May - 2013
April - 2013
Is your start up located in a big grey city? ParcBIT in Mallorca is a thriving tech hub and incubator sitting in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, offering a high quality of life and at the same time an excellent infrastructure.
Broadcast Projects is in attendance at the US / Spain business days being held at ParcBIT on April 23 and 24 in Mallorca, and we´re pretty impressed impressed by the place. Keith Silver, Deputy Senior Commercial Officer of the US Embassy Madrid, responsible for international trade and development, today presented the services of the embassy, as well as the business opportunities and highlighted the business opportunities between the Balearic Islands and the US. In attendance were government officials responsible for promoting technology and innovation investment in the Balearic Islands, as well as participants from many different business sectors interested in export opportunities.
Key companies already at ParcBIT, which is just amazing and has wonderful facilities with more than 2400 people already working there in what appears to be a very thriving and stimulating environment, include Microsoft´s Innovation Center for Tourism Technologies, and many more. Check out the full the list here.
The ParcBIT Innovation Unit aims to fast-track investment in the Balearic Islands. It is part of the support network for innovation, new technologies, the promotion of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship to develop different institutions and agencies of the Balearic Islands. This unit serves Balearic businesses and entrepreneurs, and has a focus on innovation to improve its competitiveness. ParcBIT offers a one stop shop and is an ideal location, being very well connected with flights to Palma just one or two hours away from all major European cities. We hope more technology companies will check out this great opportunity.
If you are interested in learning more about technology innovation and investment in the Balearic Islands, please contact us.
In London on 2nd May the market trends, dynamics and policy implications of Connected TV will be addressed by the UK Chapter of the International Institute of Communications in a seminar that will be hosted by Ofcom. Planned speakers include David Mahoney (Ofcom), Chris Hutchins (Liberty Global), plus other speakers including representatives from the European Commission. The conversation will look at how broadband TV is affecting the TV market, the evolving demand and usage patterns for connected TV and issues such as risks for competition, issues of compliance, content regulation and audience protection. The discussion will also address whether the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS) is fit for purpose in the context of this rapidly shifting landscape.
EuroReg 2013 is another event of interest, taking place on 24 May in Vienna. Organised by the Austrian Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Broadcasting (RTR-GmbH) and the Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria) in partnership with the Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) and the German media authorities, the conference will address the converging broadcasting world.
Set against the backdrop of Connected TV, second screen, Smart TV, Hbb TV, and on demand TV services the conversation will focus on the changing market, new business models and consumer expectations. Top speakers will present and discuss their concepts of the future of television services, including which aspects are to be regulated by the market, and which by regulatory bodies. Among the companies and organisations present at the conference will be the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF/Vienna, M6 Group/Paris, ProSiebenSat.1/Munich, ZDF/Mainz, the German media authorities, OFCOM/Biel, Ofcom/London, CSA/Paris, the European Commission/Brussels, Samsung/London, Liberty Global/Amsterdam, ACT/Brussels and many more. The conference will be held in German and English. Simultaneous interpretation will be available for guests and speakers.
Broadcast Projects will attend both events.
Connected TV and Platforms: evolution or revolution? Market trends, dynamics, and policy implications will take place Thursday 2 May 2013, 17:00 for 17:30 Start at Ofcom, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London EC1. Attendance is free to IIC Members and £30 for non-Members. Click here to download the registration form and return to firstname.lastname@example.org with CH1-13 in the subject heading.
“EuroReg 2013” will take place 24th of May 2013, 9.30 a.m. – 6.00 p.m., followed by a get-together at the Palais Niederoesterreich, Herrengasse 13, A-1010 Vienna. Further information regarding “EuroReg 2013”: www.euroreg.eu There is no charge to attend but registration must be done by 6th May.
March - 2013
Smart TV in Italy is the first of a series of strategy reports from Deadline Media TV on OTT and connected television. The analysis details the current market for Smart TVs in Italy within the framework of broadcasting, broadband and mobile communications. It provides five year forecasts and analysis of risks, uncertainties and competing and complimentary platforms.
Using MHP, Italy is the first country to widely deploy a broadcaster centric horizontal platform in competition with proprietary platforms of major television manufacturers. It therefore provides major lessons for connected and OTT television in other European countries deploying HbbTV or MHEG IC. However MHP has, so far, progressed little further than from proof of concept.
The key finding of this report is that connected television is taking off in Italy at a time when the existing broadcasting sector is faced with intense pressure to change. Advertising revenues have been brutally hit by austerity and the conventional pay-TV sector has probably peaked. A substantial amount of spectrum is now available for new linear-scheduled DTT services. Italy has been underserved by television even though Italians love it.
Deadline Media concludes that for the time being OTT will be driven by catchup TV and VoD films; the two major terrestrial incumbents, RAI and Mediaset, are positioned to dominate catchup TV because they have the content and the brand names.
Italy is a demanding and major G8 market for the new generation of services. The “Old Regime” is not serving the Italian consumer well, opening new opportunities for content providers, television vendors, STB and complimentary box distributors, CDN and service companies, the mobile sector, advertisers and carriers. Italy is a natural home for hybrid broadcast-broadband services.
The new report, Smart TV in Italy, comprehensively addresses the key strategic issues covering Smart TV and OTT TV/connected TV offerings. It is targeted at general management, business development, strategy, marketing and sales executives, content providers, researchers and analysts, investors, policy makers and standardisation organisations.
Published in February 2013, this 87-page electronically-delivered report comes as a PDF file. More information can be found on the Broadband TV News web shop, where it can also be ordered online, but as a single-user version or as a single site lience. For further details contact Deadline Media TV.
The latest issue of Iris, published by the European Audiovisual Observatory, contains news of two recent AVMS-related decisions: one on scope and the other related to fees.
The first, in Austria, concerns the topic of scope related to a newspaper´s website, eg, which on-demand services are in scope of the AVMS regulations as incorporated into national legislation. The newspaper is question is Tiroler Tageszeitung whose online news portal, www.tt.com, has a sub-domain video section (video.tt.com) in which the videos are presented under separate categories, are searchable and follow the general design and navigation as the main site. The decision of the Austrian Federal Communications Senate (BKS) ruled however, that the site is to be considered an on-demand service. Newspaper websites have been a contentious subject for national regulators in other territories, with differing conclusions. In the UK the Sun Video case, Ofcom ruled that the newspaper´s video section of a website was out of scope, while a recent decision in Sweden rules that four newspapers were in scope. Full details of the Austrian case can be accessed on the European Audiovisual Observatory´s website here.
In other news from the Netherlands the ¨supervisory¨ fees due by on-demand service providers, who must by law contribute to the costs of the Commissariaat voor de Media (Dutch Media Authority), have now been set at a 200 E flat fee, according to a new regulation that went into effect on 17 December 2012. The low fee is justified by the authorities because existing rules, which apply to linear broadcasters and take into account their potential reach, do not apply to on-demand services. Since the AVMS rules are less strict, the supervisory role is accordingly less. However the Dutch authorities will impose different fees for different media services, the result of which is likely to be that major national stations and foreign-oriented services will contribute more to the supervision costs. Access the full story in Iris here.
February - 2013
Ofcom had a busy start to the year with a number of decisions relating to appeals of previous ATVOD determinations. ATVOD is the co-regulatory body for editorial content in on-demand programme services in the UK.
Playboy TV and Demand Adult were both fined for ´recklessly´ failing to restrict under 18s from accessing their on-demand adult content, and Ofcom overturned three earlier determinations by ATVOD. These specifically related to the long awaited decisions on two BBC YouTube channels for BBC Food and Top Gear, and Channel Flip.
Although these additional decisions add further shape to the definition of what constitutes an on-demand service as defined by the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, (AVMS was implemented into UK law in 2009 and 2010), the definition of what is and is not in scope is still shifting. Hence the determinations still do not give wholly definitive clues as to what´s in and what is out, meaning which services have to notify and will be treated as regulated services under AVMS.
One of the key points turning points for ATVOD in making their original determinations was to look for the presence of any professional or semi-professional graphics and or production qualities within the video such as music, cast, title and closing credits. Given today´s wide range of software available to the general public for accomplishing precisely such tasks this seems implausible as criteria for what should reasonably considered to be TV like.
In both the BBC and Channel Flip cases, Ofcom decided the that content was not comparable to ´TV like´ services, using as the basis for its conclusion research it published in October 2012. This research gave Ofcom a better understanding of what types of programming consumers considered to be ¨TV like¨ and thereby warranting giving the public regulatory protection. This legal interpretation by SNR Denton does a good job explaining the decisions made by Ofcom in the recent appeals. The SNR Denton piece explains how Ofcom went back to consider the wording of the original AVMS Directive in making their decision, whereas ATVOD only looked at how the UK Regulations were worded. It will be interesting to watch how and if a more narrow definition of scope emerges.
The number of services in scope currently stands at 211, though projections as recent as last year considered it would never go beyond 160 or so. It also remains a mystery as to why porn websites are caught by the AVMS rules in the UK, which, as described above, is meant to deal with ´TV-Like´ on-demand programme services. Clearly the services in this list are not all of the same ilk, even though one completely understands that this is a problem of enormous proportion in terms of protecting children. True, something must be done, but AVMS was simply not intended to be that blunt instrument. ATVOD recently testified to the House of Lords on this very matter, and made recent noises over their intention to place heavier reliance on the Obscene Publications Act and put greater pressure on payment processors for those porn websites originating abroad, and therefore out of the jurisdiction of ATVOD.
It should be interesting to see how scope plays out in the scheme of things.
These latest developments represent the fourth instance of Ofcom overturning an ATVOD decision, counting also The Sun video decision of December 2011. While in Sweden, in contrast, four newspapers were determined by the Swedish regulator to be in scope of AVMS, last October. Report here.
For further insight on AVMS implementation across Europe, subscribe to AVMS Insights and get access to our October 2012 article on the subject.
January - 2013
The Ethiopian Education Foundation is recruiting a new manager to oversee its school in Addis Abbaba. This is a position that offers huge influence on the lives of the the Foundation´s extremely bright students, all of whom have come from severely underprivileged backgrounds. Each year the foundation awards scholarships for those in grades 9-12. These kids are carefully selected and once accepted university entrance is almost guaranteed after four years in the EEF programme.
To learn more about the position, click here. At this link you´ll find more info about the EEF programme, including how to sponsor one of their students. EEF was founded by Achim Kram and colleagues after an expedition to Ethiopia in 2003.
The Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA) was launched at the HbbTV Symposium in Paris on 17 December 2012. Building upon the work of its predecessor, the Association Européenne pour la Protection des Œuvres et services Cryptés (AEPOC), AAPA’s role is to facilitate the coordination of intelligence and anti-piracy activities amongst its members and to interact with EU institutions to ensure that there is effective legislation to achieve successful enforcement action.
“At IBC two years agowe started a discussion about the security issues surrounding connected TV. Since then AAPA members have been active in developing security for smart TVs, etc and making OTT content available. We need to ensure that all stakeholders recognise the importance of implementing and maintaining content security robustly and this symposium provides an opportunity to continue to reinforce this message.” said AAPA Executive Director Sheila Cassells. “AAPA offers a reinvigorated approach to fighting piracy in the audiovisual sector. While many policy discussions have focussed on ISP liability it is important that we do not lose sight of the need to tackle circumvention of content protection technology. AAPA’s members work collaboratively in this area and we will continue to support this, as well as endeavour to ensure that legal powers are fit for purpose.”
“Piracy never goes away,¨ according to AAPA Vice-President Christine Maury-Panis, General Counsel at Viaccess. ¨As new technologies emerge and new ways of distributing audiovisual content become more popular, it is crucial that we have all the possible tools to work with collaboratively against the persistent threat of piracy, which causes enormous damage to jobs in the creative and other sectors. AAPA provides an efficient industry alliance which is able to support the fight against piracy of paid content delivered via the set top box, mobile phone, tablet, etcetera.¨
The AAPA works to support pay TV and large technology security firms by engaging in dialogue with EU institutions and taking action to ensure appropriate and effective legislation is implemented consistently across the EU. Through the activities of its members and the work of the Intelligence Committee, AAPA identifies areas where legislation can be improved. The AAPA meets three to four times a year, in addition to exchanging information by e-mail and conference call. AAPA´s current membership includes BSkyB, Conax, Eutelsat, INSIDE Secure, Irdeto, Liberty Global, Melita, Nagra, NDS, Nova, Open Tech, Pace, Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia, Verimatrix, Viaccess, Ziggo and Zon. All members of the Alliance are members of the AAPA Council, which determines the strategy of the Alliance.
December - 2012
As if we weren´t already numb. A UK-based company has created an app called Digipill which it claims offers a kind of drug in the form of downloadable audio files. The mood-altering ´digital drugs´ claim to use psycho-acoustics as a form of therapy.
Created by UK-based mobile developer Yuza with the assistance of self-help author Brian Colbert and apparently 20 years of neuro-linguistic research, the digital drugs consist of around half an hour of audio each. Although binaural techniques have existed already for some time – producing varying results – the Digipill app uses a form of hypnosis that can induce experiences ranging from relaxation to weight loss, to creative ambition and legal highs. Users can download the app at no cost and receive one free ‘pill’ to try before purchasing other options from the Pill Store.
The developers recommend that multiple sessions. No doubt they will also amend the mood of regulators.
Smoke some of that. We´ll let you know how we get on.
Strictly Broadband, the UK adult service that was forced to close down due to ´unmanageable´ trading conditions, has been fined today (6 December 2012) by Ofcom for not putting in place effective access controls to prevent children accessing porn. The fine, of 60,000 GBP, is due even though the service closed down in September 2012, after seven years of trading.
ATVOD, the Authority for Television On Demand, which is responsible for regulating the editorial content of certain on-demand programmes services like Strictly Broadband, as co-regulator alongside Ofcom – originally found the website in breach of its Rule 11 in July 2012. This rule states that if an on-demand programme service ¨contains material which might seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of persons under the age of eighteen, the material must be made available in a manner which secures that such persons will not normally see or hear it.”
This was not the case with the Strictly Broadband service, which was made available online, along with its sister site www.anywhere.xxx. ATVOD’s Guidance to Rule 11 explains the type of restrictions that a provider should put in place around R18 content to ensure that minors cannot usually access it. As “Strictly Broadband” was not in compliance with Rule 11 during the period in question, ATVOD referred “Strictly Broadband” to Ofcom for consideration of a sanction on 13 August 2012.
In other news ATVOD has published new research (3 December 2012) that demonstrates that four out of five adults think that it is too easy for children to view hardcore porn online. The research was conducted by ICM Research on 26-27 September 2012. The responses from a demographic sample of 2019 adults in Great Britain showed that:
- 77% of British adults think hardcore porn videos are easy for children to see online
- 88% of British adults think it is important that UK websites offering porn-on-demand are required to take the steps set out in the ATVOD Rules and Guidance – such as restricting access, to credit card holders or by checking information against a reliable database, e.g. the electoral roll – to ensure that under 18s do not normally see hardcore porn material
- Women are particularly concerned, with 94% saying the measures required by ATVOD are very or quite important (with 82% specifically saying they are very important)
- Overall, 69% of British adults say the measures required by ATVOD are ‘very important’
- Views are broadly the same for adults with or without children
The VOD regulator continues its intensive enforcement activity. It recently investigated 23 notified ‘adult’ services, finding 13 to be in breach of the statutory rules because they featured hardcore porn material which could be accessed by under 18s.
Two of those found to be in breach have now closed and eight have made themselves compliant by placing all hardcore material behind an effective access control mechanism. Four services which failed to make changes according to the timetable set by ATVOD have been referred to Ofcom. The back-stop regulator is now considering whether to impose financial penalties or restrict or suspend services.
ATVOD has also announced today the appointment of a new independent Board Member and Director, replacing the outgoing member, Sara Nathan. Paul Whiteing is the CEO of PhonepayPlus where he is responsible for regulating the fast changing premium rate industry during a period of rapid technological convergence of internet and telephony. Paul has extensive experience of regulation and consumer protection of all forms based on twenty years experience in a variety of regulated sectors. He will take up his post in January.
For more news and insights on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, sign up for AVMS Watch here.
November - 2012
The Swedish Broadcasting Commission (SBC) has decided that the video sections on four newspaper websites were to be considered as audiovisual media services under the Swedish Radio and Television Act. The decision, which was announced in 29 October 2012, concerned the websites of four daily newspapers: Helsingborgs Dagblad, Aftonbladet, Dagens Nyheter and Norran.
The Swedish Broadcasting Authority had asked the SBC to determine if the video sections of these newspapers were to be qualified as on-demand TV under the Act, which incorporates the provisions of the EC Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS).
The SBC determined that the video content sections constituted distinctly separate services in comparison to the other content on those newspapers´ websites. The key criteria that helped in the determination were that:
- the programmes were made available to the general public
- the programmes could be accessed in such a way where the users could choose themselves when to watch (e.g., on-demand)
- the programmes were organised in a ´catalog´ with distinct sections such as ¨Sports¨ and ¨News¨.
In view of these findings, the SBC determined that the video sections on these newspaper websites qualified as ¨on-demand TV¨ and were covered by the Swedish Radio and Television Act. As part of the decision, SBC also found that the web TV service of Aftonbladet had an advertisement that was not properly signaled to consumers (by optical and acoustic means) as is required by the Swedish Radio and Television Act.
These rulings mark an interesting point of departure since the UK Sun Video – Ofcom Appeal Decision which was published at the end of 2011
A new article by lawyer Graham Smith, expressing his personal views on the regulation of the internet makes for interesting reading. It was published this month and covers his views as presented at the SCL Forum in September 2012. The article looks at the current state of play, as Leveson looms and decisions on the Communications Bill and social media prosecutions are considered. The article covers ATVOD and regulatory convergence, stating that ¨ATVOD remains in many people´s minds a strong contender for the title of Least Necessary Regulatory Body¨. It also looks at Ofcom, copyright, criminal law, Internet speech and related submissions by Max Mosely to the Leveson Inquiry on this subject in light of statements made by the then Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Mr Smith, offers his recipe for Government next steps, stating that ¨The bold course of action is to deregulate and free up the Internet. The bold option would be to say that we don’t need, and should positively discourage, content legislation specific to the Internet. The bold course would be to say that we should minimise the use of prior restraint, avoid disproportionate sanctions, and take especial care to avoid measures that risk chilling legitimate content and speech.
The bold course would be to live up to the mantra that what’s legal offline should be legal online, by acknowledging that general laws of content framed with due regard to freedom of speech – and nothing more, especially no special Internet statutes and no Internet content regulators – should apply to both offline and online content. That means repealing at least s 127 of the Communications Act 2003. The bold course would also include abolishing ATVOD in favour of the Irish AVMS implementation model, putting the Digital Economy Act out of its misery and rejecting Max Mosley’s prescription for the Internet.
The entire text is well worth reading and you can find it here on the website of SCL, the IT law community, which is the leading UK organisation for legal professionals advising and practising within the IT sector.
A review of the future of European Audiovisual Policy has been published this month by Christopher O. De Andrés on his blog. The article offers a wide-ranging tour across the EU legal framework, from the 1990s television to online, right up to today´s on-demand services.
The report follows the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth that Ofcom should start gathering independent data and establishing trends in the area of online copyright, ahead of its reporting obligations under the Digital Economy Act, which came into force in June 2010.
The Digital Economy Act features numerous controversial copyright infringement provisions. Its goals are to make it easier to track down those who persistently infringe copyright, sue them, and, after one year, facilitate the enabling of ´technical measures´ to either reduce the quality of or completely terminate their internet connections.
Ofcom must begin its reporting obligations under the Act one full year after its Code, dealing with the procedures, has been in force. The draft code was published in June 2012 for consultation. Now, it is now subject to a further review by the European Commission, and it will be laid in Parliament around the end of 2012. ISPs will then prepare to meet their obligations, and Ofcom will appoint an appeals body. Ofcom currently expects the first customer notification letters to be sent in early 2014. The full text of the code can be found here.
The Code will initially cover ISPs with more than 400,000 broadband-enabled fixed lines – currently BT, Everything Everywhere, O2, Sky, TalkTalk Group and Virgin Media. Together these providers account for more than 93% of the retail broadband market in the UK. ISPs will be required to send letters to customers, at least a month apart, informing them when their account is connected to reports of suspected online copyright infringement.
If a customer receives three letters or more within a 12-month period, anonymous information may be provided on request to copyright owners showing them which infringement reports are linked to that customer’s account. The copyright owner may then seek a court order requiring the ISP to reveal the identity of the customer, with a view to taking legal action for infringement under the Copyright Designs and Patent Act 1988.
Copyright owners can already seek such court orders under existing law, but the Code is designed to enable them to focus legal action on the most persistent alleged infringers.
The consumer research published today also found:
• One in six (16%) internet users aged 12+ downloaded or accessed online content illegally during the three month period from May to July 2012;
• Reported levels of infringement varied considerably by content type: 8% of internet users consumed some music illegally in the three months, but just 2% did so for games and software;
• The most common reasons cited for accessing content illegally were because it is free (54%), convenient (48%) and quick (44%). Around a quarter (26%) of infringers said it allows them to try before they buy;
• Infringers said they would be encouraged to stop doing so if cheaper legal services were available (39%), everything they wanted was available from a legal source (32%) or it was more clear what content was legal (26%). One in six said they would stop if they received one notifying letter from their ISP;
• Those who consumed a mixture of legal and illegal online content in the form of music, films and TV programmes reported spending more on legal content in these categories over the three-month period than those who consumed entirely legal or illegal content.
In its statement, Ofcom said the research offers just one perspective on levels of online copyright infringement, and that for a more complete picture it should be considered alongside direct measurement of behaviour on file-sharing websites and wider industry data.
Ofcom expects to consider all these data sources as part of its statutory reporting duties in the near future.
The full report, the OCI Tracker Benchmark Study, is available here. It was funded by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), and carried out by Kantar Media on behalf of Ofcom. The report contains details about the methodology used, and the underlying data is also being made available for further analysis.
The European Broadcasting Union´s Eurovision website has published a short review of the main presentations from Connected TV: Beyond the AVMS Directive, a conference held in Cyprus at the end of October. You can read their review at this link. According to the report, ¨ultimately delegates concluded that regulations should meet consumer habits and expectations: portable and seamless content on all devices.¨ But there is a long way to go on that front, and no clear road map emerged. Many at the event also privately commented that nothing would move forward with regard to a review of AVMS prior to 2014, when the Commission will be re-elected. The Green Paper on Connected TV, now expected at the beginning of 2013, according to the video speech given by Neelie Kroes, is at least expected to advance the debate in the meantime.
For more in-depth reporting, subscribe to AVMS Insights.
October - 2012
The keynote addresses from the IIC 2012 Annual Conference in Singapore are now available online at this link.
See and hear the keynote speakers from the 2012 Annual Conference:
- Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, the Singapore Minister for Information – opening presentation
- Craig Mundie, Microsoft, talking about the future of technology. Craig speaks about how cloud computing represents a real advance for consumers because they become a point of orchestration and coordination in people´s lives, the shift away from GUI to NUI (natural user interfaces) and how spectrum has got to be shared.
- Randal Milch, Verizon, discussing the requirements of businesses to meet public policy goals
- Ed Richards, Ofcom (UK), considers the challenges facing regulators
- Louis Boswell, AETN All Asia Networks, reflects on the changing content delivery environment
A BBC Newsbeat report has drawn attention to ATVOD, the UK editorial co-regulator for on-demand content, which has stated that existence of ´tube´ porn sites that let users upload content and watch films for free, is making it more difficult to control porn. The regulator has powers under the EC Audio Visual Media Services (AVMS) Directive to fine or to close on-demand services that (among other cumulative criteria set by the Directive) are TV-like and do not put in place access barriers that adequately protect children.
But ATVOD cannot control sites which originate from outside its jurisdiction. The article quotes Tom Dennis, representative of AITA, the Adult Industry Trade Association, who is also a producer. He says that the traditional porn industry, and even tube sites, can no longer complete with a new wave live webcam services, where performers are paid directly online for their live performances.
Meantime, Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd has lodged two new appeals against ATVOD determinations that the company remains the provider of two on-demand adult services. Playboy TV has moved Playboy TV and Demand Adult out of the UK to the Netherlands, but ATVOD believes that editorial responsibility (another element of the cumulative criteria) for those services still takes place in the UK.
Meanwhile, ATVOD has received a new notification for the website, Dungeon Virgins. You can look it up yourself quite easily. There are no video trailers, but yes, there is a saucy guided tour, which invites a user to sign up for the service.
Website, or TV-like on-demand service? What about live webcams? What do you think? Please add your comments to the forum below.Sources: BBC Newsbeat. By Rick Kelsey. Newsbeat reporter. Read the full text here. ATVOD Scope Determinations: http://www.atvod.co.uk/regulated-services/scope-determinations/demand-adult-oct-2012 http://www.atvod.co.uk/regulated-services/scope-determinations/playboytv
From January 1, 2013, a charge of €5 will be introduced on each new device sold, which includes PVRs, hard disk recorders, PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Hard drive recorders will only be charged on devices of 190GB or more.
Source: Broadband TV News. Read more here.
|Gary Olson Presents Channel-in-a-Box
October 30 @ 2pm EST / 11am PST – POSTPONED
Due to the devastating storm the East Coast is and will be facing in the coming days, we will be postponing the Channel-in-a-Box web seminar previously scheduled for October 30th.
Gary Olson’s presentation will now be held on Thursday, November 8 at 2 PM EST.
• Create a cost-effective off-site
• Launch single and multichannel
• Benefits of a software-centric
• Advantages of replacing stand-alone components with an integrated
• Improve workflow, simplifying equipment integration and
• Protect station investment
One of the hottest topics for broadcasters right now is the move from traditional playout automation with multiple devices to a single, one-stop Channel-in-a-Box (CiaB) solution. In fact, a recent market research report — forecasting this next-gen solution which offers integration, reduced costs and allows for a more scalable playout system — reports the CiaB market will grow to $146 million by 2017.
Recruitment for the Ethiopian Education Fund for 2013 has started. This is a worthy programme that was co-founded in 2003 by Achim Kram. As you begin to think about closing out the financial year, and how you will take care of your company´s annual ´seasons greetings´ messages, may we suggest putting your your name down for a sponsorship or a donation? Unlike with other well known sponsorship programmes, you really can DIRECTLY change someone’s life forever and get full updates throughout the year. Broadcast Projects is proud to be an EEF sponsor, and we invite you to visit the EEF website to learn more and consider participating. The success stories and progress of the students is just amazing.
For just under £1000 you can become a sponsor. Alternatively you can make a contribution to the organisation´s running costs. You could set up a standing order or make a one off donation into their bank account at:
Royal Bank of Scotland
Ethiopian Education Foundation
29 Old Brompton Rd
London SW7 3JE
Sort Code 16 00 84
Account 1012 5863
Any amount would be very welcome.
Or if you wish you can make a payment by credit card here https://www.bmycharity.com/eef – BmyCharity charges ZERO commission on your payment and you know ALL of your donation goes directly to the programme in Ethiopia – NOTHING gets wasted on admin. Please share this also with your friends and family and like us on Facebook, and get your friends to do so too.
With your help EEF will continue to turn orphans and street children into university graduates – please help – even a small donation can go a long way.
For further information about the Ethiopian Education Fund, please contact Achim Kram at email@example.com
The Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD) has published its submissions to the UK Council on Child Internet Safety and to the Lords Communications Committee relating to Media Convergence and Public Policy on 18 October 2012.
The documents address how to tackle the problem of access to content harmful to children, including access to pornography.
Highlights of ATVOD´s emerging public policy positions include acknowledging the limitations of the currently regulatory scheme, especially in relation to services that originate from outside the UK.
¨ATVOD recognises the near impossibility of protecting all children from all online harm all of the time, but takes the view that a policy designed to protect a significant number of children from a significant amount of harm a significant amount of the time is worthwhile, ¨ the co-regulator said.
ATVOD´s submission to the UK Council for Child Internet Safety expressed the view that while parental controls and media education are part of the solution, their effectiveness could not be relied upon. Within this landscape, ATVOD called for more active enforcement of existing laws, including the Obscene Publications Act.
A total of 23 UK-based porn sites have been investigated over violations of Rule 11, which requires that access to porn is gated by an effective Content Access Control System, enabling verification that the user is 18 or over at the point of registration or access. However many more services originate from out of the UK, and ¨ATVOD has no power to impose similar restrictions on hardcore porn websites operating from outside the UK but accessible from within the UK, including by UK children¨, it said.
Looks like it will be an excellent event, the TV of Tomorrow show, organised by ITVT, is scheduled to take place on 11th December. This event is the place where all the top people connected to the ´second screen´ space will be. All the event details are here. Broadcast Projects will attend. Contact us if you want to meet up there.
Taking place in Cyprus on 25 & 26 October 2012 is the Connected TV Conference: ¨Beyond the AVMS Directive¨. With 180 participants from across the range of regulatory agencies, media companies, policy-makers and others, it promises to be a stimulating event. Full conference programme details have just been released. Access them here. See our earlier story here.
Broadcast Projects will attend this event. Contact us to arrange a meeting.
In October 2012, the Sejm (Polish parliament) has now incorporated new rules on VOD services into the country´s laws on radio and TV broadcasting, thereby implementing the ´minimum regulation´ required by the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS). This amendment has not been adopted and has been based to Poland´s Senate.
Poland´s on-demand services delivered over the internet will be supervised by the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT). The new rules will apply to internet-delivered non-linear services such as the Cyfrowy Polsat´s ´ipla´ service and TVN. Such services will now have to follow rules that apply to traditional TV stations, including those pertaining to the protection of minors and allocating an increasing percentage of their output to European productions. There will be also bans on tobacco, alcohol and subliminal advertising, and restrictions on product placement.
There will be no registration procedure for the new services. Previously this had been considered but it had become a controversial issue and subsequently this requirement has been dropped.
Ofcom has published its long-awaited research into the definition of what is ´TV Like¨ in the context of AVMS, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. The report, commissioned by Ofcom and carried out by Essential Research Ltd, was intended to help Ofcom understand which on-demand audiovisual services are regarded by users as competing alternatives to linear TV services when they want to watch TV programmes, and why.
The research approach identified a range of on-demand services and then mapped these according to what extent users considered them to be ¨competing alternatives¨ to linear TV. The spectrum below shows the services that were used as test stimuli (in blue), together with other frequently mentioned services (in yellow). Those at the left are the more obvious substitutes for linear TV, those at the right, not so much.
- PVR content
- TV VOD services
- Catch up services
The services next most closely considered TV like were those offered by Netflix, Lovefilm and iTunes, because content these services can be accessed only by subscription or pay per view. It is interesting to note that feature films were not always considered to be TV like content.
Vevo and music videos on YouTube were the last services considered to be a ¨reasonable substitute¨ for linear TV, mainly because music videos, like films, were not top of mind as TV content, and also because some felt that music videos were clips rather than programmes.
The rest of the services tended not to be considered as reasonable substitutes for linear TV.
Services such as Babelgum, Channel Flip and Fosters were considered too commercial. ¨Funny¨ user generated videos on YouTube, Guardian Video and videos on the BBC website were all classed as services that served up “clips” by viewers, as well as giving them options to create playlists and interact with the content. Top Gear on YouTube also fell into this category, good news for BBC Worldwide. Although the participants indicated that they often used these services, they did not tend to regard them as a substitute for linear TV.
The full report can be accessed here.
|On-demand services: understanding consumer choices
Annex 2: Audio visual content take up and viewing
September - 2012
Almost 65% of TV programmes shown in Member States are of EU origin, meeting the requirements of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive for both television and on-demand services. The majority of these European works however are domestic works – meaning TV stations and video on-demand services overwhelmingly prefer showing local, nationally created programmes; and the proportion of independent productions on television is declining.
The European Commission published its ¨First Report¨ on the promotion of European Works on TV and on-demand services in the EU on 26 September 2012. It looks at how Member States have complied with Articles 13, 16 and 17 of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS) during 2009-2010, and is based on information contained in a study conducted by Attentional Ltd in December 2011 on the implementation of these provisions on the promotion of European Works, as well as input from Member States.
The report indicates that the average share of European works shown on EU TV channels had continued to increase, if only slightly (from 63.8% in 2009 to 64.3% in 2010), and that the majority threshold had been achieved in all Member States, except Ireland, Slovenia and the UK. The Commission is therefore asking these countries to step up and encourage their broadcasters to show more European Works.
Another finding is that independent productions have been decreasing steadily since 2006, and correspondingly the Commission has requested Member States to consider how this trend might be reversed. Another telling factor of the study is that of those works reported, only 8.1% of these were non-domestic, pointing to a significant tendency for the majority of works shown to have a domestic origin.
Article 13 of the Directive specifically relates to the promotion of European works in on-demand programme services. While Member States have flexibility as to the way in which they implement this obligation (see related story on the ATVOD plan for European Works for the period 2012-2015), in fact only a few Member States reported that they had defined specific promotion measures.
The report also cites the lack of uniformity across Member States in relation to Article 13 and the difficulty of drawing reliable conclusions, given the late implementation of AVMS in some countries, and the overall uneven development of the market for on-demand services. Nevertheless, the Commission considers that on-demand services are particularly relevant in the context of convergence and connected devices, and so they plan to analyse the best way to promote European works and engage soon in discussions with Member States.
Gary Olson, technology architect and advisor for digital media strategies, has this summer completed an extensive training series of videos focused on new IP and file based requirements. Produced in association with Broadcast Engineering, topics covered include:
Workflows & Business Process:
Media Management & Metadata
Engineering & Business Integration
Delivery and Distribution
The complete video training course consists of 7 modules that are each 45-60 minutes in length. Modules may be purchased and viewed stand-alone, but Module 1 is foundational for the other six.
The full training course costs $185, or individual modules at a rate of $29 per module.
Broadcast Projects´ associate Gary Olson will co-present a web seminar on compression and signal processing in an IP and baseband world on 26 September. The event will be co-presented by Mark Senecal, Senior Product Manager of the Video Networking Group, Harris Corporation. Gary and Mark will review the latest multiplexing and IP technologies that provide new efficiencies and signal management. As broadcasters are increasingly required to support content from many sources and deliver it over new types of channels, the demand to apply the efficiencies inherent in IP solutions grows ever stronger. With this mix of baseband and IP signals, engineers and technical managers need to leverage the best technology available to stay ahead of the competition.
The tutorial-style event is offered by Broadcast Engineering and sponsored by Harris Corporation. The webinar is free. You can find all details and sign up here.
The final version of the ¨European Works¨ plan for 2012-2015 was published today by ATVOD, the Authority for TV on Demand. ATVOD is the industry content co-regulator responsible for implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive under UK law.
Under AVMS, each member state has an obligation to to ensure that on-demand service providers ¨promote, where practicable and by appropriate means, production of and access to European works¨, that is to say, audiovisual content produced within the European Union.
In 2011 ATVOD collected its first round of data from service providers, covering a one year period ending 31 March 2011, and submitted a report on the data received to UK Government via Ofcom. As AVMS has a reporting requirement every four years, the next report the UK Government is required to submit is 19 December 2015.
ATVOD´s plan rejects the need for measures such as quotas, levies, and stipulations of prominence which have been adopted by some other EU Member states. The plan also marks a move away from annual data collection on European works on VOD services. Instead, ATVOD will collect data every two years, beginning in 2013.
Service providers will be contacted in January 2013 with details of the information to be provided and will have until 31 Sept 2013 to submit the data, allowing the workload to be managed around other commitments. In addition, the plan limits the information which will be required to 6 key pieces of data (compared with the 14 suggested by the Commission), as ATVOD does not consider additional data sets are required in order to discharge its duty or for the UK to meet its reporting obligations under the AVMS Directive.
Broadcast Projects is pleased to announce the new joint venture between several of its consulting partners. Squeaky Carrot is a creative design and marketing solutions team. Find out what inspired us to create this new venture and who´s involved. Learn more at Squeaky Carrot. We´ll be at IBC! Contact us.
The Cyprus Radiotelevision Authority and the European Commission will host the “Connected TV Conference” in Cyprus on 25 and 26 October.
The event will focus on the challenges of connected TV in a landscape beyond the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS). The conference is addressed to representatives of the European Commission, policy makers on audiovisual matters from all EU member states, the Council of the European Union, the Council of Europe, EPRA, MNRA, local authorities, representatives from the industry as well as international, European and local media. Confirmed speakers so far include directors, chairmen, and CEOs from companies such as Panasonic, Voddler, Philips, and the Korea Communications Agency.
Broadcast Projects will attend this event.
Stay tuned for more event details.
Policymakers, regulators and industry participants from around the world will meet in Singapore on 8th & 9th October for the Annual Conference of the International Institute of Communications. This is the 43rd annual conference for the organisation, which is the world’s only independent membership organization focused on policy and regulatory affairs in the telecommunications and media sectors worldwide. Don´t know about the IIC? The IIC is a worldwide, non-profit membership organisation that covers issues in telecommunications, broadcasting and the internet. This year´s annual conference again brings together a high-level mix of senior business executives, government policy makers, regulators and expert commentators. Topics on the agenda for this year´s conference include:
- policy approaches and international coordination for allocating scarce spectrum resources
- policies and strategies for managing the fast-moving world of on-demand broadband services
- the role of competition policy in broadband and communication market development
- progress in the world of copyright for content creators and consumers, privacy issues
- strategies for sustaining dynamic communications sectors in national markets
Confirmed Keynote Speakers include:
The IIC Annual Conference will be held on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 October 2012 in Singapore at The Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.
For more information visit the International Institute of Communications website
To Register: http://www.iicom-registrations.org/
August - 2012
July - 2012
It´s that time of year again, for our annual IBC Party and Event List. The list started small right but is growing at a steady pace. We´ll be monitoring the announcements as they come, and updating the list here.
We hope it is a useful resource, but it´s up to you to get an invite, register or reach out nicely to the companies graciously hosting these events.
We wish you a good IBC and hope you will be planning to meet us there! To set up a meeting, contact us.
Thursday 6th September
Thursday 6th September – IBC Leaders´ Summit VIP drinks reception and dinner at West India House
By invitation only. Click here for details.
Thursday 6th September – SES Press Conference and Dinner at IBC 2012 at The Dylan Amsterdam, Keizersgracht 384, 1016 GB Amsterdam
Press only. Welcome reception at 6.30 pm. Presentation at 7 pm. Dinner from 8.30 pm Please respond before 24 August 2012 via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax +49 30 76 8888 76 to the SES press office in Berlin to RSVP for this event.
Friday, 7th September
Friday, 7th September – Conax OTT press briefing & reception, Stand #1D69, at 4pm.
Presentation followed by a champagne reception on the Conax stand.
Friday, 7th September, Dalet Press Briefing – Stand 8.B77 16.30hrs,
Dalet executives will present Dalet Galaxy, the company’s next-generation enterprise Media Asset Management platform. A cocktail reception will immediately follow the presentation.
Friday, 7th September – RTW Raffle - Stand 8.E76 at 5pm
Not a party as such, but you can win a TM TouchMonitor from RTW, a manufacturer of professional audio metering and control devices.
Friday, 7th September – Cinegy Drinks and Canapés - Stand 7.A30 – from 5pm.
RSVP to email@example.com
Friday, 7th September – IBC Party – at the RAI Exhibition Center, Diamond Lounge, at 18.30
For IBC exhibitors and staff. Good food and drinks, quiet areas for conversation, strolling entertainers and games, and lively music for dancing. Gold and Silver Pass delegates receive invitations to the party, as do Friday’s Bronze Pass holders. Have you seen last year´s IBC party video?
Saturday, 8th September
Saturday, 8th September – Verimatrix Breakfast Briefing – Room G102 – G103- 08.30 – 10.00am
The briefing will be about multi-network solutions. The event is complimentary, but seating is limited, and the bacon sarnies too, so please sign up now.
Saturday 8th September 2012 – NATIV Press Conference and drinks – NATIV Stand 4.A61e – 16:30-17:00.
Press conference on the industry’s first enterprise DAM solution with built-in social collaboration and browser-based editing. You must register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, 8th September – Cinegy Drinks and Canapés - Stand 7.A30 – from 5pm.
RSVP to email@example.com
Saturday, 8th September – RTW Raffle - Stand 8.E76 at 5pm
Not a party as such, but you can win a TM TouchMonitor from RTW, a manufacturer of professional audio metering and control devices.
Saturday 8th September. Never.no hosts a Social TV Party, Booth #7.A06 at 4pm.
Join Never.no for drinks and nibbles to discuss the latest Social TV trends and developments. Register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, 8th September – Happy Hour ¨Belgian Style¨ hosted by Newtec, Hall 1A49 – 5pm
Don’t miss Newtec´s Belgian Style Happy Hour on 8 and 9 September at 5pm.
Saturday, 8th September – Thomson Networks IBC Cocktail Party – Booth #A10 from 05:30PM.
If you have received an invitation from Thomson Networks, please complete the on-line registration form to confirm your attendance.
Saturday, 8th September – Complimentary cocktails at the Rovi stand, Hall 5, Stand A31
Time: 4pm-6pm (3pm GMT)
Saturday, 8th September – IABM Awards for Design & Innovation Ceremony & Drinks Reception Date, from 18:00 to 19.30, Onyx Lounge, RAI
The winners of the 2012 Awards for Design & Innovation will be announced during IABM´s Awards from 6:00pm – 7:30pm, with drinks afterwards.
Saturday, 8th September – Second Screen Society will host a late afternoon discussion session over cocktails at the Okura Hotel.
Sunday, 9th September
Sunday, 9th September – Viaccess-Orca’s Lunch Cocktail from 12:00pm-2:00pm at VO booth (1.A51)
Sunday, 9th September – Satlink´s Annual Cocktail, from 5pm, Hall 5.A21
RSVP to email@example.com
Sunday, 9th September – RTW Raffle - Stand 8.E76 at 5pm
Not a party as such, but you can win a TM TouchMonitor from RTW, a manufacturer of professional audio metering and control devices.
Sunday, 9th September – Cinegy Drinks and Canapés - Stand 7.A30 – from 5pm.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, 9th September – Happy Hour ¨Belgian Style¨ hosted by Newtec, Hall 1A49 – 5pm
Don’t miss Newtec´s Belgian Style Happy Hour at 5pm.
Sunday, 9th September – CCBN Party – at the Sea Palace Floating Restaurant – 6.30-9.30pm
Visit the Chinese Content Broadcasting Network in Hall 6, 6.A03. You must register for this event by clicking here. There will be a shuttle bus from the RAI between 5.30 and 7pm, departing from Park 6, outside Hall 11, departing every 20 minutes.
According to a very short blog post by Sheila Cassells, Executive Director AEPOC, the European anti-piracy trade organisation will soon be changing its name in a re-branding exercise. More information will be made available shortly about the new Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance. Sheila is also Director of the Digital Interoperability Forum (www.difgroup.eu), an informal trade association representing industry players involved in the delivery chain for paid-for content on technology policy issues, and a Broadcast Projects consulting associate.
June - 2012
The Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive was among the legal acts incorporated into the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement on 15 June 2012, along with CLP Regulation on the labelling of chemicals. AVMS is an update of the former Television without Frontiers directive and its goal has been to address the new age of online streaming, video-on-demand and mobile TV. As these services became increasingly important forms of media consumption, the EU revised its rules on traditional TV broadcasting to accommodate a new generation of media services in the digital age. The resulting AVMS Directive, which was finalised in 2007 and came into force at the end of 2009, has been aimed at creating a single market for all such services by providing legal certainty for businesses and more diverse and quality programming for viewers. The Directive also modernises TV advertising rules, thus facilitating new forms of financing of audiovisual content such as sponsorship and product placement.
In addition to the AVMS Directive, the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation has also been incorporated into the EEA Agreement. This Agreement aligns the EU’s system of classification, labelling and packaging of chemical substances and mixtures to the UN based Globally Harmonised System (GHS). It is expected to facilitate global trade and the harmonised communication of hazard information of chemicals and to promote regulatory efficiency. The new regulation replaces the orange hazard symbols with symbols on a white background with red frame. For hazardous products two new symbols are introduced.
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA, founded in 1960, is an intergovernmental organisation set up for the promotion of free trade and economic integration to the benefit of its four Member States: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. It was originally comprised of seven members which eventually left to join the EU.
The Association is responsible for the management of the EFTA Convention, which forms the legal basis of the organisation and governs free trade relations between the EFTA States; EFTA’s worldwide network of free trade and partnership agreements; and the EEA which enables three of the four EFTA Member States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) to participate in the EU’s Internal Market.
AVMS Watch: The European Commission has referred Poland to the EU Court of Justice for failing to fully implement EU audiovisual media services Directive. Poland has partially implemented the Directive but not the provisions concerning on-demand services. This means that providers of such services are not obliged to protect viewers, especially children, from hidden advertising (such as subliminal advertising) or from content containing incitement to hatred. Nor does Poland respect the rules on the European content of services provided on-demand. Poland should have implemented the Directive in full, including the rules for on-demand services, by December 2009. The Commission has proposed a daily fine of € 112 190.40 which would be paid as from the date of the Court’s affirmative ruling until Poland notifies the Commission that it has fully implemented the rules into national law. These financial penalties are proposed under the Lisbon Treaty and take into account the duration and the gravity of the infringement and the size of the Member State.
On the occasion of the 2nd Digital Agenda Assembly (21 & 22 June 2012) Robert Madelin, Director General DG CONNECT, was interviewed by Vieuws´ Jennifer Baker to discuss broadband infrastructure in the European Union. “I believe that it is true that vibrant competition in the market is an insufficient condition for investments,” says Robert Madelin. Vieuws is an independent EU policy broadcaster. Click here for the video.
At Broadcast Projects we cannot even count that high, but that´s the apparent number of new IP addresses that have been created as a result of the new internet protocol IPV6. Certain regions of the world ran out of IPV4 addresses last year, and others will run out in a few more. Organized by the Internet Society, and building on the successful one-day World IPv6 Day event held on 8 June 2011, World IPv6 Launch represents a major milestone in the global deployment of IPv6. As the successor to the current Internet Protocol, IPv4, IPv6 is critical to the Internet’s continued growth as a platform for innovation and economic development. The full infographic, which explains what the problem is and how IPV6 solves it, can be downloaded here.
PR firm Edelman has just released a free powerpoint report and infographic relating to social entertainment and second-screen engagement.
The research tracks the impact of social media and new platforms on entertainment audiences in the UK and US, revealing the key issues that entertainment brands and communication professionals should consider when looking to engage audiences with content.
The study, “Value and Engagement in an Era of Social Entertainment and Second Screens” marks a three year high in how audiences perceive the value of content. The study reveals that the internet’s influence on how entertainment content is consumed and shared continues to grow. Alongside this growth, consumers are increasingly active in sharing their likes and dislikes, both via word of mouth and online. The study illustrates a ‘Conversation Curve’ with most audiences looking to share content they have liked and disliked after they have consumed it, not during the experience. Consumers are also keen to stay in control and not be replaced by notification and recommendation technologies.
May - 2012
Step by step, things are happening to turn Menorca into a hub for technology and innovation. Every year, Martin Varsavsky, the dynamic entrepreneurial investor and founder of companies such as Viatel, Jazztel, EINSTEINet, Ya.com and Fon hosts the Menorca Tech Talk on his farm in Menorca. Read Martin´s invitation here.
He will be inviting his friends and other entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley, New York, Spain, Germany and of course, those from the island itself. We will be there. Will you?
This year the event takes place on 24th June, in the form of a series of improvised debates on technology and innovation that will take place from 4pm to 8pm. This event is free, but if you want to join you have to register here by emailing email@example.com. Places are limited.
If you are coming, we highly recommend arriving a few days earlier so you can also enjoy one of the island´s most spectacular equestrian fiestas taking place in the town of Ciutadella on 22, 23, and 24 June. So visit us for a healthy dose of technology, networking, gin, fiestas, horses… oh, and this:
Levels of concern about the internet have fallen substantially in the UK over the past six years, however some users are still willing to take risks over their internet security and privacy settings, new research by Ofcom reveals.
UK adults’ concerns about the internet have dropped steadily since 2005, falling from seven in ten (70 per cent) users to half (50 per cent) by 2011, with confidence online at high levels (84 per cent), according to Ofcom’s Adults Media Use and Attitudes report. The report is designed to give an accessible overview of media literacy among UK adults aged 16 and over, and its purpose is to support people working in this area to develop and promote media literacy among these groups.
The fall in concern comes as people are spending increasing amounts of time on the internet. The average user now says they are online for over 15 hours each week, an increase of five hours since 2005. The internet is increasingly part of people’s everyday lives wherever they are, and eight in ten adults (79%) now go online on any device in any location – up by 20 percentage points compared to 2005.
Social networking continues to grow in popularity and three fifths of adult internet users (59 per cent) say they now have a profile on a social networking site. However, the increase has slowed, with a rise of five percentage points since 2010, compared to increases of ten percentage points in 2010 and 22 percentage points in 2009.
For those with a profile, social networking is increasingly becoming a part of their daily lives, with two-thirds (67 per cent) saying they visited the sites every day – up from one-third (30 per cent) in 2007. Accessing social media on a weekly basis via a mobile phone has almost doubled in the last year – from 15 per cent in 2010 to 29 per cent in 2011. Amongst smartphone users this increase is even greater, up from 39 per cent in 2010 to 55 per cent in 2011.
However, while internet usage and social networking is becoming commonplace some users are still willing to take risks online. A quarter of social networkers (26 per cent) in the UK say their personal information, such as their date of birth or hometown, can potentially be seen by people they do not know.
Furthermore, about one in six users (16 per cent) of social networking sites say they share their contact details with anyone or friends of friends. Three in five (61 per cent) only allow their friends to view their contact details, and a further 13 per cent say they don’t have this information on their profile.
This report is the fifth full report since the Ofcom survey began in 2005. Ofcom has a statutory duty to promote media literacy. Media literacy enables people to have the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to make full use of the opportunities presented both by traditional and by new communications services. Media literacy also helps people to manage content and communications, and protect themselves from the potential risks associated with using these services. The core focus of Ofcom´s research work in this area is to understand the usage habits of UK adults, and their attitudes across TV, radio, internet, mobile phones and games.
Ofcom has invited contributions to its review of ATVOD´s Designation. ATVOD (the Authority for Television on Demand) is the co-regulator of editorial content included in video-on-demand (VOD) services, responsible for the implementation of UK law as it pertains to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS). The Designation, which came into force in March 2010, is subject to formal review by Ofcom after two years. Contributions to the review from stakeholders must be made to Ofcom by 31 May 2012.
Our newest creative partner Squeaky Carrot has launched its website, aimed at professionals who need a good, clean, brand identity, online and offline. Lluc Pallejà is the Barcelona-trained designer and entrepreneur behind Squeaky Carrot. The company delivers design services, specifically focused on brand identity. That means help clients differentiate their businesses from their competitors so they can increase the confidence of their clients and win more business. A website is probably the most important visual identity piece for any enterprise. Squeaky Carrot produces not only the graphic visual identity part, but can also custom design and implement full websites ranging from simple presentations to complete e-commerce sites with back–end integration to payment gateways.
Why the name? You´ll just have to click through to the site to find out.
Sojournposse is a creative consulting agency consisting of a team of designers and storytellers who aim to make a difference in the community. As creatives, they believe in developing relationships and promote understanding by making things together. There are a lot of problems in society, such as social imbalance, that need to be addressed. We debate and write news articles about them. We discuss them at higher education seminars. And then what?
Sojournposse focuses on using its design, journalism and digital anthropology skills to create programmes that have empowering and lasting impact on for stakeholders. In other words, solving problems through design and social sciences. The aim is to encourage positive behavioural change within the community.
Founders Zarina Holmes and Salina Christmas have been commissioned to deliver projects such as the coverage of a fashion show in a conflict region, multimedia campaigns for NGOs and multi-faith groups, storytelling and publishing workshops for international and UK students, and engaging design workshops in collaboration with big corporations and academic institutions.
New Challenges are ahead for Not on the Wires, the multimedia storytelling team. ¨Both this ambitious topic – the world – and these ambitious methods, are quickly changing, and the future is full of ever more opportunities to explore both.¨ The site will remain live as an archive of the stories produced by the project´s collaborators.
Former editor and co-founder Dominique van Heerden is now a digital producer at CNN, Creative director and co-founder Marcus Gilroy-Ware is planning a new digital storytelling platform, DeeperStories, Alex Wood, co-founder is launching Kikai, a lifestyle site in June, and current editor Emanuelle Degli Esposti is working towards the launch of a Middle-East focussed site.
We wish them well, and look forward to their upcoming announcements.
April - 2012
This is yet another great cartoon from The Oatmeal, that deserves wide attention. How can the industry ever address piracy when the process of honestly buying the content is so labourious for consumers, who even if they make sincere efforts to be honest, are rewarded with nothing but a run around? Visit www.theoatmeal.com
March - 2012
In a speech that applauded cable´s investment in broadband infrastructure, Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, announced this week the Commission´s intention to launch a policy paper on connected TV by the end of the year. The speech took place at the annual Cable Congress in Brussels on Thursday, 8 March. She said is also preparing the Commission´s strategy for cloud computing, which goes hand and hand with next generation broadband infrastructure investment.
¨We know people are already happy to pay for high-quality TV services. What if they could combine their favourite TV programs with the best of the Internet, or indeed special on-line services? With features that are interactive, on-demand, or social?¨said Kroes. ¨Well, you won’t have to wait long to find out: within 2 to 3 years, 90% of TVs sold in Europe will be internet-connectable. 90 per cent. So later this year we’ll be producing a policy paper on Connected TV, to make sure we’re ready to let this market flourish.¨ Kroes also said that we need to support cloud computing because that´s where the future will be, but that to use the cloud effectively there must be robust broadband networks in support.
The full text of her keynote speech can be found here.
On 21st March 2012, Forum Europe will host the European Cloud Computing Conference in Brussels with professionals from the technology industry, EU policymakers and other stakeholders debating the current state and the future of Cloud Computing in Europe. Conference link here.
At the end of 2011, the European Commission will report for the first time on the application of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. The Commission’s letters to member states asking for information in this connection were unusually long and detailed, thus indicating the difficulties experienced in incorporating the Directive into domestic law. These difficulties mainly arise with respect to regulating non-linear audiovisual media services.
For this reason, in April 2011 the European Audiovisual Observatory and the Institute for European Media Law invited 25 experts on audiovisual media law to a workshop at which an assessment was made of the situation with regard to the regulation of on-demand audiovisual services. The principal questions for discussion were how the new provisions on the scope of the Directive have been incorporated into domestic law and how member states have handled the possibility of promoting the self- or co-regulation of on-demand audiovisual services.
The papers on which the workshop was based and a detailed report on the discussions that followed the various contributions are summarised in this IRIS Special and form a comprehensive overview of the possible regulation. After reading this IRIS Special, the somewhat provocative question in the title, “Chaos or Coherence?”, can probably be answered by establishing that the regulatory landscape in Europe is characterised by both chaos and coherence.
The International Institute of Communications will host an event focused on the upcoming Communications Review on Tuesday, 13 March 2012. It will be hosted by Channel 4 at their offices in Horseferry Road.
Moderated by Chris Dawes, formerly Head of Content and International Regulatory Policy at the DCMS, confirmed speakers include: Adam Kinsley, Head of Policy at BSkyB; Robin Foster of Communications Chambers, and former Partner at Ofcom Jonathan Simon, Director at Inflection Point
Here is the IIC´s write-up about the event.
In his ‘letter’ announcing the Communications Review, Jeremy Hunt mentioned broadcasting only once, and television in passing, both in Question 12. Yet the Communications Review and current political debate both have a strong broadcasting component, and the sector is bound to feature in some form in the forthcoming Green Paper, in particular because of its continued relevance to the Government’s wider concerns for stimulating economic growth, including UK content production, and fostering culture and communities.
This second IIC UK event in a series focused on the Communications Review will offer a platform to debate both what should feature in a Green Paper, but also allows a longer term look at broadcasting policy in Britain. Marrying the discussion about plurality and media ownership, as well as technological bottlenecks such as the EPG, the panellists will consider the impact of digital delivery and continued convergence, and their policy / regulatory implications. This is against the background of the Leveson enquiry and the possible review of the Audiovisual Media Services’ Directive.
For more information, click here to contact the IIC.
January - 2012
Netflix launched in the UK and Ireland on 9 January 2012, and is offering customers there a free one-month trial. Prices will thereafter be set at 5.99 GBP per month and 6.99 Euro in Ireland.At launch, Netflix is offering films and TV programmes from All3Media, the BBC, CBS, Channel 4′s 4oD, Disney UK & Ireland, ITV, Lionsgate UK, MGM, Miramax, Momentum Pictures, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox and Viacom International Media Networks.
This week in the US, it emerged that Netflix has been sued by its investors. Click here to read the story.
Slovenia has finally transposed the Audio Visual Media Services (AVMS) Directive into national law. It entered into force on 17th November 2011. The Act on Audiovisual Media Services was adopted after many failed attempts to reform Slovenian media laws over the years. The European Commission started an infringement procedure against Slovenia early in 2011, and this remains pending, since the Commission now has to analyse the newly notified measures and ensure that the Directive has been correctly implemented.
APEK is the national regulatory authority responsible for AVMS implementation. Additional statutory instruments are in process of being drafted to enable practical implementation of AVMS. Among the new powers that APEK has been granted are the ability to collect greater amounts of information, the ability to impose financial sanctions and the ability to collect fees from all the providers – both linear and non-linear – of AVMS services. The new law also reduces the amount of advertising allowed on public service TV channels, to ten minutes of advertising per hour during daytime, and 7 minutes per hour between 6pm and 11pm in the evening.
Login Required the Slovenian Media Law.
For further information, please contact us.
The French Ministry of Culture and Communication, together with the Ministry for Industry, Energy and the Digital Economy issued a report on connected television in November 2011. It concentrates on three main themes and delivers thirteen proposals covering the consequences of fragmentation of connected TV offerings, the funding and distribution of audiovisual works, and content regulation, including consumer (and child) protection and the fight against piracy.
The report notes that the access to audiovisual content on the internet is breakthough and that the landscape is accelerating rapidly and in unpredictable ways. Seventy eight percent of homes in France have a broadband connection. Smartphones and IPTV have also contributed to the explosion of the availability of audiovisual content online.
The report set out to address how French players might put themselves in the best possible position to compete against foreign players that have significant access to financial and technological resources. It puts forward several proposals for achieving this, while noting that many French players do have advantages over international competition.
The report also conducted a review of the effectiveness of regulatory measures, including the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, and recognized that the national laws in France are out of date with regard to the development of the Internet and DTT. In particular rules relating to primetime scheduling, advertising, and media pluralism.
The full text of the report, which is available in French, click here.
For further information, please contact us.
December - 2011
On Monday, 23rd January, Broadcast Projects is organising an informal meeting in London to facilitate discussions around industry liaison with ATVOD and AVMS implementation in general, throughout 2012.
The meeting will be held under Chatham House rules to encourage an open dialogue and sharing of views amongst industry stakeholders, given that time for discussion is usually very short during official ATVOD Industry Forum meetings.
We have invited 15-20 of the most active industry participants from various sectors of the industry, large and small (though anyone with an interest may attend provided we have sufficient space). Some interested observers from outside the formal industry forum have also been invited. The response has been excellent and there are a still few places left. If you would like to attend please get in touch.
The meeting is being kindly hosted by Microsoft at their headquarters in Victoria.
Date: 23 January 2012
Location: Microsoft, Cardinal Place, 80-100 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5JL
Nearest tube: Victoria
A light lunch of sandwiches will be provided.
For further information please email.
The long awaited Ofcom decision on whether the TV sections of newspaper and magazine websites fall into scope of the AVMS regulations in the UK has been published today, 21 December 2011, and it looks like good news for periodical publishers. ATVOD immediately issued a response to the Ofcom decision, stating that it would immediately ¨withdraw determinations in relation to other newspaper websites.¨
The appeal had been made by News Group Newspapers Limited against a notice of determination by ATVOD that the provider of the ¨Sun Video¨ was an On-Demand Programme Service (ODPS) under AVMS regulations transposed in the UK Communications Act 2003. Other pending appeals had been lodged by other periodicals including the Sunday Times Video Library, Telegraph TV, The Independent Video, FT Video, Guardian Video, Guardian You Tube, News of the World TV and Elle TV.
The Ofcom decision today acknowledged that the appeal raised ´important a difficult questions under complex new legislation and for which no precedents exist.¨ A number of other appeals had been made relating to similar cases involving audio visual material on newspaper and magazine providers´websites.
The determination made by ATVOD contained a statement as to why ATVOD considered that the service was an ODPS, and ¨relied as evidence on references to three pieces of audio visual material in the relevant section of the website and screen grabs of two pages taken from that section.¨
Ofcom decided that ATVOD´s reasons and evidence were not sufficient, and that too much focus was placed on the ¨Sun Video¨ section of The Sun´s website and not on the site as a whole and considering whether ´there is anything amongst that material which is a service whose principle purpose is the provision of TV-like progammes.¨
Ofcom therefore upheld News Group´s appeal and set aside ATVOD´s Determination.
The full text of the determination, which can be accessed here, also sets out the current and earlier positions that Ofcom has taken on how to evaluate the provisions of the Audio Visual Media Services Directive in the context of the UK Communications Act. It notes that it is also possible that ´a service not presently within the scope of regulation could in future be so´. Some aspects of The Sun´s website have developed further since ATVOD´s Determination.
¨Even if it is not doing so now, News Group’s provision of audio visual material might develop further still. Though by no means an exhaustive indication, that provision would be more likely to fall within the scope of regulation if, for example:
a. it continues to be a separate collation or catalogue of audio visual material available on its own section of The Sun’s website;
b. it is presented to users as a distinct television service;
c. there are fewer access and content links between the written content and the audio visual material; and
d. more of the audio visual material was of greater duration and/or included complete programmes of the kind broadcast on linear television programme services.¨
According to a statement published today on the ATVOD Website:
ATVOD has acted promptly following a decision by Ofcom today to uphold an appeal by News Group Newspapers Ltd. against a determination by ATVOD that The Sun’s website included a video on demand service which fell within the video on demand regulator’s remit. Given the similarities between The Sun case and other newspaper and magazine websites, ATVOD has today announced that it will withdraw its Determinations that The Sunday Times Video Library, Telegraph TV, The Independent Video, FT Video, Guardian Video, Guardian You Tube, News of the World TV and Elle TV were On-Demand Programme Services.
ATVOD had held that The Sun’s internet video offering met the definition of an On-Demand Programme Service, set out in the Communications Act 2003. The Ofcom decision is that the Sun Video section of the website (previously styled as ‘Sun TV’) is not subject to regulation by ATVOD.
The appeal judgement is the third made by Ofcom this year, the communications regulator having previously backed ATVOD’s rulings that ‘adult’ websites Demand Adult and Climax 3 fell within the scope of the new rules which include a requirement that children are protected from material which might seriously impair their development.
ATVOD Chief Executive, Pete Johnson, said:
“Most people will recognise that defining the scope of new regulations in a fast-moving market is a complex and difficult task. The appeal system is a vital part of the process, giving users and providers of video on demand services greater clarity over where the new protections for consumers do and do not apply. Given the clear similarities between The Sun and the other newspaper and magazine websites under appeal, we have moved quickly to confirm that the Determinations in relation to those services are being withdrawn with immediate effect.
We will now reflect further on the appeal judgement and consider any implications it may have for any other past and future rulings on whether a service falls within ATVOD’s remit.”
Ofcom published its Draft Annual Plan 2012/13 on 8 December 2011, which will address, among other things, a review of regulation of video on demand. According to the document published:
4.39 We will continue to review our wider regulatory approach to content regulation, to ensure that it remains fit for purpose, continues to serve the interests of citizens and consumers, and is clear for stakeholders.
4.40 There will be a number of challenges in this area. Changes in technology, including the emergence of mass-market IPTV services in the UK, will challenge the existing regulatory structures, which were designed predominantly for linear broadcasting. We will continue to work with our co-regulators, such as ATVOD, to develop these regulatory structures. We will consider how regulatory approaches to content regulation might further evolve to remain fit for purpose and proportionate.
4.41 In March 2012, two years will have passed since the Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD) was designated by Ofcom as the co-regulator of editorial content in on-demand services. In accordance with the terms of the Designation, Ofcom is required to carry out a review of ATVOD. We will conduct this review during 2012/13; it will assess the overall effectiveness of the co-regulatory arrangements for on-demand services.
The full text of Ofcom’s Draft Annual Plan 2012/13 can be found here. The consultation also addresses issues around spectrum policy including geolocation services and white spaces, possible access by Channel Four to the television licence fee and local television.
Ofcom is holding a series of public meetings to hear people’s views.
The meetings will provide an opportunity for everyone with an interest in the regulation of the communications industries to discuss Ofcom’s approach to television, radio, telecoms, postal and wireless communications services. Each meeting will begin with a brief presentation, after which there will be an opportunity to comment and ask questions.
All meetings are open and free of charge. If you would like to attend an event, please click here.
The Consultation Document can be found here and the deadline for responses is 5pm on 17 February 2012.
UK media regulators joined forces to launch ParentPort (www.parentport.org.uk), in October 2011. The idea is to make it easier for parents to complain about material they have seen or heard across the media, communications and retail industries.
It was developed following Reg Bailey’s Independent Review of the Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood, which recommended that regulators should work together to create a single website to act as an interface between themselves and parents.
The website provides parents, carers and guardians information on what they can do if they’ve seen or heard something they felt was inappropriate for their children. The website directs them to the right media regulator for their specific area of concern.
The ParentPort website has been jointly developed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD), the BBC Trust, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the Office of Communications (Ofcom), the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) and the Video Standards Council (VSC)/Pan-European Game Information (PEGI).
On 1st December 28 leading companies announced the formation of a new Coalition to make a better and safer internet for children. Put together by the European Commission, the Coalition is a cooperative voluntary intervention designed to respond to emerging challenges arising from the diverse ways in which young Europeans go online. Signatories to the Coalition have committed to take positive action throughout 2012 in 5 areas:
- simple tools for users to report harmful content and contact,
- age-appropriate privacy settings,
- wider use of content classification,
- wider availability and use of parental controls,
- effective take down of child abuse material.
The founding Coalition members are: Apple, BSkyB, BT, Dailymotion, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, France Telecom-Orange, Google, Hyves, KPN, Liberty Global, LG Electronics, Mediaset, Microsoft, Netlog, Nintendo, Nokia, Opera Software, Research in Motion, RTL Group, Samsung, Sulake, Telefonica, TeliaSonera, Telenor Group, Tuenti, Vivendi, Vodafone. Priority actions include making it easier to report harmful content, ensuring privacy settings are age-appropriate, and offering wider options for parental control, reflecting the needs of a generation that is going online at an increasingly young age. For further information and the official press release, click here.
While the initiative is to be applauded, there are still conflicting ways that companies go about addressing content classification and age-ratings for both audiovisual content, as well as for classifying apps. Harmonising the great diversity of approaches internationally is an important, even if difficult, goal. In the US, the international wireless industry association, CTIA, recently proposed its own new system for rating mobile phone apps, a move which has not received a kind reception from Google and Apple, which have systems of their own for ratings. The CTIA´s intention was to streamline and simplify the maturity ratings of software in a way that mobile app store owners could voluntarily adopt.
November - 2011
This post provides various updates on AVMS implementation across Europe over the past months.
Dutch Guidelines Published and Registration Fees set to ZERO.
On 11 October the Dutch Guidelines on AVMS were published, and these entered into force at 1 November 2011. Services were required to register in the first two weeks of November. The official document is here.
The Dutch law firm SOLV held a private AVMS Seminar on 1st November. Representatives of Rabobank, Sanoma, SBS, UPC and Chello Media made presentations of their views regarding the Guidelines and the services that fall under the scope of the Guidelines. Unfortunately these presentations have not been made publicly available. A summary of the event (in Dutch) can be found here, and a rough translation in English, here.
During this Seminar the Media regulator presented a summary of the Guidelines, and stated that the registration fee would be set at 0 (zero) Euro per annum. There will be another consultation regarding the sponsorship/advertising obligations that will be imposed on the parties that have registered.
Latvia´s response to the EC on AVMS implementation arrives one day late
Latvia submitted its reply to the European Commission regarding implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, on time, according to the Latvian business magazine, Baltic Course. Latvia submitted its reply to the European Commission on 10 November, the deadline for responses, but it was not registered right away due to a technical glitch, according to the Justice ministry´s public relations officer. The European Commission said, on 11 November, that Latvia had missed the deadline. The full text of the report can be found here.
Council of the European Union publishes Guidelines on the Protection of Children in a Digital World
At a meeting which took place on 28 and 29 November in Brussels, the Council of the European Union published its conclusions on the protection of children in the digital world. The document sets out the political agenda and invites governments, stakeholders, and the commission to work together to address the difficult challenges ahead. The document underlines that “strengthening security in the digital society is a shared responsibility – of individuals as much as of private and public bodies, both at home and globally”.
The document also addresses the differing approaches Member States have towards protecting minors and promoting the development of good practices and standards in the media where self-regulation and coregulation are two solutions among several possible, and, the use of technical systems (such as filtering, age verification systems, parental control tools), whilst not solutions on their own, can, as long as they are applied in an efficient way, be suitable means to provide the access of minors to content that is appropriate for their age. The document also makes reference to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive which contains provisions on the protection of minors for both linear and non-linear audiovisual media services. The full text can be found here.
Hungary´s Media Law having a ´Chilling´ Effect on Press Freedom
According to a report published on the UK website, www.journalism.co.uk, Hungary´s new media law is having a ´chilling´ effect on press freedom. The website was referring to the warnings issued by an international mission of press freedom groups who met with government representatives and others between 14 and 16 November. One controversial aspect of the new law forces journalists to reveal their sources in order to protect national security. Hungary was forced to make amendments to the initial draft of the legislation after it was rejected by the European Parliament for not meeting the the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive and the Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 11 on freedom of expression). The full text of the report can be found here.
Third Amendment to Portugal´s Media Law Published
On 28 November 2011, the third amendment to Lei da Televisão (the Television Law), has been published by Portugal´s media regulator, Anacom. The new law restructures the public radio and television service concession, and was the instrument used to transpose the AVMS Directive. A non-official version of the law in English has been published on the Anacom website, and can be accessed here.
Not on the Wires, the multimedia online magazine and production company, founded by Alex Wood, has published the latest instalment of its ongoing survey on Austerity in Europe.
In the latest issue, accessible here, Not on the Wires delivers a visual exploration of how Europe is changing and adapting to a new age of austerity, with youth unemployment levels having reached record levels and the Occupy movement sweeping the globe.
Not on the Wires has so far documented Italy, Spain, and the UK. The latest instalment is focused on Occupy London´s Sister Ruth, an unusual member of the protest on the steps of St Pauls.
Ofcom has advised DCMS that they are currently considering several appeals concerning ATVOD scope determinations in respect of on-demand programme services, including seven relating to newspaper and magazine websites. Ofcom expects to be in a position to publish its decision on two of the newspaper appeals within the next month, according to Baroness Rawlings in her written response to Parliamentary Questions about ATVOD posed by Lord Clement-Jones and published on 9 November 2011.
The seven appeals, relating to newspaper and magazine websites, have been lodged by The Guardian, Telegraph Media Group, News Group Newspaper, Times Newspapers, and Hachette Filipacchi. The following is a full list of the dates, companies, and their associated services, that are currently subject of an appeal to Ofcom, according to the ATVOD website.
The European Commission has requested Belgium and the UK to implement outstanding provisions of the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive in Brussels and Gibraltar respectively. The request was made on 29 September 2011.
Belgium has notified the Commission of measures to implement the AVMS Directive as regards all audiovisual media services that are established in all three linguistic communities: French, Flemish and German. However, audiovisual media services established in Brussels which are not in French or Dutch fall outside the competence of the linguistic Communities and remain under the competence of the federal authorities. The Belgian federal state has not yet adopted the laws covering these services. As a consequence, on-demand services provided in Brussels in other languages than French and Dutch are not yet regulated. The Belgian authorities have informed the Commission that a draft law is being prepared but is still in a preliminary phase.
The UK has also notified the Commission of measures to implement the AVMS Directive into national law. However, this law does not cover audiovisual services provided in Gibraltar. A draft law is under preparation, but the adoption process is still underway.
The requests are in the form of ‘reasoned opinions’ under EU infringement procedures. Belgium and UK have two months to inform the Commission of the measures they have taken to comply with EU rules. If they fail to do so, the Commission could refer them to the EU’s Court of Justice.
The AVMS Directive (2010/13/EU) ensures a Single Market and legal certainty for Europe’s TV and audiovisual industry by creating a level playing field for both broadcast and on-demand audiovisual media services across frontiers while preserving cultural diversity, protecting children and consumers, safeguarding media pluralism and combating racial and religious hatred. The Directive is based on the “country of origin” principle, whereby audiovisual media service providers are subject to the regulations in their country of origin only and cannot be subject to regulation in the destination country except in very limited circumstances (e.g. incitement to hatred). EU Member States agreed to implement the AVMS Directive into their national law by 19 December 2009 (see IP/09/1983).
The absence of measures to implement the Directive fully in Brussels and Gibraltar denies legal certainty to audiovisual service providers.
At least two VOD services have recently closed in the UK, highlighting the difficult competitive and economic challenges that face emerging on-demand services.
SeeSaw has closed after new investors, Criterion Capital Partners, decided not to continue funding after having entered the company in July 2011. SeeSaw had been created by Arqiva in February 2010 using assets from Project Kangaroo, the catch-up TV platform that had been rejected by the UK’s competition regulator. The SeeSaw website offered content from BBC Worldwide, Channel 4, Channel Five and several production companies, but in September of this year, Channel 4 and Five both withdrew their content.
Another service, Itzon.tv has also closed, although the founders are hoping to find new investors. According to an announcement on their website, they decided to close down, ¨both the festival and the channel for the foreseeable future whilst we search for a new investor. We are obviously devastated as we have worked tirelessly on the project to build a community and an engaging showcase of independent film for both filmmaker and film lover.¨
Both SeeSaw and Itzon.tv fell into scope of the new AVMS regulations in the UK, and within the remit of ATVOD, the industry co-regulator for VOD. Under AVMS, on- demand services are required to adhere to specific rules and guidance as well as pay a fee covering the costs of the co-regulatory regime.
Meanwhile, You Tube has named the first 96 original channels it plans to launch in December 2011. The line up includes a Pets & Animals channel, a lifestyle channel, two channels from Hearst Magazines, one from The Wall Street Journal and another from producer, Lionsgate. Sports content will be provided by WWE Fan Nation, and Kick TV will be offered by Soccer United Marketing.
You Tube parent company, Google, has also announced plans to update Google TV, starting with the connected TVs offered by Sony. The new version promises to deliver a more friendly user-interface, improved content navigation, a better YouTube experience intended directly for Google TV that will support HD, and will offer more apps based on its Android operating system via the Android market. Logitech devices will also be updated to Google TV 2.0.
Netflix, the US film and TV service has also announced its intention to launch a streaming service in the UK in 2012.
Falling in scope of AVMS rules under ATVOD is based, among other things, on the jurisdiction of the parent company being based in the UK.
Update, 9 November 2011: Retired Life TV, essentially a video blog with user-generated content about items of interest to older people, such as caravanning, also announced that it was closing its service down. To read the announcement, ¨Gosling Abandons Attempt to work with ATVOD¨, click here.
October - 2011
The workshop will be opened by Vladimir Grigoriev, Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communication.
The presentation of the report by Alexander Shoogol of J’Son & Partners Consulting will provide a comprehensive overview of current trends in the Russian television market and on-demand services in what is the largest market in Europe in terms of population.
Dmitry Golovanov, Lawyer, Moscow Institute for Media Law and lawyer of JSC “WebTV” will make a presentation of the IRIS plus report, “A Landmark for Mass Media in Russia”, written for and published by the European Audiovisual Observatory.
Dr. André Lange, Head of the Department for Information on Markets and Financing at the Observatory, will make a presentation on recent developments in television and on-demand audiovisual services in Western Europe.
Wolfgang Closs, Executive Director of the Observatory, points out that the Observatory publishes a major market report on selected Russian audiovisual industries every year. These publications are provided free of charge by the Observatory as a key information service to European media professionals and decision-makers wanting to know more about the audiovisual industry in Russia. The Observatory also keeps a keen eye on legal developments in the Russian audiovisual field with at least one legal publication on Russia every year.
Entry to the conference free but registration is necessary. If you wish to attend, Email your details to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS) has been cited in the latest Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin, in which ITV and ESPN were found to be in breach of the rules.
Two rules of the Ofcom Broadcast Code were broken during ITV Morning, a programme broadcast on 29th July 2011. Presenters appeared to promote and endorse a firm of solicitors, thereby also giving ´undue prominence´ to the company.
In its decision Ofcom referred to its obligations to adhere to its international obligations with respect to advertising included in TV and radio programmes, citing Article 19 of the AVMS Directive, which states: ¨television advertising…shall be readily recognisable and distinguishable…from editorial content…and…shall be kept quite distinct from other parts of the programme by optical and/or acoustic and/or spatial means.¨
Similarly the Ofcom Broadcast Code generally prohibits products, services and trade marks from being promoted in programming and any “undue prominence” of products, services or trade marks being given in programming. In this case, ITV was found to be in breach of rules 9.4 and 9.5 of the Code.
In the case of ESPN, Articles 20 and 23 of the EU Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive were cited in the Ofcom decision. These articles of the Directive set out strict limits on the amount and scheduling of television advertising. Ofcom has transposed these requirements by means of key rules in the Code on the Scheduling of Television Advertising (“COSTA”). Rule 17 stipulates the maximum number of advertising breaks programmes may contain.
In this case, Ofcom found that ten programmes broadcast by ESPN contained more than the permitted number of advertising breaks stipulated in Rule 17 of COSTA, and concluded that this was largely the result of human error.
Ofcom´s Broadcast Bulletin summarises complaints and breaches of the Broadcast Code, which sets the rules for what broadcasters may or may not broadcast. The full text of the decision can be found in the latest edition, click here.
A summary of the incident as reported in at Out-Law.com, click here.
Broadcast Projects associate, cinematographer Ruurd Fenenga, was commissioned by UPC to film a promotional video for the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, one of the sponsors of the Netherlands Film Festival, which took place in Utrecht from 21 till the 30 of September, 2011, where it was shown before the screening of each movie. It was shot using Ruurd´s own Canon 5-D Mark II digital SLR camera and was later transferred to film in order to project this promotion in all the theaters in Utrecht. The promo starred Halina Reijn who has been starring in features like “Blackbook” and “Valkyrie”. Ruurd Fenenga is a Cinematographer, Videographer and Instructor.
To see more of his work, click here.
Channel launch specialist Rod Large has joined Broadcast Projects‘ roster of expert consultants. Rod has just closed a major distribution deal for client Motorvision Group Munich. The Motorvision TV Channel has signed a 4 year contract with Orbit Showtime Networks Dubai to distribute the pay TV channel in the MENA region.
The launch date is November 12th at the Dubai Car Show. The video content will also be available on Arvato’s MENA mobile service from the end of 2011. Motorvision Group own one of the largest automotive TV libraries in the world with over 5,000 hours of broadcast ready programming. The international channel will be in HD / 3D English with Arabic subtitles. The channel launched in German speaking Europe in 2009 and has proven itself to be highly popular with the key 16-35 year old male demographic. Further channel launches are planned for Turkey, India, Canada and other region.
The European Commission will publish by the end of 2011 a new study on the provisions of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive concerning the promotion of European works in audiovisual media services (including television programmes and on-demand services). The study relates to Articles 13, 16 and 17 of the Directive, and is expected to be published in December 2011.
A public workshop about this study took place on 14 September 2011 in Brussels. At the workshop, the preliminary draft study Report and Appendix were made available for participants. These documents are not the final versions of the study, but they were made available to delegates in order to collect some feedback and input before being finalised.
Similar studies were published by the Commission in 2005 and 2009. At that time the current Television Without Frontiers Directive (TVWF) regulated only linear broadcast services. The 2011 study will however cover both linear and non-linear services in 31 EU Member States and EEA Member States. It will include a legal analysis of implemented measures and an economic analysis of the market for European works. The study will also include a survey of the actual levels of promotion and consumption of European works in a sample of 11 EU Member States, and a prospective evaluation of the impact of changing economic, regulatory and market conditions on European “culture”.
A website has been created, click here, which is designed to inform market players about the study, which is being managed by the consortium selected by the Commission, comprising Attentional, Headway International, Oliver & Ohlbaum and Gide Loyrette Nouel.
For more information, or for a copy of the provisional report, please contact us.
September - 2011
The NDS demonstration at IBC certainly had the ´wow´ factor. Broadcast Projects was there, and it was impressive. We were already thinking about more immersive media in an earlier post, Ghosts in the Machine, by Chris Arkenberg, in which he examines how the built environment can be merged with media space, and how architecture could take on new roles related to branding, image and consumerism.
Indeed, NDS is on the way, with its ¨Surfaces¨ demo, shown above. There were a few excellent overall reviews of the NDS Surfaces demo. For convenience, we list a few of them here:
Based on your keywords, I´ve determined that you are having an affair with Sam.
The intention of the AVMS Directive, which replaced the Television without Frontiers (TVWF) Directive of 1989, is to bring the EU’s broadcasting rules up to speed with the digital age. TVWF only covered broadcasting whereas AVMS specifically extends regulation to on-demand services, which had never been regulated before. This new law came into force early in 2010, and affects all video- -on-demand service providers that meet the criteria of the Directive.
The industry lunches are intended to facilitate conversations and the exchange of views. We will also be discussing AVMS implementation in the context of the forthcoming Communications Bill.
If you are interested to attend, please request an invitation at the link below.
Date: Thursday, 20 October
Time: 12.30 for 1pm lunch
Place: Özer Restaurant, 5 Langham Place,
London W1 (at the top of Regent St, and just a few steps in front of All Souls Church and the BBC)
Özer is a Turkish restaurant and at previous events we have usually ordered the ´healthy´ mezze set lunch all-around, which offers plenty of choice including vegetarian options.
This event is by invitation only, however if you are interested to attend, just click here and drop us a line, and we will try to accommodate your request.
Broadcast Projects consulting associate Alan Mercer, of GBF Media, headed the technical launch team that saw the birth of Allociné, a TV channel dedicated to the world of cinema, launched in Paris on 5th September. The production and transmission facilities known as Pixagility, based in the Parisian suburb of Boulogne were part-designed and built by Alan who consequently supervised the launch of the platform’s first full-time channel clients.
The 24/7 TV channel is running on a Pharos MAM solution (now Evertz) with IP encoding on site to four French IPTV platforms, with satellite (Canal Sat) due on 20th September. In terms of content, a different movie is shown every night, as well as varied programming regarding the cinema industry.
Allociné already has a very strong web offer, its main business being the sale of cinema tickets and associated products. In 2010 it sold over one million cinema tickets with a turnover of €25 million. The site was one of the first sites to offer HD clips and trailers on-line in the mid-1990s.
IBC 2011, phew!, it´s over, and it´s taken more or less one full week to recover. To start a fresh week on a light note, enjoy this gallery of images from the show, including the very excellent event hosted by NDS (shown above, left, Simon Parnall, Director of Advanced Technologies of NDS, and see our separate post about their hit IBC demo, NDS Surfaces).
We also have an outrageous and upbeat IBC Exhibitor´s Party video which was held on 9th September. Accolades to the gentleman with crazy moves who walks off the dance-floor at the end of this video. Sir, we humbly salute you!
On 1st September the European Commission sent a second round of letters to eight EU Member States to request information about their implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS). The replies from Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg are due within 10 weeks.
The AVMS Directive ensures a Single Market and legal certainty for Europe’s TV and audiovisual industry by creating a level playing field for both broadcast and on-demand audiovisual media services across frontiers while preserving cultural diversity, protecting children and consumers, safeguarding media pluralism and combating racial and religious hatred. The Directive is based on the “country of origin” principle, whereby audiovisual media service providers are subject to the regulations in their country of origin only and cannot be subject to regulation in the destination country except in very limited circumstances (eg, incitement to hatred). EU Member States agreed to implement the AVMS Directive into their national law by 19 December 2009.
The fact-finding letters are part of the Commission’s efforts to ensure that the national media laws of all Member States correctly implement all aspects of the AVMS rules. The issues raised vary from one Member State to the other. The requests for information do not imply that the Directive has been incorrectly implemented by the Member States concerned but simply that, at this stage, the Commission has some outstanding questions concerning their implementation of the Directive.
The Commission sent a first round of letters to 16 Member States in March 2011 (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Slovakia and the United Kingdom).
Slovenia has not notified to the Commission any measures to implement the AVMS Directive into its national law and Poland has only partially notified some measures. These two Member States are currently subject to infringement procedures. The Commission is still analysing the measures notified by Portugal.
The following wide range of issues related to the implementation of the Directive have been raised in the requests for clarification:
- the country of origin principle and jurisdiction issues concerning audiovisual services
- audiovisual commercial communications (including product placement and sponsorship television advertising and teleshopping)
- basic obligations under the Directive (such as identification requirements, rules on incitement to hatred, on accessibility, balanced coverage obligations, registration of on-demand services)
- the protection of minors
- promoting European works
- events of major importance to be broadcast on free to air television and short news extracts
- cooperation between regulators.
A free public workshop for stakeholders, on the “Promotion of European Works in Audiovisual Media Services”, will be held in Brussels on 14 September. The workshop will present the preliminary final report, which will be made available in advance, of a new study conducted by Attentional Ltd, in partnership with Headway International, in 2011.
The study investigates for the first time the promotion of European works on both linear and non-linear services within the context of the new, recently-implemented Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS). Similar studies published by the Commission in 2005 and 2009 at the time only took into account linear broadcast services regulated under the former Television Without Frontiers Directive (TVWF). This was updated by AVMS which came into force across Europe in 2010. Articles 13, 16 and 17 of the new directive pertain to the promotion of European works in EU Member States.
The 2011 study covers both linear and non-linear services in 31 EU Member States and EEA Member States. Its contents include :
- a legal analysis of the implemented measures
- an economic analysis of the market for European works.
- a survey of the actual levels of promotion and consumption of European works in a sample of 11 EU Member States, and
- a prospective evaluation of the impact of changing economic, regulatory and market conditions on European “culture”.
Objectives of the study included defining performance indicators and operational procedures for periodical monitoring and assessment activities, as well as checking the practicability of these for on-demand services, through a “reality test”. The goal has been to provide the Commission with the necessary elements to assess whether the provisions of the AVMS Directive are sufficient to safeguard European works within the audiovisual media services of Member States.
The meeting in Brussels is to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to discuss the key findings. A copy of the report will be made available to registered participants before the workshop, and translation services will be provided in DE, EN and FR.
The project team will present the outcome of their analysis of the transposition of the relevant provisions of the AVMS Directive, the trends in the content industry economics and in the offer and consumption of European and independent works in EU audiovisual media services.
They will also present the indicators they consider relevant for the monitoring of the application of these provisions of the AVMS Directive and discuss market perspectives and their possible regulatory implications. Participation is free of charge, but registration is mandatory.
For further information about information and registration, click here.
The 2nd meeting of the ITU-T Focus Group on Audiovisual Media Accessibility will be held on 15 September 2011 in Geneva.
This relatively new group, which started its work in May 2011, is under the chairmanship of industry experts Peter Olaf Looms (EBU and Denmark) and Masahito Kawamori (NTT, Japan). The main objective is to address the need to make audiovisual media accessible for persons with disabilities. The focus is on digital media including TV, IPTV, mobile the Web and games. Accessibility is interpreted broadly and encompasses not only persons with sensory impairments but also age-related difficulties when it comes to enjoying things like television, films and games.
The Focus Group encourages participation of all standards development organizations (SDOs) and regulators working in this area. The FG AVA is open to ITU Member States, Sector Members, Associates and Academia – membership of the ITU is not required. It is also open to any individual from a country which is a member of ITU and who is willing to contribute to the work. This includes individuals who are also members or representatives of SDOs as well as other interested stakeholders. The third meeting will be held on 17 November 2011 in Barcelona.
The work plan is extensive, covering:
- Audio/Video description and spoken captions
- Visual signing and sign language
- Emerging access services
- Electronic Programming Guides and on-air promotion
- Participation and digital media
- Digital Broadcast Television
- Mobile and handheld devices
Participation in meetings is free but requires prior registration for each meeting. More information, including registration details, at this link.
Two articles recently published on digital identities and online privacy provide interesting food for thought. Chris Arkenberg of Cagefree Consulting looks at digital identities in ubiquitous computing environments in his article, Getting to Know your Ghost in the Machine, and Kevin Gold analyses The Leaky Nature of Online Privacy.
Chris Arkenberg’s article, which can be accessed here, explores the experiences that can be made possible through the interaction of mobile devices through the networked environment. ¨Just as your face & voice provision you with access to your parent’s home and induce birthday parties in your name, mobile identity confers digital membership and can initiate personalized experiences around you,¨ he says.
The article discusses the realm of possibilities, illustrated by some thought provoking concept videos. One is from Greg Tran, on native augmented reality, which looks at how local networks might push experiences out to individuals based on profile & location, and the other, Domestic Robocop, by Keiichi Matsuda (pictured above and below), illustrates a waking nightmare of data saturation in a dynamic media landscape.
It is all very thought provoking stuff, and raises, not least, interesting questions for the future of pay-¨TV¨ in the context of provisioning entertainment/information services within networked home and public environments. Is our current vision too limited? There are also a host of regulatory concerns to consider: public and private identity issues, privacy, cultural sensitivities and the role of social media.
“Nymwars” is the hashtag given to the recent intense debate on Twitter as a result of the Google + policy requiring users to use real names, as opposed to fake names or ‘pseudonyms” from which the term takes its name. However, whether we are using real names or not, we are revealing far more information about ourselves than ever before, even if we deliberately choose to hide it.
Kevin Gold’s recent article, which can be found here, demonstrates how network analysis can betray our attempts to completely ‘hide’ our personal details. On the flip side of this coin, Gold argues that “information becomes more trustworthy than a traditional paper résumé once a person’s profile has at least 10 links, because people are less willing to stretch the truth in front of their friends and colleagues.”
It would be great if folks with perspectives like these could contribute to events such as the forthcoming 2nd Annual European Data Protection and Privacy Conference. See the conference programme and list of speakers here.
As Chris Arkenberg concludes, ¨Our devices will identify us and our digital ghosts will betray us to their friends.¨
Highly recommended. Get a cup of coffee and sit down for some quiet time, read these, and watch the videos.
August - 2011
With sales of connected or smart TVs reaching 40 million units in 2010, another 60 million forecast for 2011 and growing fast to over 500 million units shipped by 2015 can content providers be sure that their services and apps are secure?
Already the EBU – echoed by other broadcaster groups – has expressed concern about the need to protect the integrity of, and investment in, their content. Equally, many consumer electronics companies are expressing the need for clear roadmaps and standards.
Recognising that content creation and investment is key to the attraction of hybrid services and devices to consumers AEPOC & Intellect – Europe’s audiovisual anti-piracy association and the UK’s technology association – have come together to organise a discussion to explore whether connected TV devices and hybrid platforms offer adequate safeguards against copyright infringement.
Opening words will be given by Marc Welinski, Director of Marketing and Commercial Strategy from Eutelsat, host of the AEPOC and Intellect event at IBC.
Moderated by Julian Clover, digital TV expert and journalist, the discussion will bring together leading players from the consumer electronics, content and security worlds.
Confirmed speakers include: Michael Barley, Group Director of Security, BSkyB; Sylvain Audigier, Director of Department of Innovation, New Technologies and Networks, TF1; and Christine Maury-Panis, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Viaccess-France Telecom.
Among the questions which will be discussed are:
- can device manufacturers provide the required safeguards to content providers;
- are there lessons to be learned from the pay TV STB model;
- who maintains the security; who is responsible if the security is broken;
- how are content providers remunerated;
- will the existence of more than one security system hinder the growth of Hbb?
Hosted by Sheila Cassells, Executive Director of AEPOC and William Higham, Director Consumer Electronics, Intellect, the event will be held at IBC2011 in Amsterdam on Sunday 11 September 2011 at 12.30 CET. Registration required. Contact: Ansgar Gerber email@example.com
Many of the Broadcast Projects associates will be participating in the annual International Broadcasting Convention taking place at the RAI Exhibition Center in Amsterdam. IBC is an annual event for us, and many of our consulting associates will be present. See our IBC 2011 Party & Event List.
IBC takes place from 8-13 September 2011. The conference begins on Thursday 8th September, and the exhibition opens on Friday the 9th. Free registration for the exhibition ends on 19th August (the earlier deadline having been extended two days), so visit the IBC website now to get your free entrance pass. Read more about the IBC Exhibition here. The conference is a separate, paid-for event, with a usually robust and intriguing conference programme. All details can be found on the IBC website.
The main attraction of IBC is the convivial atmosphere that has always been conducive to forging new business and reinforcing contacts with industry colleagues.
Nearly 50,000 people from 140 countries attend IBC, making it a great central meeting point for covering the latest developments in broadcasting, mobile TV, IPTV, digital signage and R&D.
For Broadcast Projects it is an essential event. Confirmed so far to attend are Janet Greco, Alan Mercer, Ruurd Fenenga, Sebastian Becker, John Holland, Benjamin Schwarz and Sheila Cassells, who is hosting an HBB/Connected TV event.
For more information about how and where to catch up with us during the show, contact us.
|The French audiovisual regulator (CSA) has released a report on the business models for on-demand audiovisual media services active in the French market. The survey deals with cost and revenue models, as well as the contracting practices binding various stakeholders (publishers, rights holders, distributors).
The majority of European countries are also concerned with similar issues in the context of the Audio Visual Media Services Directive (AVMS). The report was commissioned from IDATE. The report can be downloaded for free here.
For more information about AVMS, contact us.
July - 2011
Lord Clement-Jones has urged the creative industries minister to take a greater involvement in combating the “rising and disproportionate cost” of the Video On Demand co-regulation scheme, under ATVOD and Ofcom, in an article published on 5th July.
In it the Lib Dem peer makes the following remark:
Under the new fees structure announced last week, fees for this financial year will be based on the revenue of the holding company rather than the website involved, and so will place a disproportionate burden on these services.
Not only does it appear that the fees are disproportionate for the services, but they also appear disproportionate to the obligations that ATVOD is tasked with carrying out.
On the same day, the subject was discussed in Parliament:
Baroness Rawlings: The AVMS-audiovisual media services-directive has been implemented by way of co-regulation under which Ofcom has given the day-to-day responsibility to the Authority for Television on Demand, which to simplify I will refer to as ATVOD in future. It is for those two bodies to make certain that the system works. Ofcom plans to review this after March 2012. Ministers are aware of the range of concerns that have been discussed with Ofcom, ATVOD and the industry.
Lord Clement-Jones: My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that reply, which is reassuring because surely ATVOD is everything an industry-based co-regulatory scheme should not be: expensive, too wide in scope, far from light touch and, indeed, already giving rise to litigation. I am delighted to hear that the DCMS will be making sure that ATVOD is fit for purpose.
You can read the full text here, which also covers concerns about putting “simple practical steps” in place to protect children from inappropriate content online.
Broadcast Projects hosted an AVMS Industry Lunch on 18h July.
Attendees included representatives from Microsoft, Sony, Virgin Media, European Parliament and BBC Worldwide.
The next event will be held on Thursday, 20 October, for further information please click here.
Sojournposse will be hosting another Inspiration Room event at The London Design Festival 2011. Under the direction of Zarina Holmes, Creative Director and Salina Christmas, Editor, this year’s theme will be “Whatever is to become of books?”. This will be the posse’s third year participating in the world’s premier design event, celebrating London as the Creative Capital of Europe.
The theme, “Whatever is to become of books?”, addresses the future of books as the placeholder of ideas in the digital age. Now that we consume information online and in downloads, what would happen to storytelling? Are we ready for a life without books? The seminar will pool contributions from book publishers, designers and multimedia storytellers.
Confirmed speakers include The British Library, Blurb Books (Blurb.com), The Comics Grid, Not on the Wires, The Ballet Bag, Photo Book Club and the Oxford International Centre for Publishing. Also on the panel will be Sam Syed, creative director of Bonnier Publishing to talk about Mag+, the platform creator of the British Journal of Photography’s latest iPad application.
This event is backed by Department of Anthropology, University College London, in support of the masters programmes targeted at the design, creative and advertising communities. This event is also done in support of the 3/11 Tsunami Photo Project for iPhone app.
UCL Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, Wilkins Building, UCL Main Campus, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT.
Tubes: Euston. Euston Square. Warren Street.
The June/July 2011 of Sojournposse, in association with Not on the Wires is now online. Eid al-Adha or “The Festival of Sacrifice” is a special occasion where the Muslims contribute to the poor. David Salas witnesses how it is celebrated in Ghana. Read more about the stories in this edition here.
Oil Studios latest interactive game is titled Lynx Excite. Oil Studios developed the interaction design and technology for Lynx’s latest campaign “Fallen Angel”, which integrates Facebook images, Google Street View and more. Read more about it here.
The latest from Not on the Wires from July 2011, is titled India: life as they know it, a story in pictures, of one organisation’s mission to educate and care for India’s street children in Mumbai, by Dominique van Heerden and edited by Douglas Ackerman. Read more about it here.
The next ATVOD Industry Forum is due to be held on 19th July in London, at Portman Square. The Industry Forum was established in March 2011, and the first meeting was held in May. In the interim, ATVOD released its new fee structure on 28th June. It will be interesting to see the industry’s reaction to the new structure, and to see how the work plan going forward to improve the co-regulatory structure will evolve.
June - 2011
ATVOD, the regulator responsible for enforcing the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS) have released their new fee structure today, 28 June, for the coming year ahead. The details can be found here.
For large companies that fall into the “Super A Rate” category with annual turnover above £25m, it will mean an increase from £ 2900 in Year 1, to £10,350 for Year 2 fees. However, for smaller companies, the numbers have dropped significantly.
One interesting extract from the statement can be found in para 4.6. which states: “In many EU member states the VOD industry is at a much less advanced stage than in the UK. Comparisons between the cost of regulation in the UK, which has over 140 such services, and the cost in countries with few VOD services are therefore of limited validity.”
In contrast, the Dutch Media regulator has stated that the VOD registration fee will be about 150 Euros a year. Even though there are economic differences in the way that regulatory costs are apportioned in each country, ATVOD’s statement would appear to be in conflict with the Dutch regulator’s opinion that there could be 300-500 services in scope, highlighting the differing approaches to scope from one member state to the next. See our separate report here.
For an excel analysis of the fees options that were set forth in the ATVOD consultation, and the corresponding consultation responses, and for further details about video on demand regulation under AVMS, please contact us.
The Dutch Ministry hosted a seminar on the AVMS Directive together with European Audiovisual Observatory on 16 June 2011. The seminar focused on describing and discussing the main trends in the European audiovisual market and the legal consequences of those changes. Given the central role of innovation and the growing importance of online distribution of audiovisual content, three keynote speakers from UPC, Google and Philips shared their views on the opportunities, threats and consequences of the major trend to switch to on-demand services.
We post here a brief report of the day:
The European Observatory presented a good overview of the rise of video on demand services – especially the instant rise of online on demand services. The European Observatory also identified five categories of difficult categories to regulate, ie:
non-commercial organisations (so no economic activity involved) that host online video services (like Europeana),
small sites that offer TV-like content,
sites of online newspapers that extensively use video,
sites that use user generated content (UGC), and
sites that aggregate existing video content etc.
The European Audiovisual Observatory also stated that that had to revise their opinion that the main platform for on demand services will be cable and satellite; there now is a strong shift towards online on demand services like Hulu, Netflix, etc.
Main conclusion of the European Observatory was that Regulatory Authorities probably will be the losers because of the difficulty to regulate online on demand services. One representative of the European Commission stated that regulators do to take their jobs too seriously, for instance there is no legal obligation to monitor 24/7, thereby implicating that it was much to do about nothing. Market parties (ie RTL) stated that on demand services have grown with 60% this spring compared to spring last year, so importance of on demand video increases.
Dutch media regulator will publish its Guidelines within short time frame; they stated that they have identified about 300-500 companies that could be classified as on demand (non-linear) video providers, compared to about 200-300 licences for traditional broadcast channels that are now licenced in the Netherlands.
So it was a good session in the sense that it concluded that (1) on demand services really do take off in Europe (although to a lesser extent compared to US because of copyright issues) and (2) regulators will face a tough job to regulate non-linear AVMS services.
The European Commission will publish its Green Paper on Audiovisual Services on 13th July. It will be interesting to see whether the issue of (non) regulation of non-linear AVMS services will also be part of this Green Paper.
May - 2011
The Dutch Ministry is hosting a seminar on the AVMS Directive together with European Audiovisual Observatory on 16 June 2011.
The Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, in her capacity as minister responsible for the Presidency of the European Audiovisual Observatory 2011, is pleased to announce the seminar New Audiovisual Markets Regulated? Market innovation and the role of regulation in the Netherlands and Europe, which will take place on the 16th of June.
Theme of the day
The national audiovisual markets of European countries are moving towards an increasingly integrated European market and legal system, which is regulated by a pan European legal framework. This adds to the importance of European cooperation in the media sector.
This seminar seeks to further this objective by bringing scientists, representatives of companies and governments together in order to facilitate the exchange of experiences, views, lessons learned and best practices.
The seminar will focus on describing and discussing the main trends in the European audiovisual market and the legal consequences of those changes. Furthermore, given the central role of innovation and the growing importance of online distribution of audiovisual content, three keynote speakers from UPC, Google and Philips will share their views on the opportunities, threats and consequences of the major trend to switch to on-demand services.
Check out the latest comments by Ed Richards, quizzed by Dr Coffey on the work of Ofcom, in this as yet uncorrected transcript of the session before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport, on 3 May 2011. This document includes comments on the current state of regulation by ATVOD of VOD services in the UK, the issue of newspapers being caught in scope, the need for content labeling and more.
Following the delivery of the first TiVo boxes to Virgin Media’s customers (after a period of beta-trial amongst Virgin employees) PayMedia and TBB have conducted a detailed review of Virgin Media’s newly released HD TiVo PVR.
The outputs of our review include a video-based walk-through of the UI and of some of the key ‘applications’ available on the TiVo device. In addition, the review provides an analysis of the product which contains a variety of supporting screenshots.
Despite delays and expectations set by fairly low-level teaser marketing and company announcements, Virgin Media’s TiVo product has turned out to be a derivative of the US TiVo Premiere / Premiere XL product, rather than a dedicated European / Pay TV software build.
There has been very little modification or adaptation in the product to meet the needs of the Pay TV market, and of the UK TV landscape other than a very basic integration with Virgin’s VOD back-office.
The basis of Virgin’s TiVo, the TiVo Premiere is a product that reviewers in the US have considered to be a window-dressing of the TiVo Series 3 rather than a revolutionary new product and the TiVo Premiere has failed to excite the US market since its launch in March 2010.
For more information and access to the full review, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The hearing is intended to offer a chance for a general overview of current and likely future developments in the area, but is also loosely connected with an INI report by Mr. Borys (PL, EPP) on the same subject, drawn up in response to COM (2010) 0487 “Opportunities and challenges for European cinema in the digital era”.
The panel of four experts who will take the floor is finalised, but their names, and the final programme, have not yet been released as of end June, however we will post it here as soon as it becomes available. The public hearing will take the form of a panel session with each of the four experts making their presentations, to be followed by a debate with MEPs. Representatives of the PL Presidency (to be confirmed) as well as the Commission will participate in this hearing. The experts involved in this event will be representatives from copyright collection, cinema/film, journalism, and a public broadcaster.
The general public may attend, but are not allowed to participate in the discussion.
The main goal is to provide a focus for debate and new legislative proposals on the new MEDIA programme (2014-2000) and also digital cinema. However the legislative proposal on the MEDIA programme is not expected before several months, so the debate will go ahead without knowing what the proposal will contain. A public hearing will take place on the same day on the future of the EU audiovisual policy in the digital area (covering AVMS).
The CULT Committee will also start working on two legislative proposals: one relating to the OHIM (Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market) and another relating to orphan works. The Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI), which prepares many important decisions of the European Parliament, is the lead committee for these two reports. CULT will also start work on a non-legislative opinion to the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) on “A Competitive Digital Single Market: E-Government”.
To participate on 13 July, you need to notify the CULT committee of your wish to participate, or contact us for further details.
Broadcast Projects hosted a lunch event sponsored by Microsoft on 19 May 2011 in London. The topic was be implementation of the Audio Visual Media Services Directive in in the UK. A second event on this theme will be held in mid-to-late July.
The Directive, which replaced the Television without Frontiers Directive of 1989, was adopted in December 2007 with the intention of bringing the EU’s broadcasting rules up to speed with the digital age.
Audio Visual Services have traditionally been delivered by broadcast and cable networks, which are covered by extensive regulation. The internet has been relatively lightly regulated. Therefore politicians began to update the EU regulatory framework to cover the public´s increasing consumption of content over the internet.
¨Television Without Frontiers”, only covered broadcasting. But AVMS specifically extends regulation to on-demand services, which had never been regulated before. The aim of AVMS therefore has been to reduce regulation and create a level-playing field for audio visual media services across borders while maintaining high standards for consumer protection.
The intention of AVMS is to bring a set of ‘minimum content standards’ to on-demand services, and to bring in line these services with current broadcasting legislation.
This new law, which came into force early in 2010, is the subject of intense ongoing debate in the UK, which is the only European country to have adopted a co-regulatory system, with ATVOD having been appointed as co-regulator, with Ofcom retaining back-stop powers.
If your company could be interested to sponsor this event, please get in touch.
To register your interest to participate, please contact email@example.com.
April - 2011
Broadcast Projects Principal Consultant Janet Greco and network partner Sheila Cassells have conducted a wide-ranging foundation study on EU regulation related to the connected TV space. This is a nascent area with many complicating factors for multiple areas of regulation.
Anyone not staking out a position (as the broadcasters are now doing) are likely to be unprepared for the lobbying that lies ahead. We expect there to be growing interest and concern in this area, from many conflicting perspectives.
Be sure to enquire early to get your invitation for the AEPOC/Intellect hosted event at IBC 2011, on 11 September in Amsterdam. The discussion: “Hbb and Connected TV – Securing Creativity and Content”. Click here for details.
The CSA (Conseil Supérior de l´Audiovisuel), the French regulatory body, organised a symposium on Connected TV on 28 April 2011 at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris.
It featured speakers looking at the future regulatory landscape from the French broadcasters perspective, but also included other perspectives from representatatives from Google TV, Samsung France, Dailymotion, LG and Sony France.
Helpfully, the CSA has put the entire conference online. Accessible here.
For more information about regulation impacting connected TV in Europe, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Digital Agenda Assembly, organised by the Commission’s Vice-President Neelie Kroes, as a first follow-up of the Digital Agenda, will be held in Brussels on 16-17 June 2011. The event will be held as a string of workshops, that corresponds to Digital Agenda themes and actions. Please see more by following the link, where you can also register to participate: