Future Media Lab. annual conference gathers 150 stakeholders in Brussels to explore how technology impacts audience engagement

The 6th Future Media Lab. conference took place on 26 January 2016 in The Panoramic Hall at The Square in Brussels. This conference, titled “Technology and Media: Shaping the Future of Audience Engagement” covered one of today’s most crucial topics for Europe’s media. The full-day event included panel discussions, “reality check” presentations with facts and figures, a keynote speech, an interactive think-tank module with nine innovative start-ups and an interactive debate.

Approximately 150 politicians, media experts, start-ups, journalists, publishers, academics and other key industry professionals joined the event to exchange their views on both the challenges and opportunities that media and tech companies are facing regarding audience engagement in the digital age. The major topics tackled at this event included creation, distribution and monetization of quality content; the relationship between media and technology companies regarding big data and data analytics; technology innovations and how they impact or even disrupt existing markets; and how to ensure a regulatory environment appropriate for sustainable business models for media companies in Europe.

Media is the oil of the Digital Single Market; it’s the most important value generating proposition in a data-oriented society. Media, meaning audiovisual images, production of written material, photos etc.” said Roberto Viola, Director General of DG CONNECT in the European Commission. “The European media industry should be on the frontline, should be innovating and ready to seize the opportunities.”

Auke Visser, President of the European Magazine Media Association (EMMA), which hosts the Future Media Lab. described the conference as a “great meeting place for politicians, suppliers and magazine media as well“. In the same positive Max von Abendroth, founder of the Future Media Lab. and Executive Director of the EMMA highlighted the shared view of the participants concerning the necessary collaboration between media and technology companies, publishers and platforms for a bright and mutually beneficial future.

The Future Media Lab. conference is highly interactive and a great networking and learning opportunity. The programme included the following speakers:


  • Karen Boers, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Startups.be (BE)
  • MEP Dita Charanzová, ALDE, European Parliament (CZ)
  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Fiedler, Managing Director for European Affairs and Media Policy, VDZ (DE)
  • Matthew Kaminsky, Executive Editor of Politico’s European Edition (BE)
  • MEP Marju Lauristin, S&D, European Parliament, (EE)
  • Christophe Leclercq, Founder, EurActiv (BE)
  • Nic Newman, Research Associate, Reuters Institute for the study of Journalism (UK)
  • Paul Lee, Founder Ecuiti (US and UK)
  • Martine Reicherts, Director General of the DG EAC, European Commission
  • Nicolas Sennegon, Global Managing Director, The Economist Group, United Kingdom
  • Roberto Viola, Director General of the DG CONNECT, European Commission


You can find the full list of speakers here

The event was sponsored by Agfa Graphics, with EurActiv as a media partner.

The Future Media Lab. was founded in 2012 and aims to build a bridge between the fast-paced innovations in the media sector with long-lasting legislative procedures. In this sense, it is a unique meeting point of media innovation and public policy, regularly bringing together media entrepreneurs, technology start-ups, journalists, academics, European policy makers, and other key stakeholders to debate the future media landscape in Europe. More information about the Future Media Lab. can be found here. To learn more about the conference, click here.


For further information contact:

Karin Fleming 
Communications Manager


+32 2 536 0607


The European Magazine Media Association, is the unique and complete representation of Europe’s magazine media, which is today enjoyed by millions of consumers on various platforms, encompassing both paper and digital formats.


The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) is the largest representative body of newspaper publishers across Europe. ENPA advocates for 14 national associations across 14 European countries, and is a principal interlocutor to the EU institutions and a key driver of media policy debates in the European Union.