Controversy Surrounds IPO-Bound OTT Platform Ullu Over Accessibility of Sexual Content to Minors

Preeti Bali / 11:09 am / March 15, 2024

Ullu, a renowned OTT platform geared towards adult audiences, has stirred controversy as the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has flagged concerns regarding the accessibility of sexual content to minors. The NCPCR has called upon the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to intervene, particularly urging action against Google and Apple for hosting the Ullu app, which allegedly features explicit content, including depictions of school-aged children in sexual scenarios.

Call for Regulatory Intervention

In a letter dated February 27, the NCPCR emphasized the need for stricter Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for users accessing Ullu and similar apps via app stores. The ministry has been given a 10-day deadline to furnish a detailed report on the matter. This development coincides with Ullu’s plans to go public, seeking to raise Rs 150 crore through an initial public offering (IPO). With draft papers filed with the BSE SME, the platform aims to utilize the funds to create content for both cinema and digital platforms.

Moneycontrol has reached out to Ullu, Google, Apple, and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for comments on the issue. Updates will be provided as responses are received.

ULLU Chairperson’s Remarks

NCPCR Chairperson Priyank Kanoongo, in the letter to the Ministry, highlighted complaints received from Bollywood personalities regarding Ullu’s content. Allegations include the presence of highly explicit material accessible without stringent KYC checks. Kanoongo emphasized the gravity of the situation, urging the ministry to investigate and take appropriate action against Ullu, Google Play Store, and iOS platforms as per existing laws. The letter also stressed the necessity of implementing robust KYC procedures to prevent minors from accessing such content.

ULLU set for IPO

Out of the IPO proceeds, Ullu intends to allocate Rs 30 crore towards content production. The platform has seen a significant increase in content acquisition and production costs in recent years, reflecting its expanding library. Subsequently, subscription prices have been raised to Rs 459 annually from Rs 198 in 2020 to sustain the platform’s growth.

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