28.02.2005 The Council has approved the eContentplus programme. The 4-year programme (2005-08), proposed by the European Commission, will have a budget of 149 million € to tackle the fragmentation of the European digital content market and improve the accessibility and usability of geographical information, cultural content and educational material.
ACCESS TO CAPITAL
Content industries experience specific difficulties in accessing investment
capital necessary to develop new digital content applications and increase their
innovative capacity. The study
capital to the content industries in Europe"
identified a set of specific
barriers the digital content industries are facing when accessing capital:
- There are no proven business models for on-line content services, and ssers
usually expect Internet content to be free. As a result, many content
businesses struggle to find sustainable business models and prove viable.
- The cost of creating content suitable for a European-wide market is high.
Content is expensive to create and to maintain, and in Europe content it gets
worse by the variety of different languages and cultures. This, on the positive
side, creates niche markets, but on the negative side it increases the costs of
- Content is a "soft good" and in many cases it is easy to copy and difficult to
protect, hampering the business potential.
- Traditional content players have difficulties moving into e-business, due to
high costs of migrating legacy systems.
- Venture capitalists do not appreciate the distinctive nature of content-driven
business, where intangible assets form the value proposition.
The eContent programme will make important contributions to address these issues.