Guest blog post by Angela Mills Wade, Executive Director of the European Publishers Council. 30 September 2015
European Publishers Council reports show seismic transformation in content development and publishing in the context of the forthcoming revision of the AVMS directive and the consultations on online platforms.
The deadline for the public consultation on the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive is this week. The European Commission has been seeking the views of all interested parties on how to make Europe’s regulatory framework landscape fit for purpose in the digital age, focusing on audiovisual media and we have until 30 September to put our case. And before the ink has dried on our AVMS submissions, new consultations were launched last week on geoblocking, and the role of online platforms in a converged world including their use of our content, the liability of intermediaries as well as questions on the free flow of data.
According to the European Commission’s AVMS public consultation document, the EU Directive has fostered unhindered cross-border transmission of audiovisual media services within Europe, and we agree. However, the media environment has changed dramatically since the Directive was adopted in 2007 hence the new consultations on online platforms. Media convergence is now a reality. The traditional TV set is now only one of the means to watch audiovisual content now that Connected TV, set-top boxes, but also PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones are increasingly used.
Whilst it is true that the AVMS consultation is mainly directed at the audiovisual sector at large, it does also touch upon issues that may directly or indirectly impact online platforms and global players, but also online publishing and in particular the freedom of the press.
We in the European Publishers Council (EPC) have an active and ongoing dialogue with the European Commission on this and other directives affecting the media industry in the EU. For those who are not already familiar with us, the EPC brings together 26 Chairmen and CEOs of Europe’s leading media groups representing companies with newspapers, magazines, online publishing, journals, databases, books and broadcasting. We have been communicating with Europe’s legislators since 1991 on issues that affect freedom of expression, media diversity, democracy and the health and viability of media in the EU. Publishing industries as a whole constitute a major economic sector in the EU employing more than 750,000 people in 64,000 companies. The EU newspaper and news media publishing sector generated total revenues of approximately €46 billion in 2014.