Providing essential market and legal information on the audiovisual industry

The term "audiovisual" essentially refers to all the media except the press: cinema, television, radio, video and the various on demand services (such as Video On Demand or Catch-up TV) are all sectors of the audiovisual industry.

The European Audiovisual Observatory was set up in Strasbourg in 1992 to reply to a distinct lack of information and transparency concerning this industry. To the present day, it continues to provide a comparative European overview of the audiovisual industry in 40 different countries as well as detailed analysis of national and even regional industries.

Economic and Legal Information

The Observatory has two departments whose Experts and Analysts gather and process our information.

The Department for Market Information produces statistical and economic analysis of the trends in the European cinema, television, video and internet sectors. It also produces intelligence on the means of financing of these various sectors.

The Department for Legal Information analyses key legal issues linked to the audiovisual sector and reports on major legal developments and ground breaking cases which affect media legislation in Europe.

A unique information network in Europe

Gathering information on the audiovisual industries in 40 countries is clearly a mammoth task. In order to do so the European Audiovisual Observatory has become specialised in network management. We have built up, for each sector of the audiovisual industries, a network of national and pan-national contacts and information providers who supply us with raw data and analysis. These can be individual correspondents or national institutions or, in some cases, professional consultancies which supply us with information. Thanks to its statute, the European Audiovisual Observatory enjoys very privileged access to and relationships with other public bodies working in the audiovisual field in Europe.

Once we receive the information, it is then up to the Observatory to apply its methodological expertise in order to harmonize it so that it may be used for comparative purposes. In this way, the Observatory is one of the only organisations capable of providing a comparative overview of the audiovisual industry in Europe.

A varied range of information products and services

The European Audiovisual Observatory makes a lot of its information available for free as a public service organisation. This is published on our website and also made available via our social network sites. The Observatory can, on an ad hoc basis, take on service contracts in order to provide consultancy or research services. It is in this context that the Observatory created the MAVISE database for the DG Communication of the European Commission. 

Some of our information is also available as paying publications, both in print and electronic versions.

Flagship Publications
Online services
Free Access databases


Database on the transposition of the AVMS Directive into national legislation


Database on admissions to films released in Europe
LUMIERE database


The European film directory on European films available on VOD services in Europe
LUMIERE VOD database


Database on television channels and television companies in the EU
MAVISE database


Database on legal information relevant to the audiovisual sector in Europe
IRIS MERLIN database

Current Presidency of the Observatory



Calendar of meetings
  • 14 March 2024: Advisory Committee (Strasbourg, France)
  • 6 May 2024: Bureau meeting (online)
  • 13 June 2024: Executive Council (Tbilisi, Georgia)
  • 20 September 2024: Advisory Committee (online)
  • 3 October 2024 (afternoon): Bureau meeting
  • 6 November 2024: Executive Council (Strasbourg, France)