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What rules and financial obligations apply to VOD services in the EU?

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

The European Audiovisual Observatory recently published a report exploring the rules and financial obligations applied to VOD services in the European Union.

In the foreword, Maja Cappello, Head of the Department for Legal Information, points out that although VOD services can reach virtually any country on the planet, it is up to the State to regulate the diffusion of contents. That is also true in the European space, where the regulation of VOD, based on an EU Directive (the Audiovisual Media Services Directive - AVMSD), is done at the national level. With that, Member-States are allowed to impose, or not, financial obligations (investment in production, acquisition of rights, levies, etc.) to service providers established in a different country.

The Observatory tells us that in the European Union, between 2015 and 2020, were produced annually, on average, 1032 titles. That accounts for an average of 20 846 episodes and 13 409 hours. Except for 2020, the values for the three indicators have increased over time.

That increase in production naturally met greater regulation. Having covered the Audiovisual production and media services in Europe, the report explores the European legal framework, namely the AVMSD rules, as well as the financial obligations and the country-of-origin principle.

Following an explanation of the European framework, and before delving into the work of the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) and two recent study cases, the reader is given access to an analysis of the 14 countries that have decided to implement financial obligations.

As a "bonus", one will also find a detailed overview table with information about the national transposition in the EU27, EFTA countries, and the UK of the obligations to promote European works included in Articles 13, 16, and 17 of the AVMSD (see Annex).

Read the full report here

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