The European Council, currently chaired by the Slovenian Presidency, is proposing the creation of a streaming platform similar to Netflix for Europeans to access audiovisual content made in Europe and to increase competition among EU broadcasters.
1. EU audiovisual content
Without making a particular reference to Netflix, the suggestion from the Slovenian Presidency foresees that EU countries, together with the European Commission, “reflect on Europe’s digital and technological sovereignty”, POLITICO reported, based on an official document. To reach digital autonomy, the Council wants the EU to jointly push for an online European streaming platform with European content “to be made available to as many EU citizens as possible.”
The Council’s document also states that EU governments and the Commission should strive to encourage the production and distribution of films for children and teenagers “in order to provide the future generation of viewers with European content that can benefit their physical, psychological, and moral development.”
2. EU’s audiovisual industry
According to POLITICO, the Slovenian Presidency also wants EU countries to “promote the competitiveness of the European audiovisual sector, taking into account the role played by the territorial and exclusive licensing of rights in the funding system for European works.”
Moreover, Ljubljana added it wants to increase European films available on streaming platforms with “quality films covering a broad range in terms of subjects and age groups.” EU capitals and the Commission need to do more to preserve the cultural diversity of content available to Europeans, and promote and invest in local content, notes the Council’s document.
The role of the audiovisual industry in providing accurate information and entertainment is of great importance for Europe’s democratic debate and cultural diversityGraça Fonseca, Portuguese Minister of Culture on behalf of the previous EU Portuguese Presidency.
3. EU media landscape
The media landscape has shifted dramatically in less than a decade. Instead of sitting in front of the family TV, millions of Europeans, especially young people, watch content online, on demand and on different mobile devices.
Currently, the US-based Netflix and Amazon are the biggest streaming platforms in Europe, counting with over 80 million European subscribers. Disney+ is the third largest platform with an estimated 10 million European subscribers.
On October 26th, HBO Max will have its launch in Europe. Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain and Andorra will be the first six European countries where the all-new streaming experience will be made available.
The Slovenian Presidency will hold a conference, on October 12-13, to discuss the issues and challenges that are key to increasing the availability of European audiovisual and media content and the competitiveness of the audiovisual sector.