European Commission (COMM/MAD/2016/04)
While the internet and digital technology are transforming our world, their potential is still not fully realised in Europe, which has one single market in the physical world and 28 digital markets. This fragmentation is having a negative impact on companies and consumers: only 4% of on-demand digital content online is accessible across borders. The European Commission intends to address this by working towards a Digital Single Market, but for this to be possible online content has to be accessible for those Europeans who face linguistic or sensory barriers. Media accessibility therefore is key to the Digital Single Market Strategy, one of whose three pillars is “Better online access to digital goods and services”. While many European countries are now attempting to address this, they are using a range of different, often incompatible strategies.
The aim of the MAP project is to promote awareness and foster debate on the current state and future potential of the various forms of media accessibility in Europe, implicating all stakeholders (governmental regulators, private and public broadcasters, access service providers, producers, distributors, user associations, researchers and individual users). This will manifest in three actions:
- MAP international conference (MAPIC)
MAPIC will provide a forum to discuss the state-of-the-art in the implementation of the European Audiovisual Media Service Directive (AVMSD) and to improve cross-border access to broadcasters’ services in Europe. The first international conference on connected media accessibility was held in Spain at the Universidade de Vigo in May 2017. We have confirmation of the follow-up conferences: MAPIC 2 in Lecce (Italy) in 2018 and MAPIC 3 in Barcelona in 2019 (Spain).
- MAP radio shows (RADIOMAP)
MAP will organise shows in 95 film festivals around the world discussing the present and future of connected media accessibility, in cooperation with FRED Film Radio, the world-leading IP radio station platform for media accessibility and film. The programmes will be broadcast in 25 European language channels and available for download as podcasts.
- MAP online repository (MAPORG)
This will be the first cloud-based online platform on media accessibility. Its main purposes will be the exchange of information and good practices between all stakeholders in the media value chain and the dissemination of the MAP project at a European level. Monitored in real time, MAPORG will ensure the sustainability of the project and maximise the impact of its results.