Taiwan’s Video-On-Demand industry gather to discuss best practice

Taiwan’s leading video-on-demand industry associations today came together with the government at a roundtable event to share and promote best practices that foster growth while safeguarding consumer interests through self-regulation and collaborating on anti-piracy efforts.

The event was hosted by the Asia Video Industry Association, the Asia Pacific trade association for the video industry, and supported by Taiwan’s New Media Entertainment Association as well as the OTT Association. The National Communications Commission (“NCC”) was also in attendance.

“The potential for Taiwan’s vibrant VOD sector remains largely untapped. Taiwanese consumers appreciate the choice, control and convenience offered by legitimate VOD services, which also provide a legal and compelling alternative to online piracy. Not only that, Taiwan has a vibrant VOD industry as evidenced by the numerous local start-ups, new ventures by traditional players, and the creation of two OTT-related associations,” said Nicole Chan, Chairperson of the NCC.

“We want this industry to develop and are keen to foster an environment that encourages growth while protecting the rights of both consumers and content producers. We recognise that there are unique opportunities and challenges here, which is why we encourage self-regulation by the industry as well as coordinated anti-piracy efforts,” added Nicole.

In a statement, the NMEA cited its support for the event citing its “commitment to disseminate the latest developments across the entertainment industry, and to build bridges between vendors and governments. To that end, the NMEA recommends best-in-class content, coordinates anti-piracy efforts, and enables better creative environment, while respecting original content”.

“While streaming content through OTT platforms has become a lifestyle, legitimate OTT operators have faced difficulties due to content piracy. Our core mission is to partner with operators and government to promote legal content and responsible viewing habits among consumers; as well as to participate in joint efforts to combat illegal content operators including set-top boxes, mobile apps, and websites,” said Ta-Wei Chien, Chairman of the Taiwan OTT Association.

Roundtable participants discussed the Subscription Video-on-Demand (“SVoD”) Content Code, a self-regulation framework recently announced by SVoD service providers in Southeast Asia. The code sets out principles to ensure that content offered on participating platforms is authentic, free from hate speech, hate crimes, pornography, and other forms of inappropriate content. Content providers also pledge to provide consumer control features to let users make appropriate viewing choices for themselves and their families. The code not only serves to provide VOD platforms a standard to hold themselves to, it also helps distinguish legitimate services from pirate sites.

Roundtable participants also pooled together their thoughts on the common concern of combating online piracy; discussing insights, trends and best practices from Taiwan and around the world. Recognising how the availability of legitimate VOD services contributes to a decline in online piracy, participants explored how to better coordinate enforcement efforts, encourage stronger private-public sector partnerships, the impact of current regulation, the role of technology in enhancing security, as well as how the VOD industry can make legal content more accessible than ever before.

“The nascent VOD industry in Taiwan should be encouraged to grow. To do that, it is important that we commit to a multi-stakeholder governance approach as well as an environment that stimulates innovation. We are happy to play our part to encourage such dialogue. Otherwise, without legitimate VOD content providers, consumers may instead choose to go to pirate sites for content, where there are no checks or standards; leaving them vulnerable to inappropriate content,” said Louis Boswell, CEO of AVIA.

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