The MediaRoad Vision Paper on Future and Emerging Technologies for the Media Sector analyses six technological trends – Artificial Intelligence (AI), Immersive technologies, Blockchain, 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) and Convergence – and their impacts on media sectors, and provides policy recommendations aiming at ensuring positive consequences for our societies.

The Paper has been developed by the Policy Hub of MediaRoad. Launched in September 2017, the two-year MediaRoad project brings together a wide range of European media stakeholders. The project aims to provide recommendations for future-proofing media policies and promoting the implementation of innovative media concepts. MediaRoad benefits from the support and funding from the European Union research and innovation funding programme Horizon 2020.

MediaRoad’s 2nd Vision Paper takes as starting point the 1st Vision Paper on the Future of Media Innovation, and its identification of key trends and challenges for the European media sector, and the derived policy recommendations. Based on a combination of various sources (in particular experts interviews and an online survey), it provides, for each technological trend, an analysis of its likely impact on the media sector and on society as a whole, and policy recommendations. From these analyses, the MediaRoad Vision Paper identifies horizontal issues and provides a set of of policy recommendations:

  • All these technologies are expected to have a strong impact on the EU media sector. A proper regulatory European framework and appropriate funding measures are therefore necessary. Besides, there is no one single best level of intervention.
  • There are risks of monopolistic tendencies in this sector. Big technology companies, while not producing media content, are likely to dominate at crucial points along media value chains, most notably in terms of interface and infrastructure. All companies in the media and related sectors are competing and innovating to gain access to, or keep control of, data, notably through the development of online platforms. Safeguards therefore need to be applied to platforms’ activities. More generally, innovation in European media requires ensuring fair competition, in particular between small companies and dominant players in media and related sectors.
  • Advantageous innovation strategies rely on successfully bridging technology with content creation and production. This should go hand in hand with the objective of promoting quality of media and its content.
  • European citizens need to remain at the core of innovation. While there is a possible lack of transparency in how algorithmic design choices are made, and in the impact on privacy; European citizens must see their fundamental rights preserved. They need to be informed and made aware of what technological innovations are, and how they can impact everyday life.

In addition to the Policy Hub, the MediaRoad project is also comprised of the Network and the Sandbox Hubs. By bringing together diverse media organizations -both public and private-, media workers’ organizations, academic research institutes and innovation centres, the Network Hub aims to foster cooperation and collaboration for thriving media innovation in Europe.

The Sandbox Hub – inspired by Belgium’s own “VRT Sandbox”- is designed to foster a European network of media innovation accelerators to support entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs in testing and scaling new media-tech ideas.

Find out more about the analysis of the six crucial technological trends for the media sector here

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