One of the stated aims of the European Commission's Digital Single Market Strategy is to bring the EU audiovisual media sector into line with the "digital age".  As part of this goal, the Commission has launched a consultation on the current regulatory framework regulating the sector.

Since 2010, the principle legislation for the sector has been the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (the Directive).  As part of the consultation, the Commission is asking interested parties to comment on the scope of the Directive and, in particular whether it should be applicable to all market players (such as TV broadcasters, on-demand service providers, internet services and telecom operators).  Other key questions relate to the rules on (a) child protection, (b) advertising, and (c) the promotion of European works.

 The scope of the Directive is especially contentious: currently it applies only to television broadcasters and on-demand services like Netflix, and not to internet services hosting user-generated content like YouTube.  Many argue that this needs to change to level the playing field.

The Commission is inviting comments from stakeholders such as market players, public organisations and consumer organisations. It is also seeking views from the public, as viewers of audiovisual media services.

The consultation opened on 6 July 2015 and will run until 30 September 2015. A review of the Directive will take place during 2016 under the title "A Media Framework for the 21st Century". The consultation document can be found here.