European viewers’ experience may soon be changing. According to TechCrunch, the European Union is reviewing some of the geo-blocking policies surrounding streaming audio-visual content which means there may be changes to how countries in the Union access to content on platforms such as Netflix.
As it stands, the Geo-blocking Regulation currently in place has it so access to content on streaming services is customized for each EU Member state, which means one country can have access to a completely different line up of programming than others in the Union. For example, according to the European Commission, viewers in Greece have access only to 1.3 percent of the films available online in the EU, while those in Germany have access to 43.1 percent.
Now, the Commission is launching discussions to see how access to “this type of copyrighted content across the bloc,” can be altered and possibly made easier. However, according to TechCrunch, the European Commission hasn’t committed to “any specific actions as yet, so whether the push yields anything..remains to be seen.”
“This first review of the Geo-blocking Regulation already shows first positive results,” stated internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton. “We will further monitor its effects and discuss with stakeholders, notably in the context of the Media and Audio-visual Action Plan to ensure the industry can scale up and reach new audiences, and consumers can fully enjoy the diversity of goods and services in the different EU Member States.”
The European Union got together earlier this year and pushed for streaming services such as Netflix to stop showing videos in high definition in order to prevent internet bandwidth from slowing down. The fear was that as people were forced to stay home due to COVID-19 and streaming hours were climbing, secure internet access to the internet would become limited.
Though there was a spike in internet usage, no outages were reported, however.