The Future of Digital Content – A France-Canada Summit

Summary of the main conclusions and recommendations drawn by the participants of the France-Canada Summit.

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Organized jointly by the Embassy of France in Canada and the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC/CTIC), the France-Canada Summit brought together nearly a hundred top participants from France and Canada, including major stakeholders, policymakers and leaders, representing public and private companies as well as content support and regulatory bodies. Over the two-day event held in Ottawa on November 15-16, 2012, participants attended conferences and case study presentations and discussed the challenges facing their industries. The discussions focused on three main themes:

  • Consumer takes digital power,
  • A sustainable digital ecosystem,
  • Regulation and policy in a digital environment.

The forum offered a unique opportunity for decision-makers from very diverse but linked worlds to peer into the near future and discuss their common interests in building sustainable content industries on both sides of the Atlantic. They exchanged ideas and solutions and drew up a list of recommendations for presentation to their respective governments.

The report “The Future of Digital Content – A France-Canada Summit” summarizes the main conclusions drawn by the participants and gathers their recommendations:

  • Traditional models of content creation and distribution are under increasing pressure, with the impact being felt by both large entities and independent producers and firms;
  • Content producers have little choice but to do business with the dominant players on the Web that have turned traditional business models on their head and set their own rules;
  • The challenge of finding financing for content, especially independent linear content, is a critical issue both in France and Canada.
  • With respect to the recommendations, the report underlines the importance of
    • Encourage and support exchanges and investment between Canadian and French companies in this industry, among others through co-productions,
    • Create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship, support innovation and experimental content and encourage new types of investment;
    • Develop a talented and skilled workforce who understands new technologies;
    • Encourage the emergence of “strong national players”, including distribution platforms, capable of competing with the dominant market players.