1st Edition

European Audiovisual Policy in Transition

    290 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book describes and critically addresses the innovations and shifts made in the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) adopted by the European Parliament and Council in 2018. Reflecting on European Union regulation and policy practice in all its Member States, the book’s unique approach places in-depth case study topics against the broader theoretical background.

    Taking a Europe-wide angle, an international team of authors focuses on key aspects of the AVMSD: the expansion of its scope to include video-sharing-platforms such as YouTube; the update of the rules for commercial communications; the first attempt for harmonized, minimal requirements at EU level regarding transparency of media ownership; new rules to ensure that video-on-demand services offer, invest in, and prioritise European content; the obligation on television distributors and smart TV manufacturers to pass on broadcasters’ signal without any interference, alteration or modification; and, the formalisation and consolidation of new forms of collaboration among national regulatory authorities.

    This thorough analysis of the cornerstone of European media policy makes this edited collection a crucial reference for scholars and students of media and cultural industries, media law and policy, European and EU media policy, and technology studies.

    Part 1: Introduction  1. European Audiovisual media in transition: Editor’s Introduction (Tim Raats, Sally Broughton Micova & Heritiana Ranaivoson)  2. From the Television without Frontiers Directive to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (Sally Broughton Micova)  Part 2: The EU audiovisual policy between national and supranational governance  3. More coordination between national media regulators and implications for their independence in the digital environment (Gabor Polyák & Tanja Kerševan Smokvina)  4. Between minimal standards and national variation: minimum harmonization of advertising rules (Nadia Feci & Peggy Valcke)  Part 3: Involving video-sharing platforms in the protection of their users  5. Responsibilities of video-sharing platforms and their users (Sally Broughton Micova & Ľuboš Kukliš)  6. Video-sharing platforms under the AVMSD: Transnational and multi-stakeholder cooperation (Ivana Kostovska & Sally Broughton Micova)  Part 4: Media ownership and transparency  7. EU and the complex, nation-dependent web of media ownership regulation in Europe. The role of media ownership rules in limiting market concentration (Adelaida Afilipoaie & Heritiana Ranaivoson)  8. The Audiovisual Media Services Directive and the effectiveness of media transparency requirements (Heritiana Ranaivoson & Krisztina Rozgonyi)  Part 5: Promoting domestic and European works   9. ‘Netflix taxes’ as tools for supporting European audiovisual ecosystems: Policy interventions for rights retention by independent producers (Ivana Kostovska, Marlen Komorowski, Tim Raats & Stephanie Tintel)  10. Content quotas: At the crossroads between cultural diversity and economic sustainability (Catalina Iordache, Petar Mitric & Tim Raats)  11. Safeguarding the visibility of European audiovisual services online: an analysis of the new prominence and discoverability rules (Mª Trinidad García Leiva & Eleonora Maria Mazzoli)  Part 6: Signal integrity: an emerging issue for regulators  12. Signal Integrity in EU Member States: Much Ado About Nothing? (Hilde van den Bulck, Steven Dewaele & Karen Donders)  13. Signal integrity. EU media policymaking at its best or worst (Adelaida Afilipoaie, Steven Dewaele & Karen Donders)  14. Conclusion: How future-proof is the AVMSD? (Heritiana Ranaivoson, Tim Raats & Sally Broughton Micova) 


    Heritiana Ranaivoson is Senior Researcher and Project Leader at imec-SMIT-Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.

    Sally Broughton Micova is Associate Professor in Communications Policy and Politics at the University of East Anglia, UK, and member of its Centre for Competition Policy.

    Tim Raats is Associate Professor at the Communication Sciences department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and head of the Media Economics and Policy Unit at imec-SMIT-VUB.

    This is a precious contribution to understand the European Union’s regulatory posture on audio-visual services while addressing the challenges of governing digital developments. Historically grounded, and aware of the geopolitical context within which the EU operates, the collection offers a comprehensive reading of the AVMSD, through in depth analyses of the intersections and delicate balances between principles, actors, interests, and levels of intervention. 

    Claudia Padovani, Associate Professor in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Padova (Italy)

    Ranaivoson, Broughton Micova and Raats have brought together an outstanding line-up of scholars to offer us a wide-ranging and authoritative account of the European Union’s 2018 Audiovisual Media Services directive and its predecessors going back to the Television without Frontiers in 1989. As the contributors show, enduring tensions between markets and public values, Europe and America, and new technologies versus abiding concerns with diversity, the role of the state, freedom of expression, the protection of children, and non-commercial values have crystallized in new ways as Europe’s media giants and national public media service providers clash with Netflix, Google, Amazon, Disney and so on for market dominance and over what Internet and digital media policy should look like in the 21st Century. The volume’s authors offer us a valuable guide to what we should be fighting for (and against) as a new stage of audiovisual media services regulation made available over the Internet takes shape in one country after another.

    Dwayne Winseck, Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University, Ottawa (Canada)