What is the problem? [E.g. Europeans want to be informed on data security breaches]
Broadcast media and the Internet are converging, especially in the audiovisual area, in a way increasingly visible to citizens.
Illustrations include TV sets with internet connectivity ("connected TV"), films and TV shows watched over tablets, game consoles or smartphones, and on-demand services viewed on computers.
Familiar twentieth-century consumption patterns (notably linear broadcasting viewed on TV sets) are evolving profoundly; consumers are increasingly pro-active and some even creating their own content..
This changing media landscape offers many opportunities for players across the audiovisual value chain. At the same time it raises new challenges, like the conditions for dynamic EU businesses to deal with international competition; how to protect European values (including for media freedom and pluralism); and user interests (e.g. protecting minors, accessibility for users with disabilities); and how to promote the right technological environment.
Why is EU action required?
The area impacted is subject to harmonisation at EU level and this new reality is already being discussed in several EU countries and in the European Parliament. Views differ on how to respond. Some parties call for immediate changes to rules and regulations; some remain satisfied with the status quo for the time being, while others point to self and co-regulation. It was therefore time to gather broad stakeholder feedback in a structured manner to prepare for possible follow up action.
What has the Commission done so far?
The Commission has launched a public consultation to explore what this convergence of technology and content could mean for Europe's economic growth and innovation, cultural diversity, and consumers.
What will the Commission do?
The consultation does not presuppose any specific outcome. Nonetheless, in the medium to long term it may have an impact on a number of legal instruments, including the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). The Commission will prepare proposals for follow up actions (not necessarily only legislative) after the consultation has been closed and duly assessed.