AV media rules consultation illustration

European Commission seeks views on Europe's audiovisual media rules

Would you be interested in watching more films produced in another EU country? Should services like YouTube, Vimeo or Vine be regulated like TV is? Can you recognise product placement in television programmes? Would you accept more advertising spots on TV if this boosted the industry's output of quality content? 

If you have a view on these and related questions, now is the time to make yourself heard. The European Commission is seeking opinions on how to make Europe's audiovisual media landscape fit for purpose in the digital age.

In a public consultation launched last week, the Commission is asking for feedback on the current framework which regulates Europe's audiovisual media landscape, called the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).

Questions include:

  • How well do you think the current audiovisual framework works? Should we improve it and how?
  • What roles and responsibilities should market players such as TV broadcasters, on-demand service providers, internet services or telecom operators have?
  • How can we best protect viewers, and particularly children, promote European works and access to information, and regulate advertising in the online audiovisual world?

The Commission is looking for responses not only from market players, industry and public organisations, but also from viewers themselves as users of audiovisual media services such as TV channels or online services like Netflix, iTunes, YouTube and DailyMotion.

Regulation in this field has a direct impact on both consumers and businesses. We watch audiovisual content to get information or for entertainment every day, and through this content we are exposed to and interact with Europe's creative minds and rich cultural diversity, which convey sets of values but may also pose challenges to consumer rights. This is a vital sector of the EU economy with huge growth potential.

The public consultation, which is open until 30 September 2015 and will be available in all 24 official languages of the EU, is part of the Digital Single Market strategy. You can vote on specific questions through the Commission's online pollsfill in the consultation survey online, or respond by email or post.

Some background - interesting facts

  • All forms of video (TV, Video-on-demand (VoD), Internet and Peer-to-Peer (P2P)) is expected to represent 80 to 90% of global consumer traffic by 2019.
  • Consumer VoD traffic is expected to double globally by 2019. 
  • Video viewing is one of the earliest internet activities carried out by young children. For example, YouTube is the second favourite site for children under five in the UK (Childwise, 2012).
  • When growth rates are compared for the period 2008-2013, the internet is outpacing TV as a medium for advertising in Europe. The total online advertising spend for the 21 EU countries comprised in the 2013 IAB Adex Benchmark report is €23.7 billion.
  • Online video advertising had a market value of €1.03 billion in 2013 for the 17 EU countries where data can be found, an increase by 45.1% compared to 2012's €714 million.

A list of questions and answers about the consultation can be viewed on the European Commission's website.