AVIA Announces Governance Framework for Online Curated Content Services

The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) has announced the publication of the Governance Framework for Online Curated Content (OCC) Services. The Governance Framework delivers concrete commitments and standards in order to deepen discussions with APAC regulators and empower consumers in the region.

OCC services are online video streaming services which offer a fully curated content catalogue. Their unique characteristics distinguish them from other online video services, such as social media and user-generated content, as well as pay-TV and broadcast TV. OCC services are operated by professional media companies, and have suitable technology at their disposal to more effectively ensure controls and take responsibility for the content they distribute. These services stand ready and available for dialogue with governments, to help build a positive and growing content ecosystem.

OCC services are transforming the way that content is created and consumed in Asia and around the world, expanding markets and options for creators and empowering consumers to safely view the professional content they select whenever, wherever and on whichever device they choose.

A recent YouGov survey of consumers in 5 Asian markets found that there is a high expectation (62%) that OCC service providers curate their content well with ratings and advisories, but an even higher expectation (77%) that final content control is put in consumers’ hands. A large preponderance of consumers (77%) also believed parental controls or content filters are an important attribute of OCC services.

The new Governance Framework is designed to meet those expectations. Within its provisions, the framework proposes various industry actions that include robust systems of control by way of parental control features, program ratings, advisories, and consumer feedback mechanisms. It also proposes a notification process overseen by the regulator to ensure accountability, and formal industry-regulator consultations to continue to improve the framework.

Importantly, the survey found that viewers have high expectations for access to the content they seek. The survey found that in reaction to government censorship, 80% of streaming viewer customers would revert to piracy, cancellation or reduction of their use of legal services.

An effective governance framework, rather than heavy regulation, is therefore critical for this dynamic sector providing an accountable framework for legal content consumption.

The Governance Framework is designed to encourage growth of the OCC sector, and ensure the progressive adoption of higher standards by a greater number of curated service operators.

Louis Boswell, AVIA CEO, said, “OCC industry leaders have already demonstrated their commitment to responsibility and ensuring accountability. This framework will help guide our members, and hopefully governments, to act in good faith and closely collaborate as this nascent sector continues to evolve. And, more importantly, it will give consumers confidence in the content provided by the OCC sector without the need for burdensome regulation on top.”

The concept for the Governance Framework grew from initial discussions at the ASEAN Telecom Regulators Council dialogue, held in Bangkok in September 2017. This forum brought together both regulators as well as industry in dialogue, to create pan-ASEAN solutions. The initial output from this was the Subscription Video-on-Demand Industry Content Code for ASEAN. Similar content codes have also been released in India and Taiwan, creating room for a region-wide framework that puts forward guiding principles for the industry.

AVIA has put these principles forward in the spirit of continued dialogue and engagement between industry, government, civil society and consumer groups. AVIA members look forward to discussing with governments how policy and regulation can be developed to benefit consumers across the Asia-Pacific region and help grow the region’s creative industries.

Visit www.avia.org


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