Objectives of the consultation
As part of the rules on the promotion of European works set out in the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, the Commission is required to provide, after consulting the Contact Committee, guidelines regarding:
a) the calculation of the share of European works in the catalogues of on-demand providers and
b) the definition of ‘low audience’ and ‘low turnover’ for the purposes of exemptions to the obligations concerning the promotion of European works.
The Commission has consulted the Contact Committee on possible approaches on several occasions. It also organised a dedicated public hearing with stakeholders, to which Contact Committee representatives were invited.
The present consultation aims to complement the process by gathering stakeholders’ input on specific technical issues.
Who replied to the consultation?
There were 72 respondents, including 31 companies or business organisations, 24 business associations, 6 public authorities, 1 NGO’s, 1 EU citizen and 9 from the category ‘other’*. Some of the responses were sent outside the EU Survey tool by email.
The majority of contributions (64) came from Member States, and 8 contributions came from non-EU countries (5 from the United Kingdom and 1 from respectively the United States of America, Norway and North Macedonia).
* 62 contributions were made through a questionnaire in EU Survey and 10 stakeholders forwarded seperately an answer to the consultation.
Figure 1: Distribution of consultation responses by type of respondent
Preliminary findings observed in the replies
Without prejudice to the in-depth analysis of the replies, we can observe the following overall trends*:
* The written contributions have been analysed by the Audiovisual and Media Services Policy Unit in order to provide a preliminary analysis of the main trends.
Calculation of the share of European works
A clear majority (46 respondents) expressed their preference for “titles” as a method of calculating European works in video on demand (VOD) catalogues. A limited number of respondents (8) supported duration. On the choice between episodes and seasons the respondents were more split, but the majority preferred seasons (23 respondents chose “seasons”, compared to 19 respondents that chose “episodes”). There was also a clear preference to calculate the share of European works per national catalogue (44 respondents) rather than calculating the average of the respective shares in all the catalogues offered within the EU (11 respondents). There was a preference for measuring European works on average over a pre-determined period of time (30 respondents) instead of securing anytime compliance (24 respondents).
Definition of low turnover and low audience
The comments concerning “low audience” and “low turnover” were more mixed. A large share of respondents (35 contributions) stressed the need to measure “low turnover” at the level of each Member State in order to take into account different market sizes. Some stakeholders submitted comments on possible thresholds, in particular for linear services. Responses were rather split on whether Member States should be free to introduce lower thresholds for financial contributions, in particular levies. Some stakeholders reiterated that more transparency is needed regarding audience data.
The Commission services have been carrying out a deeper analysis of the replies received (.xls) with a view to finalising the text and further consulting the Contact Committee. The Commission will adopt the guidelines in the course of 2020.
Disclaimer: the views presented in this factual summary report are not the views of the European Commission but of the stakeholders that participated in this targeted consultation.