Netflix, Amazon must have more Europe-made content by law

Any new shows and films will have to be matched with European ones to maintain the 30 per cent quota level.
Any new shows and films will have to be matched with European ones to maintain the 30 per cent quota level.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK • Do not offer only Hollywood fare.

Netflix, Amazon and other video-on-demand services will have to ensure that at least 30 per cent of their catalogues are made up of Europe-made content, under new European Union (EU) rules.

EU lawmakers voted on Tuesday to adopt the policy to modernise audiovisual media legislation in an age when people are watching more television shows, movies and media clips online, on-demand and on their mobile devices.

The legislation, which could also require online platforms to help finance Europe-made films and television shows, still needs to be rubber-stamped by EU member states.

After that, countries will have about two years to incorporate the legislation into national laws.

Some of the largest platforms already offer a large supply of European content, but will have to boost that offering to meet the new rules.

Any new shows and films will have to be matched with European ones to maintain the 30 per cent quota level.

Local content will also need to be given good visibility and placement on the platforms, in accordance with the rules.

This year, Netflix is doubling its European programming budget to US$1 billion (S$1.37 billion). Amazon will soon have at least one dozen original series from Europe, up from one in 2014.

The investment by the streaming platforms has, in turn, pushed broadcasters in Britain, France, Germany and Italy to set aside rivalries to co-produce programmes or offer shows online.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2018, with the headline 'Netflix, Amazon must have more Europe-made content by law'. Print Edition | Subscribe