European Union to Allow SVOD Roaming13 May, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel
European subscription streaming video subscribers could soon access content when traveling abroad, according to proposals reportedly agreed to May 13 by 28 member states. If the plan is formally approved May 26, subscribers of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Sky TV Now, MaxDome TV and Canalplay, among others, would be able to temporarily access content across national borders, according to Reuters.
Currently, SVOD subs are limited to accessing content within a specific country border due to regional license agreements with content holders. It remains unclear what time frame temporary access would include.
More than 59 million European households — 20% of the Euro pay-TV market — are projected to pay for subscription streaming video services by 2020, according to Digital TV Research.
That tally was less than 2 million in 2010 when Prime predecessor Lovefilm Instant launched in the United Kingdom and Germany. Now, 12% of French households pay for at least one SVOD service, according to Mediametrie.
The EU continues to be a friend to SVOD. Two years ago, it approved legislation upholding net neutrality by prohibiting Internet service providers from blocking or slowing down selected streaming services for economic reasons. It also voted to eliminate roaming charges for voice, SMS and data on mobile phones.
The commission also plans to rule on copyright law, which if passed, could negatively affect license fees paid to content holders for exclusive access across Europe.