times. It is also highly debatable. Several times people have complained about the explicit and bold content of Web series. Violence, Sex, and Nudity have become so common in the web shows. That people are now questioning, whether all this is required or not.

 

One section of the society believes that it is okay to have such bold content. In some instances, sexually explicit scenes of violence are the need of the storyline. Removing such scenes might confuse the viewers. And the story will not be portrayed as it is written. The other sect of society believes that having nudity, sex, and violence in web series is affecting Indian Values.

 

Unlike western countries, Indians are not that open to intimate scenes and the violence involved shown in web shows. This makes it uncomfortable to watch these shows with the family. You have to consciously choose what you can watch with your family and whatnot.

 

Censorship: A big question

censorship on ott platform netflix, amazon prime, MX player and hortstarNetflix’s first and immensely popular Hindi web series ‘Sacred Games’ was questioned for its content soon after its release. This raised the question of whether the online content requires censorship or not. After having a lot of debate Amazon Prime decided to self-censor its content. Now, the scenes including nudity are blurred out. Similarly, other video on demand platforms are also planning to do the same.

 

The Bombay High Court, in one of its hearings last year, has asked the concerned Ministries to make arrangements for pre-screening of the web series. It means that before the release of the web series on online streaming platforms, they will be watched by officials appointed by the ministry. The trailers and online advertisements of the same will also be reviewed.

 

Recent Controversies

As soon as the web series became a trend, many controversies came up related to them. Whether we talk about ‘Sacred Games’ or the recently released ‘Patal Lok’. They remained in news for both good and bad reasons. ‘Hasmukh’ on Netflix was also controversial. It was even removed from the platform for some time. Amazon Prime’s Patal Lok was questioned for its dialogues in some scenes. Lately, Ekta Kapoor was in talks for her show ‘XXX: Uncensored Season 2’. She was accused of demeaning and disrespecting the Army in one of its episodes. As a result, the scene was removed. And she also made a public apology.

 

This is not the first time when something of this sort is happening. It has happened every time when somebody tried to show something out of the league. But the real issue is that there are times when such bold language and scenes are not required. The story can be completed without those scenes. And that’s where the question of censorship arises.

 

 

Author: Anjali Datt

 

 

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