MediaWatcher for the comprehensive analysis of audiovisual content.


The importance of video-sharing platforms (VSPs) in the audiovisual landscape has grown rapidly over the last ten years. Consequently, new provisions in the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) require the Member States to ensure that VSPs protect minors from harmful content and the general public from incitement to violence or hatred and enforce qualitative advertising standards.

The AVMSD governs coordination across the EU Member States of national legislation on audiovisual media, traditional TV broadcasts and on-demand services.

Member States must also ensure that VSPs protect users from child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) or terrorist material. The dissemination of CSEA is overwhelmingly dealt with through automated means such as artificial intelligence – AI. However, the VSPs are less consistent in their approach to controls on hate speech as definitions and guidance for users vary widely.  

The review of existing legislation across the EU-27 and the UK shows that audiovisual markets across the EU are very different, as it is the way regulation is implemented and the emphasis put by regulatory authorities and governments on transparency.

As the platforms report differently on the action they take and there is little external monitoring on the outcomes and impact of the actions they take.  It is the responsibility of Member States that users have easy and direct access to such information.

As the revised Directive clearly states, there is a direct link between transparency of media ownership and freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is strengthened if audiovisual media services users have access to information on who is responsible for the content of those services.

Governmental authorities are thus in need of technological solutions that help them supervise and enforce TV regulations for the services under their jurisdiction and self-assessment purposes.

For this reason, Optiva Media is developing MediaWatcher, a cloud-based service where the metadata/media ingested is subject to a number of AI-powered analyses for the comprehensive automatic analysis of audiovisual content. MediaWatcher solution aims to support human supervision regarding the aforementioned regulations.

Based on Optiva Media’s MediaStream, this system is in charge of integrating and unifying the different metadata sources. One important aspect is identifying the same pieces of content as coming from different services and assigning them unique IDs. The aggregation subsystem also accepts the results from analysis and incorporates them into its database as additional content metadata. MediaWatcher aims at an extensible analysis platform that can provide clues and data that can support and speed up the (human) supervision process.

The existence of regulation is not necessarily synonymous with enforcement. It is crucial to take into account the qualitative factors and contextual elements that could influence market concentration, such as Socio-demographic, historic influences and other regimentations.

It is for Member States to set regulation that is consistent with EU law, but which will allow them to take the historic and cultural background of each Member State into account. MediaWatcher’s best approach is to obtain the maximum amount of transparency and information to support compliance checking concerning regulations.

 Source: The study on the implementation of the new provisions in the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) by Deloitte and SMIT 2021 © All rights reserved