Member: Society Free
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European Commission: Digital Single Market
The new rules oblige paid online content providers to offer the cross-border portability feature to their subscribers who are temporarily in the EU
From 1 April 2018 onwards, Europeans will be able to access the online content that they have subscribed to at home, wherever they are in the EU.
The aim of the Regulation on the portability of online content services that enters into force on 1 April, in all EU Member States, is to ensure that Europeans who buy or subscribe to films, sports broadcasts, music, e-books and games in their home Member State are able to access this content when they travel or stay temporarily in another EU country.
Providers of online content services will also benefit from the new rules. They will be able to provide cross-border portability of online content to their subscribers without having to acquire licences for other territories where the subscribers stay temporarily.
Removing the boundaries that prevented Europeans from travelling with digital media and content subscriptions is yet another success of the Digital Single Market for citizens, following the effective abolition of roaming charges that consumers all over Europe have enjoyed since June 2017.
These new rules directly respond to new behaviours and habits amongst European citizens using new technologies. For example, consumer spending on video subscription services rose by 113% per year between 2010 and 2014, and the number of users by 56% between 2014 and 2015. It is also estimated that at least 29 million people, or 5.7% of consumers in the EU, could make use of cross-border portability, and many more in the future – up to 72 million people by 2020.
In addition, almost 60% of young Europeans say that being able to travel with their subscriptions is an important factor in choosing to subscribe to online services.
Making portability a reality addresses this concern, and in turn, will help service providers increase the numbers of subscribers.