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Marketing, co-production, quotas: the dilemmas facing European politicians


- European Ministers for Culture set to engage in discussions, with a view to more effectively supporting the cross-border circulation of European content

Marketing, co-production, quotas: the dilemmas facing European politicians

When the European Commission presents them with its proposal for a revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive on Tuesday, European Ministers for Culture will engage in discussions, with a view to more effectively supporting the cross-border.

Marketing and distribution, co-productions, financial incentives and quotas for European works pose several dilemmas for politicians, says the Dutch Presidency of the Council in the document circulated to the 28 ministers.

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“Public policies seem less effective in supporting marketing and distribution” than creation, particularly in the small countries and for the small languages, it noted, highlighting the growing imbalance between the number of films produced in Europe, their distribution and their consumption; of the 6,128 films distributed in 2014, 63% were American films, 24% were French films, and just 9% were European films from other countries. 

Co-production undoubtedly offers broader exploitation opportunities for films but it’s “proving to be increasingly complicated”, with investors and producers having to comply with regulations and criteria that differ between countries.

As for national financial incentives, they’re often too compartmentalised according to genre and viewing platforms, and therefore poorly suited to new audiovisual content designed for transmedia use. The Dutch Presidency also deplores competition between countries, with individual states granting tax concessions to attract audiovisual productions to their territories; “this will not necessarily increase the distribution and popularity of European audiovisual content”.

Finally, if the quotas for European works are generally met by television stations in Europe, the freedom allowed to video-on-demand services to test different approaches when it comes to promoting works could also “have repercussions on the establishment of conditions of fair competition”.

(Translated from French)

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