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Kari Haakana: The Yle Areena player available to all Finnish residents in EU area 2018

Yle Areenan palvelupäällikkö Kari Haakana
Yle Areenan palvelupäällikkö Kari Haakana Picture by: Pauli Boström / Yle Yle Areena,Kari Haakana

A major change in the Yle Areena player next year will be implementing the EU regulation on cross-border portability. It means that Finnish residents traveling in the EU area are able to watch and listen to all content on Yle Areena just as they can at home in Finland.

The EU regulation on cross-border portability of online content services applies primarily to commercial services but as Yle wants to provide the best possible public service to its audiences it is going to make the Yle player portable as well.

In order to make this happen some adjustments must be made to the Yle Areena player. The most important change is that users within the EU but outside Finland need to log in with a Yle ID (Yle Tunnus) to access all Areena content. Currently, more than 80% of the Yle Areena content can be accessed abroad also without logging in but to be able to access the rest 20% you need to be identified through the Yle ID.

A new feature in Yle ID will be verification of the user’s place of residence: a user has to have a permanent residence in Finland. The verification will take place through the e-identification service, providing Yle ID with information from the Population Register Centre of whether the user is resident in Finland or not. The requirement follows from the EU regulation on ensuring the cross-border portability of online content services, according to which the service has to verify the user’s member state of residence.

In other words, cross-border portability does not mean that Finnish residents in Finland could have access to any online service within the EU. Neither are all EU citizens able to access all Yle Areena content from everywhere within the EU. EU citizens will have access to online content services in their respective country and the other EU states, provided that the user can be identified and their place of residence ables the access to the service.

The EU regulation applies only to its member states and therefore all of Yle Areena’s content cannot be viewed outside EU-area even if the user’s permanent residence is in Finland.

The work for making portability possible in the Yle Areena is already underway.

Yle endeavours to give all Finnish residents EU-wide access to the player in 2018 by developing the Yle ID registration. The earliest possible date is 1st April 2018, when the EU regulation enters into force. Before opening up Yle Areena for Finns travelling in the EU, all background systems – from registration do distribution – must run without a hitch, which is why it is impossible to fix a date at this point.

Currently, more than 80% of the content in the Yle Areena can be accessed abroad. Intellectual property protection agreements applicable to programmes restrict the distribution of rest of the content outside Finland.

Kari Haakana
Head of Services, Yle Areena