European Interest

Digital subscriptions to travel in EU

Flickr/Wall Boat/Public Domain

Europeans will soon be able to access online content they have subscribed to at home, wherever they are in the European Union.

“As of 1 April, wherever you are travelling to in the EU, you will no longer miss out on your favourite films, TV series, sports broadcasts, games or e-books, that you have digitally subscribed to at home. The rules will apply to paid-for services, but providers of free content may opt in,” read a statement issued jointly by European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, Bulgarian Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Ivaylo Moskovski and Members of the European Parliament Pavel Svoboda and Jean-Marie Cavada.

Providers of online content will also benefit from the new rules since they will no longer have to acquire licences for other territories where their subscribers are travelling to.

The European Commission has hailed this move – the removal of the boundaries that prevented Europeans from travelling with digital media and content subscriptions – as another success of the Digital Single Market. It follows the effective abolition of roaming charges that consumers all over Europe have enjoyed since last summer.

“Our new rules directly respond to new behaviours and habits amongst European citizens using new technologies. For example, consumer spending on video subscription services rose by 113% per year between 2010 and 2014, and the number of users by 56% between 2014 and 2015. It is also estimated that at least 29 million people, or 5.7% of consumers in the EU, could make use of cross-border portability, and many more in the future – up to 72m people by 2020.”

It’s also good for business. Almost 60% of young Europeans say that being able to travel with their subscriptions is an important factor in choosing to subscribe to online services.

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