Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

Old TV vs New TV. Incumbents vs Newcomers. How do we keep the competition going?


As the digital-platform indutry evolves and new business models arise, old market giants (esp. old media and telecommunication operators) are battling against newcomers (such as Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Roku, etc.) to defend their competitive advantages.

But who is going to gain the most from the new audiovisual scenarios? Old media, new media or TV/music consumers?

Who is most contributing to bring the innovative disruptions that are revolutionising the TV and music industry? Is everyone getting their fair share of returns or, at least, equal maket opportunities? Or, on the other hand, are smaller players and copyright owners (i.e. video content creators) being exploited?

Finding an answer to these questions seems paramount if we want understand whether Europe is doing enough to retain its content-creators and talents, as well as to attract the investments and resources the digital TV/music industry needs. And, if so, how do we keep innovation going, where do we find the incentives that will keep Europeans grow in the field and will encourage investors outside the Europe Union bet on our companies and startups?

52 users have voted.


Chris Conder's picture

Competition is King, and Enablement is Queen. To get a digital Europe we need both. The incumbents will wine and dine politicians and funders, they have mulitimillion euro budgets to do this with. The new entrants don't stand a chance. Therefore there is no competition and often no innovation and we will get left behind. The answer to a digital single market is ubiquitous, fit for purpose connectivity, and until we get that we're basically stuffed. No amount of 'raising awareness' or lessons, or 'promoting the benefits' will work until everyone can actually get online easily.

It is European commission's role to enable people to help themselves. Funding for this should always be targeted at alternatives to the big boys and big business, who are only in it to make money. Making money is good, but it doesn't need government support. The altnets do need initial support, soft loans, grants etc. Starting new businesses to provide much needed competition will enable market forces to come into play.

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Annalisa De Luca's picture

Chris, thank you very much for your input. You paint a bleak picture but pointing out a few relevant aspects about funding. Is it your opinion that more needs to be done in terms of regulation to provide newcomers and content creators for digital platforms with equal opportunities to access and grow on the market?

35 users have voted.
Stevan Randjelovic's picture
Chris, I find you comment very interesting. Do you thinks that freelance economy is the future? And which measures you think the EC should take to spur it?
40 users have voted.
Alice Enders's picture

I absolutely agree that the connectivity issue is fundamental. The average of 73% of Europeans online is misleading. Still, in 2012, all of the EU27 had a majority of 12+ populations online, with Romania just making it above 50% for the first time. Why don't we hear about the digital divide anymore and the factors it? Then let's not forget the quality and cost of connectivity. The cost of fixed-line broadband + a wifi router makes mobile broadband connectivity look very expensive to most households, even if mobile gives you everywhere connectivity.
Without connectivity, many of the EU27 markets if not most don't look very attractive to the Netflixes of this world.

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Katarzyna Gorgol's picture
To follow on the comment on connectivity: VP Kroes has recently announced the reform of telecom sector, which is aimed, among others to encourage investments in broadband (both fix and mobile). More details will be known in the autumn, when it will be discussed at the European Council. I think it would be important that the creative sectors and online businesses, which rely on connectivity, are aware of the fact that such a reform is on Commission's agenda for the nearest future. I also hope that they will support it and spread the news in their respective constituencies…. Here are some highlights, which come from Neelie's speeches: So please, watch out for further news on the telecom reform in the autumn and while in Dublin, please tell us: how does internet connectivity impact online businesses? Do you think you may be losing consumers because of slow data transfers? Or are they fast enough today? Into what extent does roaming affect cross-border e/m-commerce? Do you take into consideration broadband coverage before you launch an online service in a given region/MS? Which MS would you pick? Which ones would you avoid? I'm looking forward to discussing at the DSM workshop!
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