European Parliament approves new rules affecting broadcasters, video-on-demand and video-sharing platforms
The European Parliament has voted on updated rules on audiovisual media services, which it says will protect children better, and which imposes stricter rules on advertising, and 30 per cent European content in video-on-demand.
The text was adopted on October 2 with 452 votes in favour, 132 against, with 65 abstentions.
Following the final vote on this agreement, the revised legislation will apply to broadcasters, but also to video-on-demand and video-sharing platforms, such as Netflix, YouTube or Facebook, as well as to live streaming on video-sharing platforms.
Audiovisual media services providers should have “appropriate measures” to combat content inciting violence, hatred and terrorism, while gratuitous violence and pornography will be subject to the strictest rules. Video-sharing platforms will now be responsible for reacting quickly when content is reported or flagged by users as harmful, a statement by the European Parliament after the vote said.
The legislation does not include any automatic filtering of uploaded content, but, at the request of the European Parliament, platforms need to create a “transparent, easy-to-use and effective mechanism” to allow users to report or flag content.
The new law includes strict rules on advertising, product placement in children’s TV programmes and content available on video-on-demand platforms.
European Parliament negotiators also secured a personal data protection mechanism for children, imposing measures to ensure that data collected by audiovisual media providers are not processed for commercial use, including for profiling and behaviourally targeted advertising.
Under the new rules, advertising can take up a maximum of 20 per cent of the daily broadcasting period between 6am and 6pm, giving the broadcaster the flexibility to adjust their advertising periods. A prime-time window between 6am and midnight was also set out, during which advertising will only be allowed to take up a maximum of 20 per cent of broadcasting time.
In order to support the cultural diversity of the European audiovisual sector, MEPs ensured that 30 per cent of content in the video-on-demand platforms’ catalogues should be European, the statement said.
Video-on-demand platforms are also asked to contribute to the development of European audiovisual productions, either by investing directly in content or by contributing to national funds.
The level of contribution in each country should be proportional to their on-demand revenues in that country (member states where they are established or member states where they target the audience wholly or mostly).
The legislation also includes provisions regarding accessibility, integrity of a broadcaster’s signal, strengthening regulatory authorities and promoting media competences.
The deal still needs to be formally approved by the Council of EU ministers before the revised law can enter into force. EU countries have 21 months after its entry into force to transpose the new rules into national legislation.