OTT platforms are understood as applications in the internet space capable of transmitting text messages, voice calls or movie, video and television signals.
Back in time 2012, Zalo messaging application was born. At this moment, Zalo is facing big foreign OTT Chat (messaging applications) competitors that are dominating in Vietnam such as Viber, Yahoo Messenger, Line, ICQ, Facebook Chat… popularity of VoIP calling services. Therefore, the state management agencies at this time always have a very strict management policy with the group of VoIP telecommunications services. Companies that provide messaging and voice services via the internet must always comply with the regulations of state management agencies and are often inspected by an interdisciplinary inspection team including the Ministry of Public Security, Security Department A87, Department of Information and Communications… before being officially operated to provide services.
In addition to competing with foreign competitors that were being used by all Internet users at that time such as Yahoo Messenger, Viber, ICQ, etc., these OTT Chat applications must also be facing big telco companies in Vietnam. Vietnam. Therefore, in the period 2010-2017, Vietnamese companies develop messaging and voice applications such as OTT platforms that are difficult to access and persuade Vietnamese Internet users to use.
Thanks to the flexible way in implementation, so far Vietnam still has an application called Zalo that has been chosen by Vietnamese internet users and widely used from urban to rural areas.
The story is repeated so that we all understand that: if Vietnam has companies with flexible ways of doing things, it is still possible to build competitive applications that are equal to or superior to other cross-border OTT platforms. .
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The picture of the film and television OTT application of Vietnamese enterprises today can be said to be unsettled compared to the OTT Chat of 10 years ago and is being fiercely competed by cross-border OTTs. The leading private OTT enterprises in Vietnam such as VieON, FPTPlay, Galaxy, ClipTV…. is facing “all sides of difficulties and enemies”.
There are many difficulties and inadequacies, but within the framework of this article, I only mention 4 major fronts that OTTs are facing today:
1. Persuading Vietnamese audiences to accept the use of domestic OTT services.
2. Convince Vietnamese content providers to cooperate.
3. Convincing the infrastructure unitsng ISP, telco ViVietnam providespdpoopch vreasonable price.
4. What about thetcin policych for domestic OTT and cross-border capitalist OTTi.
Of the four major fronts above, it can be seen that domestic OTTs are facing and having to respond, almost all of which are internal reasons for Vietnam.
Yaudience elementeven thoughpeople in Vietnam
The general mentality of Vietnamese viewers is always looking for something new. This is completely justifiable. Therefore, almost foreign platforms when coming to Vietnam are very popular. Audiences in Vietnam always prefer diverse content on cross-border OTT platforms such as NetFlix, iQiYi…. Ironically, in these foreign platforms, because they are not controlled, there are also content that attracts the curiosity of young people such as action movies, violence, corruption, etc.
Meanwhile, in domestic OTT platforms, the content is not rich, state management agencies also have very strict management policies. Therefore, it is very difficult for domestic OTT platforms to compete with foreign ones.
The cooperation ofaccontent providers
There appeared content production enterprises in Vietnam willing to sign contracts to provide content for foreign platforms such as NetFlix, but turned their backs and demanded high prices for domestic OTTs. Due to competition among domestic OTTs, the price of content of domestic television channels has been increased.
The unequal cooperation ofacevil ISP and telco
Due to the policy of bandwidth exchange, Internet providers in Vietnam currently have policies to support bandwidth and CDN for cross-border OTT applications such as Google, Facebook, but with internal OTT applications. If the area occupies a large bandwidth, the policy to coordinate support for this bandwidth is not available. As a result, the cost of paying for the bandwidth of today’s streaming platforms is very large, sometimes even more expensive than the revenue earned from advertising. Therefore, domestic OTTs are struggling to pay the cost to maintain service for customers.
Inequality between foreign OTT and domestic OTT
While domestic OTT businesses are strictly complying with state regulations on service provision. In contrast, foreign OTT enterprises are completely self-directed without being controlled by state management units in Vietnam.
– They freely collect subscriptions over the Internet without paying taxes
– They are carefree quMassive advertising in the medianthuncleor onlyí in Vietnam without being sanctioned
– Surname quPromote content that violates fine customs, pornography and theven misrepresentsfight to save our countryadgrace, propagating tongue-in-cheek contento violation of sovereignty andãearth quVietnamese snail.
All such illegal acts exist blatantly in the applications of NetFlix, IQIZI… but so far there has not been a sanction to handle thoroughly.
In the opposite direction, domestic OTT businesses are subject to content censorship and state management regulations. Content broadcast on OTT platforms imported by Vietnamese enterprises goes through the importation of authorized cultural products by the Television Station and is under the censorship of the Television Station before broadcasting. Currently, there is no legal regulation or mechanism allowing Vietnamese OTT enterprises to directly import films themselves.
Vietnamese enterprises must go through the process of applying for permission to set up a television channel, import, produce, and censor content in accordance with strict procedures of relevant ministries and agencies. Any violation will be strictly handled immediately in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Press, the Law on Advertising, the Law on Cybersecurity as well as other relevant laws.
Therefore, the biggest question now is: “What does domestic OTT need to be able to thrive”?
It is necessary to invest in the development of indigenous cultural contentstcAsianscreation
Foreign content has largely been monopolized by cross-border capitalists, so it will be increasingly difficult to negotiate the purchase of content from overseas suppliers.
In the face of cross-border competitors with large capital, the development of indigenous cultural content is the main and only way for domestic OTTs to develop and attract audiences.
In the new trend of integration and development, indigenous cultural content must also be invested in accordance with the development of viewers’ tastes and with creations suitable to the needs of young people.
Need support and decisionsloveehtcevil agency quState management
The ideological culture of 100 million people of Vietnam is facing an invasion that takes place every day, every hour, every minute and very real from the powers that cross the border through countless genres of movies and transmissions. in cyberspace. Over the past 5 years, there have been countless serious violations of Vietnam’s laws, which the media, the press and the public have repeatedly voiced their indignation over the past time from transnational corporations in different countries. Cross-border OTT platforms such as Netflix, WeTV (Tencent), IQIYI, Amazon Prime Video, iFlix, Apple TV, QQLive, Bilibili, TrueID, Youku, MangoTV, GagaOOLala,….
During the past time, the Party, State and Government as well as mass organizations, media units and the press have spent a lot of effort to build and perfect the legal system.
The draft revised Law on Cinema is expected to provide for “post-audit” of film content, but it is not enough to control violations of the law of cross-border OTT in Vietnam.. Content censorship procedures applied to local businesses are extremely strict while there is no adequate mechanism for cross-border businesses on the online TV OTT platform.
Vietnamese enterprises have a reputation of post-audit, but the reality is that they continue to be pre-audited as ever. Specifically: a movie broadcast on a Television Station must still have a broadcasting decision from the Radio Director before it is broadcast. ; movies shown in theaters still have to be pre-censored at the appraisal board and licensed for dissemination; Content broadcast on OTT platforms imported by Vietnamese enterprises must go through the importation of commissioned cultural products of the television station and under the censorship of the television station before broadcasting. Currently, there is no legal regulation or mechanism allowing Vietnamese OTT enterprises to directly import films themselves.
Cross-border OTT businesses are not subject to such censorship. They can broadcast different types of content before it can be subject to post-review. The risk of spreading a culture of wrong ideas and violating the law is obvious. We have an existing organizational structure, human resources and legal corridor to comply with the pre-audit of movie content, and it is still being implemented simultaneously from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Provincial People’s Committee or the content classification decision. of press agencies… Therefore, it is possible to “pre-check” OTT’s products across borders.
Currently, Vietnam’s legal mechanisms and policies do not have solutions to handle violations of cross-border OTT platforms. We have regulations on how to handle acts of infringing upon national sovereignty, distorting history, publishing information that destroys fine customs and traditions… in the Constitution, the Cybersecurity Law, the Press Law… But in fact, over the past 5 years, the number of decisions to sanction administrative violations for films with content that distorts Vietnamese history, denies revolutionary achievements, and films with a cow’s tongue line… are still not real. the many. Pirated websites have sprouted like mushrooms, every site has a few backup lines when being denounced. Pirated websites advertise impartially on social networking platforms such as Facebook, Tiktok…and reach more than millions of views, comments and shares.
As the above questions have no satisfactory and official answers for the country, it all depends on the drastic action we take today. We urgently recommend: it is necessary to approve solutions on the legal framework, management resources, management tools, and how to handle violations before making a decision “pre-inspection or post-inspection”. It is necessary to review the passage of the revised Law on Cinema to unify appropriate legal sanctions to control content on the cyber platform of cross-border digital platforms.