Latest news Latest news
Back

How does Europe ensure a varied and diverse media landscape with variety of choice for its users?

The European Audiovisual Observatory publishes a new report on Media pluralism and competition issues
Strasbourg, France 17 December 2020
  • Diminuer la taille du texte
  • Augmenter la taille du texte
  • Imprimer la page
  • Imprimer en PDF
How does Europe ensure a varied and diverse media landscape with variety of choice for its users?

Download our IRIS Special report: Media pluralism and competition issues

In the current COVID climate of information, disinformation and mistrust it seems vital to protect media pluralism in Europe. This ensures that multiple voices are heard in any debate, variety of user choice is protected, and no one individual or organisation may control the information flow or ensuing debate. Monopolies are avoided. The European Audiovisual Observatory has just released its latest in-depth IRIS Special report: Media pluralism and competition issues.
This new report was drafted under the scientific coordination of Mark D. Cole and Jörg Ukrow from the Observatory’s partner institute, the Institute of European Media Law (EMR) and brings together articles from an impressive team of national experts.
Following the introduction, chapter two offers a useful exploration of the actual definition of media pluralism. Clearly the digital transformation of our media landscape has brought major concentration issues with it. Traditional linear structures have disappeared giving way to new, shorter value chains. Algorithms which control and dictate the information we receive on social media platforms can develop so-called echo chambers, which can restrict diversity. Moving on to the competition law angle, the authors point out that, in order to ensure unimpeded economic competition that promotes the diversity of market players, competition law limits the scope with which such players may engage in economic activity. This chapter also underlines that media pluralism can help to safeguard the quality and “public value” of the information we receive. The fundamental right to freedom of expression is indeed inextricably linked to media pluralism.
Chapter three concentrates on the economic perspective of media pluralism a well as the new consequences of algorithmic media. The authors explain how tightly economic considerations such as the optimum supply of ideally targeted media content and the whole economy of advertising in the media are linked to and dependent on the use of algorithms which predict and ultimately dictate consumer behavior. Indeed the field of digital advertising has served as a sandbox for digital media to begin to understand how pluralism may be safeguarded in a world of algorithmic media. The authors state that “From a media plurality perspective, it is vital to prevent a division into data-rich and data-poor”. In other words, media providers which lack the capacity to build up data sets of information and the capacity to analyse and act on them will fail to attract advertising and so miss out on an important source of financing. In terms of policy making, policymakers and regulators can adopt standards, tools and best practices from within the media industry and improve their ability to understand the complex dynamics of the various markets. In order to do so, some financial regulators have entered public-private partnerships with “regulation tech” providers. 
Chapter four then moves on to the legal perspective of media pluralism. The authors explain how European and national law regulate media mergers and media concentration. They also look at the ways in which Europe can actively promote media diversity through EU state aid law. The current COVID-19 pandemic has indeed endangered media diversity as numerous media players have been threatened with extinction; voices lost. Many European countries have enacted support measures to counter this threat, and the report explores some of these. This chapter then rounds off with some reference points on possibilities for promoting and protecting media diversity in existing and future EU law. The authors explore and explain the European Electronic Communications Code, the relevant sections of the AVMSD and the current the P2B regulation as possible means of protecting media pluralism. They also touch in the regulation of data processing operations and the Digital Single Market Directive with respect to copyright.
This new publication then zooms in on individual countries, offering a report on 7 different EU countries and the UK. For each country, the authors explore national media concentration law and recent decisions by the responsible national authorities in this field.  They also look at the relationship between public service and private/commercial media. Funding mechanisms and other developments in the field of media diversity are also discussed.
A comparative analysis of the various national solutions rounds off this publication: media law provisions aimed at combating media concentration; general competition law provisions relating to competitive practices that are harmful to media markets; and positive measures designed to promote media pluralism.
The authors conclude that the particular context of the COVID-19 crisis has brought into sharp focus the relevance of support and funding programmes as a way of maintaining local, regional and even national services. One may assume that in the future, more measures will be taken than ever before to promote media pluralism – both financially and by creating greater transparency through new regulatory instruments, for example – and to supplement those that are already in place.


Watch our Cannes Conference via livestream here Watch our Cannes Conference via livestream here

From cinema to sofa: is COVID accelerating a production shift from theatrical to non-theatrical?

Other News Other News

Latest update of MAVISE database on audiovisual services in Europe

70% of cross-border TV channels now fall under the AVMSD jurisdiction of The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Spain

17/06/2021 Strasbourg, France

Our MAVISE database offers now information on the application of the AVMSD

Read More

European Audiovisual Observatory announces its 2021 Cannes conference online

From cinema to sofa: is COVID accelerating a production shift from theatrical to non-theatrical?

15/06/2021 Strasbourg, France

European Audiovisual Observatory announces its 2021 Cannes conference online

Read More

Key trends in the European audiovisual sector: all the key figures to imagine the post-COVID world.

Key trends in the European audiovisual sector: all the key figures to imagine the post-COVID world.

19/05/2021 Strasbourg, France

The Observatory’s yearly digest of what’s hot in European media: TV, film and VOD.

Read More

A spotlight on the new Digital Services Act Package A spotlight on the new Digital Services Act Package

In 2019, the European Commission launched the process for the adoption of a comprehensive regulatory package, the so-called Digital Services Act package (DSA).
Two new Regulation proposals were published on 15 December 2020 and aim at modernising the current legal framework for digital services. At a key point in the discussions on this new legislative framework, we are organising a series of webinars dealing with specific topics, where the areas of interplay between the DSA package and existing regulatory instruments may appear more complex in order to help pave the way for a structured exchange among stakeholders, with the Observatory team acting as facilitator for the discussion.

 

An initial introductory conference took place on 11 February. Here’s the film of this first conference: 
 The new Digital Services Act Package: a paradigm shift?
Introduction by Francisco Cabrera Blázquez
  The DSA Package: An Introduction

See below for the themes of the various webinars.

A series of webinars A series of webinars
Featured online service Featured online service

Yearbook online

A unique source of data on:
• television • film • video • on-demand audiovisual services in 40 European countries and Morocco

  • 287 tables featuring more than 25 000 figures
  • 40 country-fact-sheets
  • The current edition 2020/2021 covers the data range 2015 to 2019

More information and and subscriptions available here

Featured Database Featured Database

LUMIERE VOD

The updated LUMIERE VOD directory of European works provides data

  • on the presence of 41 550 European film titles 
  • in 367  different VOD catalogues 
  • representing 472 180 film presences at the end of August 2020.

This free access directory is supported by European Commission’s Creative Europe programme.

TRACKING THE REVISED AVMSD TRANSPOSITION TRACKING THE REVISED AVMSD TRANSPOSITION

We're tracking the transposition of the Revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive in the EU

Latest update 30/06/2021

paid for services paid for services

Yearbook Online Service 2020/2021

A UNIQUE SOURCE OF DATA on:
• television • film • video • on-demand audiovisual services in 40 European countries and Morocco

Published: 17/11/2020

► 287 tables featuring more than 25 000 figures
► 40 country data sheets
► Data from 2015 to 2019

More

Price:  370 €
(click here for details)

Database of studies and data from the European film agencies

Our monthly newsletter Our monthly newsletter

If you want to stay informed, make sure you receive our monthly “wrap-up” newsletter and information about our latest free publications.

To join our mailing list:

email Alison Hindhaugh

Or telephone on:
  + 33 (0) 3 90 21 60 10 (direct)

Events and Diary Events and Diary

Visit our Events page for up to date details of Observatory events, plus information on events attended by our talented team.

Click here

Follow us on Social Media Follow us on Social Media

        

  Watch our videos