Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Convergence - what does it mean for you?

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We would like to learn your views about accessing audiovisual content nowadays: Which innovations do you see emerging? Do you think there are enough legal possibilities to access content online?
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 --- Posted by Gerard de Graaf, Director "Audiovisual, Media, Internet" at DG INFSO

We would like to learn your views about accessing audiovisual content nowadays: Which innovations do you see emerging? Do you think there are enough legal possibilities to access content online? How can protection of consumers be ensured? What is the impact of convergence on media pluralism? How can we make most out of the opportunities to transfer content from one device to another? …

Content creation and consumption anytime, anywhere and on any device? Nowadays this is not an abstract vision anymore but a reality we see happening around us. Convergence brings along many opportunities for businesses and many new experiences for consumers. Devices and applications offer us new ways of enjoying content and sharing this experience with others. TV on the Internet or Internet on your TV screen – differences continue to blur and might totally fade away one day.

It can be argued that some might feel uncomfortable at first with such changes. The example of the music industry has shown however that convergence opens the path for new ways to market one's creation. Today we see successful companies offering streaming of music and artists devising new ways to promote their work across multiple platforms.

Amid new devices and services that we witness popping up around us, we also see developments that give rise to concern: piracy and data protection aspects are just two examples. At the same time we are striving towards creating a digital single market in Europe which we have to admit we have not achieved yet. This poses the question which regulatory framework should be in place in order to enable a thriving European economy based amongst other factors on consumer trust and a compelling content offer.

We would like to identify the questions that still have to be addressed in order to make convergence happening as a European phenomenon. Those questions will be outlined in a policy paper at the end of this year. At the same time EU Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes has set up the EU Media Futures Forum to debate how to improve the policy framework for European media industries. It is chaired by Christian van Thillo, CEO of De Persgroep. The group addresses the challenges put by technological progress and new business models appearing.

This is in brief the background against which we are organising this year a workshop in the framework of the Digital Agenda Assembly which looks at converged media platforms.

Everybody can participate in the online preparation for this workshop and we hope that a lot of people will do. You just need to connect to our dedicated online engagement platform and/or to share your views on twitter using the hashtag  #da12converge. So please DO spread the word. Copy the link on your twitter, facebook, linkedin or other social network profile and contribute to the discussion.

You are  NOT a representative of a business association, interest group or big company and you have never participated in this type of online discussion?

Why not give it a try and address one of the questions mentioned above or raise another issue?

We look forward to hearing from you!