Now Reading: Pakistan All Set to Launch Own Version of ‘Netflix’ – Fawad Chaudhry
On Friday, Federal Minister of Science and Technology – Fawad Chaudhry – took to Twitter to make the revelation that Pakistan’s own one-of-a-kind version of Netflix is currently in the works. The technology going to be used in this launch will be Pakistan’s first over the top television, or in more a more common term, will be known as OTT.
As per Fawad Chaudhry, the first of its kind – an OTT platform – will be available to the Pakistani audience soon as the technical aspect of it has been totally completed. Now, proper guidelines are being asked to be prepared by PEMRA for the type of content that will be allowed to screen on this platform.
An OTT service is such which relies on streaming the content directly to viewers via the internet. Providing services to the viewer in this format bypasses cable, broadcast and satellite television platforms and solves many limitations of those methods.
An example of this is Netflix, the popular streaming service from an American media services company that provides subscription-based streaming to its users. The service includes the offering of a library of films and television series, including ones produced by itself.
In a tweet on Friday citing this, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain tweeted the solidifying of this initiative by revealing the launch of an OTT platform in Pakistan and labelled it just ‘another humble contribution’ by his ministry to the country. He stated;
“We at the Ministry of Science and Technology are all set to launch Pakistan’s first OTT television (Pakistani version of Netflix). The technology part is complete and we have asked PEMRA to prepare a guideline on content. We will be all set to launch in PPP (Public-Private Partnership) mode. It’ll be just another humble contribution.”
پاکستان کا پہلا OTT لانچ ہونے جا رہا ہے، (Netflix کی طرز پر) ہم نے ٹیکنالوجی کا معاملہ حل کر لیا ہے PEMRA کو کہا ہے کہ وہ Content پر گائیڈ لائین تیار کر لے جوں ہی پیمرا کی گائیڈ لائیں ملتی ہے ہم پارئیویٹ کمپنیز سے کہیں گے کہ ہمارے ساتھ ملیں اور OTT سروس شروع کریں
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) October 23, 2020
Importance of an OTT based Service in Pakistan
In recent times, the need for a local OTT platform has increased more than ever. Not only it has been recommended by the Pakistani people but also has been emphasized upon by many Pakistani artists, especially after five of Pakistan’s original series were picked up for streaming by an Indian Streaming Giant – ZEE5.
Talking on this matter, director Asim Abbasi – whose web series Churails took off and have great reviews on ZEE5, shared similar thoughts. Upon being asked why he thinks Pakistan is still struggling to reach the heights that Indian content already has, the film-maker answered;
“Streaming platforms give power back to content creators. Their mandate of diversification allows for new voices to come to the forefront. It’s a huge stepping stone in the right direction and I expect a lot of visionary, experimental film-makers from Pakistan will turn to the web in the coming years.”
Recently, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had announced a call for feedback on a consultation paper to regulate and license ‘web TV’ and Over-the-Top (OTT) content services. Through this move, PEMRA looks to bring specific OTT content services and web streaming services in general to Pakistan.
Now, with Fawad Chaudhry’s announcement, the future of an OTT platform in Pakistan looks very bright