President Andrea Imperiali: “Giant leap towards digitalization in Italy. Now more than ever, TV has a central role in the life of the Country”.

Rome, 24 May – Here is a summary of the 2021 Report to Parliament Andrea Imperiali, President of Auditel, gave this morning at the Senate, illustrating the trend of the television market: a global race for the “new TV gold”, with unprecedented processes of grouping and cross alliances;  an imbalance between global and local unleashed by the burst onto the market by the OTT giants; a great change on the TV consumption front fostered by new access technologies and the exponential growth of screens; new users (Millennials and Generation Z), new viewing behaviors, new viewing habits; a strong growth of the so-called “TV outside the TV set”, i.e. the viewing of TV content, live and on demand, on smartphones, tablets and personal computers.

Imperiali said that: “2020 will be remembered as the year when, due to the Covid-19 lock-down, the Italian population took a giant leap forward in terms of digitalization. In fact, people equipped with new Internet connections and new devices and quickly learnt how to manage them. Since then, a more conscious use of multimedia content has started.”

The President of Auditel has also highlighted: “A disturbing grey area: 3.5 million Italian families still do not have a connection to the net. In the new context, they may run the risk of being totally marginalized by the social dynamics underway.” Moreover, Imperiali emphasized the growing of TV market concentration, due to “the irruption of global scale subjects that escape all forms of regulation and control” resulting in “an increase in competitive pressure on traditional operators”.

The combination of these factors is radically reshaping the TV industry, but, as the President of Auditel warned: “It is not a level playing field. In other words, we are not witnessing normal, regulated competition. On the contrary, we are seeing the consistent consolidation of asymmetrical and increasingly less fair and less regulated conditions of competition, increased by a growing imbalance between the global dimension and the local dimension of European operators.

Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that, unless urgent corrective measures are taken, the so-called digital democracy will risk being swallowed up by a despotic oligarchy”.

This is why Imperiali reminded that: ”Institutions and regulatory authorities have a more fundamental role than ever in this revolutionary context, especially in view of the constituent season Europe has been going through in recent months, with decisions aiming at bringing new technologies – and the deriving phenomena – within a shared regulatory system’. The President of Auditel concluded as follows: “Today more than ever, TV has a central and wider role in the life of the Country. If this is not taken into consideration and measures are not put in place, a fundamental piece of our democratic life will be jeopardized”.

The President of the Senate, Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, sent an institutional message: “I express my appreciation for the considerations highlighted in the Report. Auditel’s contribution of great competence and experience to the context of media and new technologies, which is becoming increasingly complex and articulated, is fundamental”. 

Anna Ascani, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Economic Development: “Auditel’s technological innovation is to be appreciated and supported. The safeguard of the TV industry is fundamental for the Country and its economic development, with a view to enhancing the Italian cultural identity and the quality of communications. Moreover, this industry represents an important employment lever with a prevalence of women and young people. MISE is engaged in a process to foster digital inclusion and Auditel could make a relevant contribution within the TV 4.0 Table on policies related to the Switch-off of the new digital standard”.

Giuseppe Moles, Undersecretary to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers with responsibility for Publishing: “I sincerely applaud Auditel’s impartial and technologically advanced role, which guarantees the independence and full transparency of measurement processes, the verifiability and reproducibility of data, as well as quality and credibility. All this is a valuable tool for those who, like the State, has a duty to ensure that the user is not a subject but an active actor, and therefore a citizen”.

Alberto Barachini, President of the RAI Supervisory Commission, emphasized: “We look with great favor on the path Auditel is taking. Not only for the overall modernization of the system, but also for the impacts and implications concerning the public service, which must be the driving force behind this revolution. Digital device detection must be the fundamental premise for an even more central and universal role of the public service in the near future.”Giacomo Lasorella, President of AGCOM: “Auditel constitutes a fundamental garrison and an extraordinary antenna capable of monitoring the changes taking place in the Italian society. The platforms survey launched by the Authority represents an organic intervention, with an innovative methodology, to comprehensively map the world of platforms and assess all the effects they produce in the markets. Within this mapping, the measurement of ratings and views plays an increasingly central role. The aim is to have an overall perspective of the sector’.

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