The European Commission has published feedback from a public consultation following its Green Paper "Preparing for a Fully Converged Audiovisual World: Growth, Creation and Values".

The Green Paper invited stakeholders to share their views on the changing media landscape and to respond to 27 questions. The questions covered issues related to market developments and the regulatory framework with a focus on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).  

The consultation ran from 24 April 2013 to 30 September 2013. 236 replies were received from broadcasters, advertisers, network operators, cinema, film and TV producers, publishers, the digital industry, regulators, researchers as well as entities with focus on protection of minors, consumers, viewers and citizens and accessibility.

Snapshot of the results

Potential policy directions

There were no clear tendencies among respondents and views are indeed quite split on most of the areas touched in the Green Paper. The AVMSD provides for minimum rules at European level in order to facilitate the creation of an internal market for audiovisual media services. Audiovisual media service providers are subject only to the rules applicable in the country where they are established. Many respondents support this approach. However, some respondents suggested that the rules of the country of destination should be applied, at least in certain fields.

Scope of the Directive

The AVMSD covers television broadcasts and on-demand. Some respondents advocate that the AVMSD should be broadened to encompass services that are either outside of the definition given by the Directive and/or those that fall outside its geographical scope. Others caution against a broadening and argue that this approach is not justified and would prejudice innovation. Many respondents raise the question of self- and co-regulation as a possible way forward.

Regulatory distinction between linear and non-linear services

Under the current EU rules a system of graduated regulation, applies to the protection of minors. The less control a viewer has and the more harmful a specific content could be, the more restrictions apply. While concerns are often raised and the status quo is questioned by many respondents, no clear no agreement on the way emerged from responses.

Several respondents advocate changes in particular to quantitative and qualitative rules currently applied to commercial communications. The requests for changes go in both directions: some favour the liberalisation of rules for linear services; others envisage stricter rules for non-linear services.

The majority of respondents agreed to publication of their contributions 

A detailed overview of the responses received can be found in the Feedback Paper. The Commission has also drawn up an Executive Summary as a brief summary of the Feedback Paper together with a concise overview of the concepts outlined in the Green Paper. These documents are not intended to outline the position of the Commission, but to succinctly present the main threads identified in the replies.