Ticket to Ride - What makes European Films travel? Presentation now on line!

This year's European Audiovisual Observatory conference in Cannes brought together over 300 international film professionals to ask the question "What makes European films travel?"

Get our conference PREZI presentation on line here.

04/05/2016 : Press release - Box office hit record high in the European Union in 2015


  • EU gross box office reached a record high of around EUR 7.3 billion in 2015
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Minions topped the EU charts
  • Market share for European films dropped to 26.1%
  • EU film production rose again to over 1 600 feature films
  • Digital screen penetration in the EU remained at 92%

2015 saw EU break gross box office record

Based on provisional data the European Audiovisual Observatory estimates that cumulative GBO in the 28 EU Member States rocketed to around EUR 7.3 billion. This is 16% higher than the previous year and represents – not adjusted for inflation - the highest level on record. GBO growth was driven both by an increase in admissions as well as rising ticket prices: Admissions increased by 7.4% to 976 million tickets sold. This is 67.5 million more than in 2014 and represents the second highest level registered in the EU in the past ten years. Only in 2009 did cinemas in the EU sell more tickets boosted by Avatar and the novelty factor of 3D. The estimated pan-European average ticket price – measured in euros – increased from EUR 7.00 to around EUR 7.50. It is remarkable to note that in 2015 GBO – measured in local currencies – increased in all 26 EU markets for which provisional data are available. This represents the most homogenous growth trend across territories observed in at least the past ten years. The growth in cumulative EU gross box office was particularly boosted by the strong year-on-year performances in the UK and Ireland which registered – also thanks to an appreciation of the British Pound against the Euro – an increase of almost EUR 400 million (+30%) as well as Germany (+EUR 187 million, +19%).

Table 2: Top 20 films by admissions in the European Union in 2015 prov (1)


Full online version of this press release here.
PDF version here.

More detailed information can be found in FOCUS 2016 World Film Market Trends compiled by the European Audiovisual Observatory and published by the Marché du Film.

14/04/2016 : Press release - Exceptions to copyright in Russia and the “fair use” doctrine - Free new report on copyright rules in two different legal systems


When is copying allowed as an exception to copyright?

The European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, has just published its latest IRIS Extra report: Exceptions to copyright in Russia and the “fair use” doctrine Download it free here.

This new report focuses on the differing approaches of two major territories and their national legislation systems in place towards permitted use and quotation of a copyrighted work.

11/04/2016 : Press release - Ticket to Ride! What makes European films travel?

European Audiovisual Observatory announces this year’s Cannes conference!

The European Audiovisual Observatory is focusing on the export of European films in this year’s Cannes conference. The title of the conference is Ticket to Ride! What makes European films travel? In order to attend this year’s event you’ll have to cross the road – like our Observatory Fab Four - to the Olympia Cinema, 7 rue d’Antibes, Cannes. Be there for our conference on Saturday 14th of May from 9.30 – 11.30!  Full programme here!


Our line-up of experts will be looking at three aspects of exporting European films: the importance of European films outside their national markets, what makes successful European films travel and how digital platforms are opening up export possibilities. Speakers this year include Stefano Massenzi, Head of Acquisitions and Business Affairs at Lucky Red (associate producer of 'The White Ribbon', 'Funny Games' and 'This must be the Place'), Daniela Elstner, President of the French Association des Exportateurs de Films and Ed Guiney of Element Pictures (producer of Oscar winning 'Room', 'The Lobster' and 'Frank'). The Observatory’s own team: Maja Cappello, Head of the Department for Legal Information and Martin Kanzler, Film Analyst, will be introducing each panel with snapshot presentations of data and analysis of the European film industry. This year’s Master of Ceremonies is Michael Gubbins of SampoMedia.

For an invitation: cannes@coe.int

05/04/2016 : Press release - Number of TV channels in Europe still growing, driven by HD simulcast

The total number of TV channels established in the EU grew by 49% from 3615 TV channels in 2009 to 5370 in 2015 (excluding local channels and windows). The markets with the highest number of established channels in 2015 were the UK, France, Germany and Italy. This data comes from the MAVISE database of the European Audiovisual Observatory. Consult this free TV and VOD database here.


About the Yearbook
After 20 years of publication the Yearbook is today one of the best and most comprehensive data sources on television, the film industry, video and the increasingly numerous on-demand audiovisual services in Europe. It is based on the solid know-how and analytical skills of the European Audiovisual Observatory’s department for Information on Markets and Financing, our networks and databases and a huge variety of premium data and information sources. As of 2016, the Yearbook is fully available online
here for an easier access to data sets, country profiles and the “Key Trends” report.


21/03/2016 : Press release - Russia has over 2 300 operating TV channels

European Audiovisual Observatory publishes new report on Russian audiovisual industry.

  • Russian TV market tops over 2 300 operating TV channels at the end of 2015: Gazprom Media, VGTRK and National Media Group largest media holdings
  • Pay-TV as the cornerstone of Russian TV market: over 2/3 of Russian TV households subscribed to pay-TV in 2014 with digital segment and IPTV as main future drivers
  • Rapid growth in Russian VoD market: more than 40 VoD services available at the end of 2015 and dominance of transaction and subscription business model

These findings come from a brand new report, FOCUS on the Audiovisual Industry in the Russian Federation, just published by the European Audiovisual Observatory (part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg) together with Nevafilm Research. It can be downloaded on our website for free in English and in Russian.

The report provides a snapshot of the Russian audiovisual industry in 2014-2015 detailing key trends in the television and on demand sector supplemented by detailed information about the sources of industry financing and an overview of the legal framework.


02/03/2016 : Press release - Is my smart TV working for Big Brother?

European Audiovisual Observatory publishes new IRIS Special legal report: Smart TV and data protection.                    

Buy it here

Samsung have warned owners of their smart TVs that the system’s voice recognition could actually be recording and sharing their private conversations. This “bad buzz” comes at a time when Brussels is in the process of adopting new legislation – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - aimed at protecting us from abuse and misuse of our private data and consumer behaviour big data collected by smart equipment such as television sets. The European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, is keeping track of these developments and has just published a brand new IRIS Special report – Smart TV and data protection.

Link to press release here.

26/02/2016: Press Traineeship at the Observatory

We are looking for a trainee to work with our Information and Press Officer during the period 30 May - 31 August (negotiable)

All Observatory traineeships are unpaid. This is a fixed period traineeship with no direct recruitment possibilities afterwards. However, it does allow a first experience working within the European institutions.

For further information please click here.

12/02/2016 : Press release - 2015 sees EU cinema attendance hit second major peak of the past decade

The European Audiovisual Observatory has released its first estimates for European cinema attendance in 2015. The Observatory estimates that total admissions in the European Union increased by 7.6% to 980 million tickets sold, 69 million more than in 2014. This is the second highest level registered in the EU in the past ten years. Only in 2009 did cinemas in the EU sell more tickets boosted by Avatar and the novelty factor of 3D. Including non-EU territories 2015 actually saw the highest admission levels since 2004 with estimated record admissions of over 1.2 billion tickets.

While admissions levels generally increase in some markets and decrease in others it is remarkable to note that in 2015 25 out of the 26 EU territories for which provisional data were available, registered an increase in cinema attendance. This represents the most homogenous growth trend across territories observed in at least the past ten years. Indeed France was the only EU market to register declining admissions compared to strong 2014 results.

Geographically speaking the growth in EU cinema attendance was primarily driven by the strong year-on-year performance of Germany (+17.5 million, +14.4%) and UK (+14.4 million, +9.2%) followed by Italy (+8.7 million, +8.9%), Spain (+7.1 million, +8.2%) and Poland (+4.2 million, +10.5%). For Poland 2015 marks the best result recorded in Polish movie theatres in the last 25 years, whilst cinema attendance in Spain despite the growing for the second year in a row remains the third-lowest since 1994.

Outside of the EU, the Russian Federation market remained stable year-on-year with 175.7 million admissions in 2015, maintaining its position as the second largest European market in terms of admissions. Turkey, the sixth largest European cinema market, saw its impressive growth trend of recent years come to a temporary halt with admissions declining by 1.5% to 60.5 million tickets sold.

Cinema attendance in the European Union 2006-2015 provisional
In millions, estimated; calculated on a pro-forma basis for the 28 EU member states

Source: European Audiovisual Observatory

Full press release here.

14/01/2016 : Press release - Online copyright enforcement: policies and mechanisms


European Audiovisual Observatory publishes new IRIS Plus legal report                     

Game of Thrones has just officially become the most pirated TV Show on the Internet for the fourth year running.  An estimated 14.4 million downloads via BitTorrent of the 2015 season finale place the series at the top of the piracy list.   Hot on the heels of this news comes the latest free IRIS Plus report by the European Audiovisual Observatory – Online copyright enforcement: policies and mechanisms. The Strasbourg-based Observatory, part of the Council of Europe, offers a timely examination of those copyright measures which enable Europe to protect its audiovisual content online. This new report provides invaluable background to understanding the significance of last year’s announcement. Authored by Maja Cappello, Sophie Valais, Christian Grece and Francisco Cabrera, this report can be downloaded for free here.

08/01/2016 : Press release - The Czech Republic takes over European Audiovisual Observatory Presidency for 2016

Susanne Nikoltchev and Lenka Holubova Mikolasova

Susanne Nikoltchev and Lenka Holubova Mikolasova

The European Audiovisual Observatory, the Council of Europe’s audiovisual information centre, is now under a new Presidency for 2016.  The Czech Republic takes over from Montenegro which held the Presidency of the Strasbourg-based Observatory in 2015.

The Czech Republic is represented within the Observatory’s Executive Council by Lenka Holubova Mikolasova, from the Media and Audiovisual Departement of the Czech Ministry of Culture. She commented that the Czech Republic takes over the Observatory Presidency for the first time at a period when the Czech cinema industry can obtain significant help in terms of systematic changes in financing and incentive scheme administration. She concluded that “2016 would be a key an important year for Czech cinema” and promised an “active and dynamic” Observatory Presidency. A public media conference will be held under the Czech Presidency this summer in Prague and the theme of this conference will be announced at the beginning of 2016.

16/12/2015 : Press release - Luc Besson’s Lucy the most successful European film export in recent years

Observatory publishes new report on the theatrical market for European films outside Europe

Luc Besson’s English language Sci-Fi thriller Lucy (FR) clearly stood out as the most successful European film selling 31.9 million tickets outside Europe in 2014, thus accounting alone for 38% of total admissions to European films in the 12 non-European markets covered. This is both the highest amount as well as the highest share in admissions tracked for any European film in the past 5 years. This is one of the findings of the European Audiovisual Observatory’s latest film market report: The Theatrical Market for European Films Outside Europe. This brand new report provides a high-level analysis of the performance of European films on theatrical markets outside Europe in 2014.

European films generated an estimated 18% of their “worldwide” admissions outside Europe in 2014

Cumulatively European films generated over 82 million ticket sales outside Europe. This represents an estimated 18% of estimated “worldwide” admissions to European films and shows that on a cumulative level theatrical exploitation outside Europe does contribute a significant share of the overall theatrical market volume of European films.

Admissions to European films outside Europe 2010-2014 (in mio, estimated)

Source: European Audiovisual Observatory / LUMIERE, Rentrak

This report can be purchased in our on-line shop here.

12/11/2015 : Press release - European Audiovisual Observatory launches its Yearbook Online Service!

Top 12 European audiovisual players take 62% of turnover on Europe’s markets

Twelve European companies feature in the 2014 ranking of the top 50 major world audiovisual groups. Five of these are Public Service Broadcasters (ARD, BBC, France Télévisions, RAI and ZDF). Even if top European companies do get a limited fraction of their revenues outside Europe, their cumulated turn-over already accounts for an increasing share of the European market, in the range of 62%, leaving the rest to US-based players and smaller European groups.

This intelligence has just been published in the European Audiovisual Observatory’s newly launched Yearbook Online Service - now available as a fully searchable digital service on line.

Data is searchable by topic, country or thematic tag. Market analysis is available in PDF form and the data sets as downloadable excel files.

Our information is supplied in three different sections:

  • Pan-European data sets
  • Country profiles
  • Key trends

40 European countries are covered by the Yearbook Online Service: all EU member countries plus Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Morocco, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, “The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Turkey.

Take a tour of this major new comparative intelligence source on the television, cinema, video and on demand markets here.

29/10/2015 : Press release - European Audiovisual Observatory launches its free AVMSDatabase

What’s the difference between advertising alcohol on the TV in Greece and Sweden? What do the different EU countries class as pornography on screen and when is their famous ‘watershed’? And how many minutes of free football coverage should we get in TV news?

The answers can be found in our AVMSDatabase (accessible free of charge here). This new database shows exactly how each EU country has transposed the various rules contained within the AVMS Directive (the principal legal text regulating audiovisual media services in Europe) into national legislation. The AVMSDatabase makes it possible, in a few clicks, to research:

  • How a certain article of the directive is implemented in a specific country

  • How countries A, B and C have implemented a specific article (comparative approach)

  • How certain articles of the directive have been implemented in countries A, B and C (multi layered research).

Take a tour now!

13/10/2015 : Press release - Question: What do Caroline of Monaco, Linford Christie and Gerhard Schröder have in common?

Answer: their names have all figured in important European case law concerning journalistic freedom of speech and the media.


All of these important media cases feature in IRIS Themes – Freedom of Expression, the Media and Journalists – downloadable free of charge here. This 400 page report by the European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, offers an unparalleled overview of 240 different high profile court cases based on or around article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights – guaranteeing freedom of speech and information. Links to the full transcription for each case are provided.

This publication has been authored by Dirk Voorhoof (Ghent and Copenhagen Universities) and edited by Tarlach McGonagle of Amsterdam’s Institute for Information Law (IViR).

In the times of whistleblowers, hate speech, data protection, good and bad “buzz”, this new publication provides vital background analysis of the European legislation which gives us a right to speak… or not…