The European Commission has reached a compromise regarding streaming services and made a major step towards allowing Europeans to use their subscription services such as Amazon Prime, Spotify or Netflix throughout Europe. While Europeans generally spend about one billion nights staying or traveling outside their home EU Member State, they often cannot access their streaming apps there. The European Commission made this move last night with negotiators from the European Parliament and the European Council, thus virtually providing a guarantee that the policy will succeed.
Once the measure enters into force, EU consumers will be able to enjoy entertainment and streaming throughout the continent as if they were at home. The measure should be formally approved in early 2018, the EU executive said. “Today’s agreement will bring concrete benefits to Europeans,” said Andrus Ansip, the Commission’s Vice-President for the Digital Single Market. “People who have subscribed to their favorite series, music and sports events at home will be able to enjoy them when they travel in Europe,” he added.
Subscribers to streaming services currently have only access to the service, as it is available in the country they are visiting. Many video and music services region-lock their services to the user’s home country, usually via IP address tracking. In case of Netflix, for example, the movies and series often dramatically differ from their home version. However, the new measures do not mean that streaming providers will have to provide the same content all across Europe but rather make sure that the same library can be accesses from any Member State. “This is very good news for EU consumers,” commented this latest development in the digital market Monique Goyens, head of Brussels-based the European Consumer Organization.