EU Commission Proposes Netflix Production Quotas

In a new proposal outlined by the European Commission as part of a revision to the 2010 Audiovisual Media Services Directive, at least 20% of the content offered to European customers by on demand services such as Netflix and Amazon will have to be produced locally.

According to the European Commission, European television stations invest about 20% of their turnover in local original content, while streaming services only spend 1%. With a minimum quota of European content, the Commission wants to ensure that the new digital players will contribute to European film and television production.

The commission wants to bring digital services in line with traditional broadcasters by setting a minimum local quota of 20%. Under the proposal EU member states would be able to force on demand services to contribute via direct investment, co-productions or levies. Netflix said in an email to Altinget:

“Our users worldwide love European programmes, and therefore we also invest more in these programmes. We appreciate the Commission’s ambition for European production to flourish, but must also note that it will not happen because of the proposed methods.”

“Our first original series in Europe (Marseille) was released earlier in May – and is seen everywhere. Later this year we have the premiere of The Crown, which is our next European series. In addition, we have series on the way in Spain, Italy and Germany – and we are actively looking for more projects.”

Netflix points out that it also has co-production deals with several European TV companies, including the BBC (Watership Down), Channel 4 ( Kiss Me First, Crazy Face), ITV (Marcella) and TV2 (Rita), and bought many European titles at Cannes.

The revised directive is part of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy, and will be passed into law if approved by the European Parliament.