10 Things We Learnt At The NMC's Licensing Conference
Senior officials from the National Media Council and Dubai Tourism gathered today in Dubai to clarify the laws and answer questions related to the new social influencer licensing regulations.
Dr. Rashed Khalfan Al Nuaimi, Executive Director of Media Affairs, and Mr. Nasser Al Tamimi, Director of Media Licensing Department, provided clarification on everything from the different types of influencer licenses to the process of obtaining a license.
Both Dr. Al Nuaimi and Mr. Al Tamimi stressed that the new influencer licenses were to ensure that influencers were creating content that is consistent with the nation’s values and follows traditional media guidelines. The Council's goal is not to hinder creativitiy, but to ensure content created in the UAE is safe for everyone to enjoy.
“We want parents to rest assured that when their child is watching content from an NMC-approve influencer, they don’t need to worry about the quality,” Mr. Al Tamimi said.
Didn’t catch the conference live on ITP Live’s Instagram? Don't worry.
We've rounded up the top ten takeaways from the Licensing Conference below.
Check them out and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
1. Social media is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Middle East.
This shouldn’t surprise anyone as UAE nationals, residents and expats are big fans of social media.
And while we might not watch as much YouTube as Saudi Arabia we love our Instagram and Snapchat.
Hence one of the reasons why the Council felt it was important to start licensing UAE-based influencers.
2. The Council did extensive research into other nations’ social influencer policies, before rolling out the special e-media "influencer" license here in the UAE.
Fun fact: The UAE's influencer licenses are some of the most affordable e-media licenses in the world, according to Dr. Alnuaimi and Mr. Al Tamimi.
From Europe to Singapore, the Council researched other nations' policies before drafting the UAE's new influencer licensing laws.
3. The purpose of the new influencer license is NOT to hinder creativity.
The new licensing regulations have been implemented to ensure all forms of e-media are compliant with the values and media standards of the UAE.
The Council made it clear it is not trying to stop social influencing and content creation; rather, it wants to ensure digital content is properly regulated and safe for consumer consumption.
4. The special e-media license will cost Dhs15,000 and will be valid for one year.
Holders of the license will have a grace period of 30 days to renew the license after it expires.
The Council is also considering a reduced renewal cost after the first year, for those influencers and companies who want to renew their license for a second year.
5. The Council will be sending out a nationwide memo to all UAE government sectors, companies, etc. informing them of the new influencer licensing laws.
If you're not a licensed influencer, good luck landing any paid collaborations and/or brand deals.
The Council will make sure businesses are aware that they should only be working with licensed influencers and influencer agencies.
6. There are three different NMC licensing options for influencers.
An influencer can apply for an “individual license” if they want to remain an independent influencer. This license will cost Dhs15,000, and will require influencers to also have a separate trade license.
The second option is a partnership license for small groups of influencers (typically of friends or family). This group of influencers can collectively come together and set up a company, before applying for the NMC’s special e-media license.
The company will need to be registered and hold a trade license. The fee will also be Dhs15,000.
The shareholders of the company that holds the trade license will be held liable for all content posted on the influencers’ social channels.
An influencer can sign up with one of the official influencer agencies, certified by the NMC such as ITP Live.
The agency will hold an aggregated license that will cover all of the influencers on their board. As long as an influencer is exclusively registered with an agency that is certified by the NMC, they will be able to continue operating within the UAE.
Influencers can only be signed up with one agency and all (paid) deals will need to go through the company.
7. You don’t need to be licensed if you receive gifts and/or experiences in exchange for social coverage.
Influencers who solely receive free gifts, experiences and/or products, in exchange for coverage on their social channels, will not need to obtain a license or be signed to an influencer agency in order to operate in the UAE.
If you aren't making any money from your feed, don't stress.
8. Influencer agencies will need to provide the Council with an Excel spreadsheet list of all the influencers they represent, along with their contracts and personal details.
There is no limit to the number of influencers an agency can represent, but the Council will need a list and copies of contracts, contact details, etc.
Influencer agencies, get cracking on compiling that data!
9. Influencers visiting from abroad (i.e. non-UAE residents and nationals) will also need to be licensed.
They will be able to conduct their business as a social influencer in the UAE, as long as they are signed with an NMC registered influencer agency.
Brands that are looking to fly in an influencer that doesn't already hold an NMC influencer license, will need to go through a registered influencer agency in order for it to be legitimate.
10. You can fill out your application for the license online.
For those influencers looking into obtaining a "Category 1" or "Category 2" license, you can visit the NMC's website and apply online. And according to Dr. Al Nuaimi, it will only take you a few minutes.
Influencers, you really have no excuse not to get licensed! #getlicensed
Want to join ITP Live as an influencer? Send an email with your insights, social media handles and short bio to firstname.lastname@example.org
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.