In his acceptance speech at the beginning of the week, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Lam pledged to contribute to the correction of existing mechanisms, policies, and laws to remove difficulties, create more resources, and create more breakthroughs for management and fairness between value-added services on cross-border internet platforms.
First of all, this is an important task of the Ministry of Information and Communications as well as current authorities. Because cross-border services are considered the foundation for the development of the digital economy and digital society in which Vietnam is oriented towards.
The Internet television service (OTT TV) will serve as an example. According to data from the Ministry of Information and Communications, Vietnam has about 16.8 million television subscribers. The country collected a revenue of over VND9,000 billion (US$379,424,713) in 2021. Currently, 50 businesses have licenses to provide radio services and pay TV services. The number of domestic television channels is 196 and 70 foreign television channels are licensed for editing.
By the end of the second quarter of 2022, the paid TV market had revenue growth of approximately 9.5 percent over the same period in 2021. The management agency also said that revenue from cross-border OTT TV services world growth is approximately 300 percent over the same period in 2021.
Meanwhile, the pay TV services via the over-the-top platform (OTT TV) entering Vietnam have not yet come under strict management and the number of subscribers is continuously increasing. According to the data of the Ministry of Information and Communications, in 2021, about 1 million subscribers were paying TV subscribers via the Internet of cross-border platforms such as Netflix, Apple TV, and WeTV with estimated revenue of nearly VND1,000 billion. Amongst them, Netflix has seen the fastest growth rate.
In May 2022, the Vietnam Pay Television Association (VNPayTV) continued to recommend tightened management for cross-border OTT services. Accordingly, cross-border services need to carry out registration procedures for operating licenses and censorship according to regulations. Moreover, their content must be pre-censored before being broadcast or put on the Internet to ensure synchronous state management of television and movie content like domestic OTT service providers.
Cross-border services also need to declare revenue generated in Vietnam. Furthermore, authorities should apply technical measures and tough sanctions which can control these services’ compliance with content moderation regulations. At the same time, cross-border OTT services must be under special control.
According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, it is expected that from 2023, the new regulations will allow handling the current inadequacies, forcing foreign OTT TV service providers to comply with the same regulations as domestic enterprises. New regulations will promote the growth of the pay TV service market and create a healthy competitive environment as well as digital age cross-border services in general.