Non Legislative, European Commission, Business
On 24th April, the European Commission will adopt its Green Paper "Preparing for a Fully Converged Audiovisual World: Growth, Creation and Values". Broadcast media and the internet are rapidly converging. The objective of this consultation is to find out what convergence in the audiovisual sector means for things such as European economic growth and business innovation, media pluralism, cultural diversity and the protection of consumers, including children. This reflection has already been launched in various Member States and the Commission now wants to hold a broad public consultation at European level on the impact of convergence The consultation does not pre-suppose any outcome but follow-up could include regulatory and/or other policy responses.
Many consumers now have TV sets with internet connectivity ("connected TV"), watch films and TV shows on tablets, game consoles or smartphones, and view on-demand services on computers. This changing media landscape presents new challenges. Broadcasters argue that the competition is uneven, as new players are not subject to the same regulatory requirements. At the same time, there are opportunities for new players to offer premium content and added-value services to their consumers. There are also single market concerns, as some new devices reportedly do not work in the same way across Member States (for reasons beyond intellectual property). Other relevant issues concern protecting consumers, especially children: users expect higher protection for TV than for internet content, but the line is increasingly hard to draw.
Connected TVs, currently numbering 40.4 million in Europe, could be in the majority of EU households by 2016 and global internet video users could almost double to 1.5 billion.
Midday statement by Vice-President Kroes.
IP and MEMO available on the day.