The Indian government will start regulating content on online streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, Prime Video and others as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting gains jurisdiction over online content providers. This includes a lot more platforms than the ones mentioned above, by the way, including homegrown streaming platforms.

This change comes following President Ram Nath Kovind signing a new amendment to the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961. This new amendment brings into the purview of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting the following new things:

  • Digital / Online Media
  • Films and Audio-Visual programmes made available by online content providers.
  • News and current affairs content on online platforms.

With this new amendment, online streaming platforms now sit alongside cable TV, All India Radio, and Doordarshan.

It’s noteworthy that the government was originally proposing self-regulation for online streaming services, but apparently those plans did not work out well enough to please the ministries. Two weeks ago, I&B minister Prakash Javadekar had said in an interview “I have called them [streaming services] twice to talk about a credible self-regulation method, but they have not come up with a proposal.”

It seems due to the lack of a proper proposal from streaming giants, the government decided to bring them under the I&B ministry. How this affects the content put out by services like Netflix and Prime Video in the coming years will definitely be something to look out for.