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ISTAG Report: New Business Sectors in Information and Communication Technologies, The Content Sector as a case study, Final Version

Funded under: FP6-IST


The latest i2010 Annual Report (2007) identifies the creative content sector as one of the strategic areas that have contributed to these developments and, as projections in the Screen Digest 2006 study on Interactive content reveal, the sector is likely to confirm its strategic importance for European growth in the coming years. Content includes a variety of media products from TV and radio, music, film, games, interactive, Web and mobile services delivered by a wide range of distribution technologies from terrestrial broadcast, satellite, internet as well as DVDs and CDs.
Given the rich, cultural traditions of Europe and its dynamic content industry, the potential for growth is very large. Much of this depends on online delivery of content, but the very openness of the internet and its global reach means that competition from outside Europe will be as intense as that from within.
The ISTAG Working Group on 'New Business sectors in ICT' in this report has identified a number of key recommendations to ensure a healthy economic future for the European Content sector, as well as reciprocal benefits for the ICT industries that support it. Many of these suggestions are in line with existing priorities and programmes, but some, such as the revision of copyright law, will require new initiatives and a great deal of thought in balancing the rights of content owners with those of users.
This analysis and the discussions about the related recommendations have been launched by ISTAG because we are entering in a period which is particularly promising for the content industry. This is due to the convergence of challenging and enabling facts such as:
- the wide diffusion of broadband networks in Europe,
- the switch from analogue to digital TV,
- the explosion of user generated content and services through e.g. web2.0,
- the advent of new business models related to the digital opportunities and the new user behaviour.

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