Working group to explore opportunities for expanding funding for audiovisual productions
The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Transport and Communications have appointed a working group to look into models that would broaden the financial base for audiovisual productions. The working group is to explore possibilities of imposing an obligation on actors in the audiovisual industry to invest in Finnish content production.
The working group’s task is to look into potential models for enforcing the obligation imposed by the Audiovisual Media Services Directive to invest in media services, and to assess the effects of such models. Additional financing through regulatory measures permitted by the Directive would amount to approximately EUR 6-20 million per year. In practice, the contributions collected from media services could be used as direct investments in content production and in the acquisition of rights, or as national fund contributions.
“It is very important that we look into every possibility of boosting the competitiveness of Finland’s creative industry. The objective is to drive our entire audiovisual sector forward in the international competitive arena,” says Minister of Science and Culture Antti Kurvinen.
“It is important for Finnish people to have domestic content, which is why we need to ensure that our content producers remain competitive. I’m pleased that the working group will now carefully examine the effects of the obligations involved in EU legislation,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.
The working group will submit its report by the end of August 2022. The working group is chaired by Director Jorma Waldén from the Ministry of Education and Culture. Members of the working group are Emil Asp, Director of Unit (Ministry of Transport and Communications); Sirpa Sillstén, Senior Specialist (Ministry of Transport and Communications); Laura Mäkelä, Senior Ministerial Adviser (Ministry of Education and Culture); Lasse Saarinen, CEO (Finnish Film Foundation); and Eliisa Reenpää, Legal Counsel (Transport and Communications Agency Traficom). The working group will consult and engage companies, researchers, authorities, organisations and other key actors in the industry.
Consumer media preferences are increasingly shifting towards on-demand services such as Netflix, Amazon and HBO. Several European countries are planning to impose the investment obligation laid down in Article 13.2 of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive on these media services. So far, Finland has not imposed the obligation.
A report prepared by Petri Kemppinen in 2020 laid the groundwork for its potential introduction. The report did not explore the different regulatory options available, or their effects on the different actors. Kemppinen proposed that the financing obligation could also be extended to media service providers established in other Member States but with a target audience in Finland. The financial contribution could be a percentage of the media service provider’s turnover or, alternatively, based on the number of subscribers in Finland.
- Laura Mäkelä, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Education and Culture, tel. +358 (0)2953 30222
- Emil ASP, Director of Markets Unit (Ministry of Transport and Communications), tel. +358 40 509 9757