Manifesto: For an online directory of European films

14 May, 2018 - Today, the visibility of European films is still insufficient and there is still an important margin for improvement on distribution, promotion and findability on online platforms.

In particular, despite constant efforts on the regulatory side, European films are still poorly represented in the online environment - only 47% of the cinema releases of European films are followed by a release on VOD.

While the VOD market, especially SVOD, is in constant growth, this situation undermining the whole audiovisual sector in Europe, epitomises the untapped potential of European works.

One condition for addressing this challenge is to improve transparency on available offer in European films. Online visibility of European films is a key condition for ripping benefits from the technological revolution, in order to ensure that the European audiovisual sector thrives in the digital era.

More data collection on all European films would increase the knowledge, help to analyse the underlying reasons and to take informed decisions. It would act as a catalyst for professionals, e.g. producers, distributors or VOD services who would adapt their activities and strategies. It would help VOD services and broadcasters to discuss with right-holders on how to better license their rights on attractive but unexploited titles. It would help National authorities to propose suitable measures to increase the exploitation of European films benefiting from public support. It could also help the European Commission in its monitoring tasks under the AVMS directive and steer the support of the MEDIA programme.

We therefore support the setting up of an online directory of European films to increase the visibility of European films. The core of this infrastructure will be built by the European Audio-visual Observatory - a public body providing reliable statistics and research – and will add up to the already useful Lumiere database. A prototype of this directory will be released during the second semester of 2018.

Building on this core database, we support the development of an ecosystem of data that will progressively increase the level of information on each European film in particular:

  • we commit to facilitate the setting up of reliable and constantly updated data on the availability of European films online in the VOD services in the different Member States.
  • we commit to explore how to complete this infrastructure with the development of new tools, offering access to the films searched, either directly or by creating bridged with VOD services.

SAA is one out of several stakeholders signing the manifesto. 

Read more on the European Commission's website