Back European Audiovisual Observatory organises successful Workshop on Market Competitiveness in the Georgian Audiovisual Industry

European Audiovisual Observatory organises successful Workshop on Market Competitiveness in the Georgian Audiovisual Industry


  • On June 12, 2024, the Georgian Presidency of the European Audiovisual Observatory and the Observatory co-organized a closed workshop addressing the implications of market competitiveness for the audiovisual industry and regulators in smaller countries. The event gathered leading experts and stakeholders to explore key trends, regulatory challenges, and strategies for fostering a competitive audiovisual market.

The workshop was opened by Ivane Makharadze, Commissioner of the Georgian National Communications Commission and current President of the Observatory, who welcomed the opportunity of having this exchange with experts from Georgia and national regulatory authorities. Susanne Nikoltchev, the Observatory’s Executive Director, introduced the background of this event, highlighting the Observatory’s role to supply factual information to facilitate informed discussions.

Two keynote presentations followed: Gilles Fontaine, Head of the Observatory’s Department for Market Information presented the latest audiovisual market trends, analysing the impact on content production and industry responses to new environments, as well as the potential challenges posed by artificial intelligence. Sophie Valais, Deputy Head of the Observatory’s Department for Legal Information zoomed in on the introduction of standards and rules in non-EU countries to enhance market competitiveness. She presented key regulatory trends based on the Observatory’s AVMSDatabase, its publication series AVMSDigest and a recent mapping report on the application of the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) in selected non-EU countries.

There followed a panel discussion moderated by Levan Maisuradze from the Georgian National Communications Commission. The list of panelists included Giorgi Gvimradze, Deputy Director, News and Current Affairs, Georgian Public Broadcaster, Otar Bubashvili, Co-Founder of Cavea+ (a Georgian online video streaming service), Samuel Studer, Team Leader Media Research at the Swiss Media Authority, BAKOM, Mari Velsand, Director General of the Norwegian Media Authority and Ewa Murawska-Najmiec, Acting Deputy Director of the Polish Broadcasting Council.

Samuel Studer from BAKOM, in his short opening presentation to the panel, focused on “Regulatory Dilemmas and Small Market Challenges” highlighting the reality of small markets such as the Swiss market. The ensuing exchange centered around the regulatory challenges and desirability of creating a level playing field between the different service providers, given the obvious differences in nature between them.

The discussions then turned to the case of Georgia as a small audiovisual market. In particular the Georgian VOD provider present explained how they deal with the specific challenges of the Georgian markets and competition restraints from big players.

A final discussion round looked at how Georgian media could potentially be protected from big platforms. This dilemma classically affects small markets and raised questions regarding the need for regulatory intervention and indeed support for smaller national media players.

Closing this event, the Observatory’s Executive Director, Susanne Nikoltchev, felt that the workshop had clearly helped to understand the challenges and opportunities of smaller countries to stay competitive and how these aspects play out within the Georgian audiovisual industry and could possibly be addressed to achieve future progress and collaborations.

The workshop was organised back-to-back to the bi-annual meeting of the Observatory’s governing board, the Executive Council, composed of representatives of the Observatory’s 41 members (40 states, including Georgia, and the European Union). The Executive Council’s June meeting traditionally takes place in the country of the Presidency.

Tbilisi 17 June 2024
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