The European Union has reached an agreement that will allow consumers to access their OTT services while in another EU country.
The agreement is the first step of regulation under a plan by the European Commission to introduce a Digital Single Market in Europe.
The EU wants put an end to geo-blocking and allow its citizens who buy or subscribe to online content services to be able to access them when they travel in other EU countries.
The online service providers who will be mandated to make their services available include VoD platforms (Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime, Mubi, Chili TV), online TV services (Viasat’s Viaplay, Sky’s Now TV, Voyo), music streaming services (Spotify, Deezer, Google Music) and game online marketplaces (Steam, Origin).
The online service providers will have nine months to adapt to the new rules, which means it will come into force by the beginning of 2018.
The agreed legislation will allow online content service providers to take “reasonable and proportionate measures” to verify the EU country of residence of the subscriber. A list of permitted verification methods includes checks on electronic identification, payment details, public tax information, postal address details or IP address checks.
Service providers will be required to inform customers of the verification methods used and take appropriate security measures to protect their data.
The rules now need to be formally approved by the legal affairs committee, the European Parliament as a whole and the European Council.