Using Netflix, Spotify and Co. everywhere
Agreement on new EU rules
Good news for film fans and music lovers: In future, they will be able to use services like Netflix, Spotify or Amazon while travelling within the EU. The European Parliament, European Commission and Member States agreed on the so called cross-border portability.
From early 2018 on, you won't have to miss the newest episode of your favorite series while being abroad. Providers of paid online content will be obliged to offer their services with the same features as if you were at home (streaming, downloading, etc.). Prominent examples are paid subscriptions like Spotify Premium, Netflix, Amazon Prime and so on. Services provided without payment (such as the online services of public TV or radio broadcasters), that do not check the location of their users, will have the possibility to decide to also provide portability to their subscribers.
Caution: The new rules only apply to temporary stays in other Member States. According to the current draft of the Regulation, providers will be able to perform random checks of the location of their subscribers. Furthermore, providers are not obliged to guarantee that their services will be available in the same quality as at home. If there is no such promise of quality in your contract, you may have to live with lower performances when watching films or listening to music during your travels.
In June 2017, roaming charges will be abolished within the EU (see here). Therefore, streaming or downloading of movies, series or music abroad will become much cheaper. The demand of consumers to actually use their paid subscriptions everywhere will further increase.
As a next step, the European Council and Parliament have to agree to the draft text of the Regulation. After that, a nine month period for implementation in the Member States begins. Cross-border portability is an important element of the digital single market strategy of the EU Commission.
Find more information in the press release of the EU Commission.