FWCE Members See GDPR as a Positive Step for Premium Video

Discussion around the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is reaching a peak as the enforcement date of 25th May approaches, but the specific impact on broadcasters and premium video providers has not been widely explored.

In a new insights article, members of the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video Europe (FWCE), including Virginie Dremeaux of Canal+, David Rasmusson of MTG, Sarah Rose of Channel 4 and Conor Mullen of RTÉ, as well as other industry leaders such as Richard Astley, of Finecast; offer their views on the upcoming regulation through the lens of the premium video ecosystem.

According to FWCE members, premium video is innately set up for GDPR compliance due to the controlled and managed ecosystems in which it operates. Premium platforms, often gated by subscriber or user logins, make it easier to gain consumer consent where this is required as a legal basis for data processing. The percentage of consumers ‘opting in’ is likely to be higher with TV or premium video providers than with other parts of the industry such as media platforms due to the strong, trusting relationships that already exist with viewers and the desirability of the premium content they offer.

The GDPR brings a wide range of benefits for broadcasters and premium video providers, such as:

  • help consumers understand their right to privacy.
  • illuminate the role ad-supported models play in delivering high quality, impartial video content.
  • allow providers to build trust with consumers (through transparency enforced by the GDPR).
  • improve the quality of data – ensuring providers only collect what they really need and apply intelligence to make the best use of it.

Naturally, the implementation of the GDPR will not be without its challenges. The FWCE notes a lack of clarity in the regulation and calls for more engagement from the regulator in demystifying certain grey areas. As such these programmers and operators consider the complexities of gaining user consent, and preventing data being collected or processed if consent is not given, especially when using programmatic advertising. Concerns are also expressed that opting out of data collection may ultimately result in a poorer user experience and difficulties with localised advertising.

Overall the GDPR is a positive development for broadcasters and premium video providers. Once the dust will have settled, the FWCE suggests consumers and premium providers, that have responsible data strategies, will be better off under the regulation, while the only ones who may suffer are those who rely on questionable data practices that will now be brought into the open.

A French version is available here.