ASEAN VOD providers unite to create code tackling inappropriate content

Video-on-demand (VOD) streaming providers located in ASEAN countries have come together to debut a self-regulatory content code, to ensure its platform is free of inappropriate content. The players are Astro, dimsum, FOX+, HOOQ, iflix, Netflix, tonton, TVB and The Walt Disney Company (Southeast Asia).

Called the Subscription Video-on-Demand Industry Content Code (Code), the regulations were created to help protect consumer interests. This includes making sure that content on these platforms are authentic as well as hate speech and pornography-free. The companies are also pledging to provide consumer control features or other measures to ensure that content delivered is age-appropriate for relevant family members of the users in ASEAN.

"We share a mutual objective of putting consumer well-being at the heart of our services. This Code demonstrates our commitment to making sure that the consumer is able to make content viewing choices that are right for them and their families,” the participating companies said in a joint statement.

The statement added that the companies look forward to working with other players in the SVOD space in ASEAN. This is under the principles in the Code which will also serve to distinguish legitimate services from pirate sites.

The initiative is also supported by Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA).

"When a consumer goes to a pirate site for content, not only do they undermine legitimate businesses, but there are no checks on the content which means minors can very easily be exposed to pornography or graphic violence," Louis Boswell, CEO of CASBAA, said.