Greater cross-border access to audiovisual (AV) content and services, as outlined in the European Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy, is likely to be significantly detrimental to European consumers and the AV industry in Europe, as well as to international AV businesses that are active in Europe.
This joint report by consultancies Oxera and O&O, for a group of members of the international audiovisual industry*, demonstrates that although the Commission’s proposals are intended to increase the availability of content across Europe, it is likely that they would result in significant adverse short-term impacts (up to €9.3bn welfare loss per annum), and that the medium- to long-term consumer outcomes would be worse than they are today (up to €4.5bn welfare loss per annum). In particular, consumers would be worse off through a combination of two main effects:
- less access to content, and/or higher prices—consumers, particularly those in lower-income Member States, would have less access to content and/or have to pay higher prices than they do now;
- less content being made—undermining the current system of exclusive and territorial licensing would reduce investment in content, resulting in less content being produced.
As well as the adverse impact on consumer welfare, changes to content production would be likely to reduce cultural diversity in the AV sector across Europe as a result of a weakening in the financial position of many local producers, publishers, distributors and platforms.
* The group consists of the following project sponsors: Allianz Deutscher Produzenten—Film und Fernsehen; British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE); Bundesverband Audiovisuelle Medien (BVV); Constantin Film; Danish Producers’ Association; Danish Video Association (DVA); Digital Entertainment Group Europe (DEGE); Entertainment One; European Film Agency Directors (EFADs); Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films (FIAPF); 21st Century Fox; HDF Kino; International Video Federation (IVF); ITV; Motion Picture Association (MPA); NBCUniversal International; Pact; Sky; Verband der Filmverleiher (VdF); Viacom.