The launch of streaming services in the country has had a huge impact on the Film and Publication Board (FPB). File picture: Pixabay
The launch of streaming services in the country has had a huge impact on the Film and Publication Board (FPB). File picture: Pixabay

Streaming services in SA have 'huge impact' on Film and Publications Board

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Feb 19, 2021

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Cape Town – The effect of streaming services was revealed during a recent presentation of the Film and Publication Board’s (FPB) findings of it’s Convergence Survey which is conducted every two years.

The FPB is the media content regulator for South Africa and its mandate is to regulate the creation, production and distribution of films, games and certain publications in South Africa.

The Convergence Survey is aimed at establishing an alignment between the norms and values of South Africans with the content classification ratings assigned by the FPB.

The survey set out to achieve four things:

  • To establish the levels of awareness amongst adults about what content children in their care are exposed to.
  • Public knowledge about the FPB’s ratings system and recourse to challenge these ratings.
  • How closely caregivers apply the ratings assigned to content regulated by the FPB when choosing what to allow children to consume.
  • Whether the public endorses the role played by the FPB as a content regulator.

A variety of findings were presented, however, it was the discussion around streaming services such as Netflix, Showmax, Amazon Prime Video and others that have launched in the country, which has vastly impacted the regulator.

Shared Services Executive at the FPB, Laurie Less said: “One of the interesting things is that we have noticed a massive change in distribution patterns.”

Dr Oupa Makhalemele in the research, policy and advocacy unit of the FPB said the regulator has had to do some internal reassessments due to the growth of streaming.

“Patterns of creating, consuming and distributing film content have revolutionised, and that has a huge impact on us as a regulator. We’ve been doing some frantic assessment internally of our level of readiness to handle this flow of differently distributed content.

“It’s something that we have also approached, and received endorsement from Parliament to change or update our legislation so that we are better able to regulate content in the context of digital distribution,” Makhalemele said.

He said in terms of the numbers, the FPB has already noticed that there is a “sharp drop of content being brought in for classification as more consumers move to the live-streaming of content”.

Cape Argus

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