Global video streaming market leader Netflix Inc and home-grown rival Hotstar plan to adopt self-regulation guidelines for content streaming in India in an effort to ward off potential government censorship, sources said. India currently does not have any law which mandates any censorship of content on online streaming platforms. Netflix was pulled into a legal battle last year after a complaint that its first Indian original series "Sacred Games" insulted former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The legal battled raised fears of an impending government regulation over the online streaming content.
Hotstar which has 150Mn active users has earmarked $16.9 Mn (INR 120 Cr) for original content. In a bid to compete with both the domestic and foreign over-the-top (OTT) players, Mumbai-based video streaming provider Hotstar announced the launch of its original content vertical called Hotstar Specials. For its first set of originals, the company has partnered with some of the popular film makers, directors and actors including Shekhar Kapur, Neeraj Pandey, Kabir Khan, Sudhir Mishra, Tigmanshu Dhulia and Salman Khan. The special programmes will be available to the users in seven different languages.