What are OTT platforms?

OTT streaming platforms and digital news providers operating in the country have now been brought under the jurisdiction of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. This means their content will be regulated by I & B Ministry. But what are OTT platforms?

What does OTT stand for?

The acronym OTT stands for "Over the Top" service. OTT platforms are audio and video streaming services. They provide content on request over the Internet. Which means content of one's choice can be watched by the individual consumer anytime anywhere, without the need for cable or DTH services. In order to view the content, the consumer needs a device (such as mobile, tablet, or laptop) that supports OTT and an internet connection. One major advantage with OTT is, consumers pay for specific platforms they want access to. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, Zee5. VOOT, Jio Cinema, and Sony LIV are some of the OTT platforms available.

How do they work?

A relatively new form of entertainment, OTT platforms are classified as digital media. OTT platforms started out as content-hosting platforms but soon ventured into production, making films, serials, and documentaries. They buy the rights to the movies they wish to release or stream from the producers, or even produce them in collaboration with production houses. While most OTT platforms provide some content for free, they charge a monthly subscription for premium content. During the COVID-19 outbreak, many filmmakers turned to major OTT platforms to release their films instead of waiting for theatres to reopen. For instance, Jyotika's "Ponmagal Vandhal" was the first Tamil film to release on an OTT platform, Amazon Prime Video, in May 2020 after theatres were shut due to the pandemic.

What are the new rules?

So far, OTT platforms have remained largely unregulated, providing diverse, versatile content to viewers. The Government tightened its grip on these streaming platforms following growing complaints of alleged objectionable content in some of the shows streamed. The new rules mandate these video streaming platforms to classify content into five age-specific categories, set up a grievance redressal mechanism, and appoint an officer to address grievances. The three-tier grievance resolution system begins with self-regulation by the content platform and ends at a government-appointed panel headed by a ministry official. The government-appointed committee will look at complaints that remain unresolved at the self-regulatory level.

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'Spider-Man: No Way Home' becomes first pandemic-era movie to smash $1 billion milestone globally

Spiderman: No Way Home, which released in December, became the first pandemic era movie to cross 100 million dollars at the box office in its debut weekend of release. Starring Tom Holland as Spiderman, the movie also registered the third-highest opening in box office history, after 'Avengers Endgame and Infinity War.

The film made by Sony and Disney’s Marvel Studios has had a wonderful run at the box office, particularly since the world is still amid a pandemic.

“No Way Home” made highlights with a record-breaking opening weekend at the North American box office last weekend bringing in $260 million. That was the second-largest domestic opening of all time.

That opening was the best ever for the Spider-Man franchise and Sony Pictures in the month of December.

“What this represents is quite mind-boggling,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore (SCOR), told CNN Business. “These numbers would be very impressive in the pre-pandemic era, but for ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ to sprint to a billion dollars in this marketplace is hard to wrap your mind around.”

“The monumental achievement of ‘No Way Home’ hitting this number cannot be overstated for this industry right now,” he added.

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'Voyage,' ABBA's first album in 40 years

Popular pop band ABBA released their new album ‘Voyage’. It is the band's first album since the release of their album ‘The Visitors’ in 1981. The four-member Swedish pop group that has won the hearts of millions around the world has announced that Voyage would be the last album and that they would be retiring after it Voyage is the groups ninth studio album.

The 10-track "Voyage" album is not all the group will be releasing. They will also unveil digital avatars — dubbed "ABBAtars" — at a concert in London in May, resembling their 1979 selves.

The holograms are the product of a years-long project, designed in partnership with a special effects company of Star Wars creator George Lucas.

Abba fans lined up in the pouring rain in front of Berlin's Dussmann department store, which held a special sale of the new album from 11:59 p.m. local time (2259 UTC) on Thursday.

"It doesn't sound dated, it doesn't sound 40 years ago," ABBA fann Emilie De Laere said at a listening party in Stockholm for the band's much-anticipated release.

According to Jean-Marie Potiez, one of the group's most well-known international experts, age has given some of the singers a new edge.

"Agnetha and Anni-Frid's voices have lost their high notes, which is normal given their age, but they have gained in depth and sensitivity."

Credit : The Hindustan Times 

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Cannes returns after a year

The famed Cannes Film Festival returned in 2021 after it was cancelled in 2020. Though it is usually held in May every year, it was moved to July due to Covid related restrictions. This was the 74th edition of the film festival. The ten-day festival had American director Spike Lee as the head of the jury.

The Palme d'Or went to Titane, directed by French director Julia Ducourau, and the Honorany Palme d'or was awarded to American actress and filmmaker Jodie Foster, and Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio.

As always, posters of the festival decorate the town, from storefronts to the Croisette.

This year's poster features jury president Spike Lee looking out ironically through his large black glasses, framed by two palm trees. It's not only the first time a Black filmmaker presides over the jury, it's also the first time a jury head appears on the official festival poster.

Jury member Mati Diop also made history in 2019 when she became the first woman of color to have a film in competition at the festival with her feature Atlantics. This year's jury, which awards the the festival's highest honor the Palm D'or, also includes more women than men. At the opening day press conference, Diop and her fellow jurors emphasized the importance of greater equity and inclusion in legacy institutions like Cannes. When asked about her fellow jurors, American actor Maggie Gyllenhaal said, "I'm so curious to see what happens with this new formulation."

Cannes President Lescure says Spike Lee's presence over the festivities in such a moment — amidst a pandemic and worldwide calls for racial justice — is particularly meaningful. "Because of his filmography, because of his talent because of his political and social actions, because of who he is," says Lescure. "It seemed to us he was the right man, in the right place, at the right moment."

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Harrison Ford spotted filming Indiana Jones 5 in UK

Filming of the fifth and final instalment of the Indiana Jones movie series is underway in the United Kingdom. Due for release on July 29, 2022, not much is known about the plot details of the movie. Harrison Ford, the lead star of the franchise who will be 80 when the movie releases, is currently filming for the movie. Disney has announced that this would be the last instalment of the franchise as no one else can play the role other than Ford. June 12, 2021 marked the 40th anniversary of the release of the first Indiana Jones movie, 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Unlike the previous four movies, Steven Spielberg is not directing, handing the reins instead to Wolverine director James Mangold. “Indy 5” has been plagued with script rewrites for years which, together with delays due to the pandemic, led Spielberg to bail out, so he could concentrate on a passion project – his upcoming remake of West Side Story. He is, however, staying on as executive producer.

Plot details are scarce, but rumours suggest this final outing will be set in the 1960s (the previous incarnation left us in 1957), and will revolve around the Space Race.

Scenes being filmed in the UK at the moment, however, are set in the 1940s, with Nazi Germany war vehicles being seen at various locations, including an historic train line in Grosmont, North Yorkshire.

The imposing Bamburgh Castle on the Northumberland coast is also doubling as a Nazi fortress, which has seen elaborate set extensions, including a fake turret which was blown up and set on fire.

Given the World War II setting, speculation is rife that the movie features a flashback sequence, possibly using de-aging technology to bring Ford closer to his appearance in first three films.

Ford has also been seen at Pinewood studios where it seems likely the main production is based. It's currently unclear if filming will take place in any other countries.

Coincidentally, June 12 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of the first Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Indiana Jones 5 is due for release on July 29, 2022.

Credit : Graphic News 

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