MARRAKECH, Morocco–Netflix has reportedly met with members of Francois Hollande’s government to get a clearer picture of legal obligations necessary to bow in Gaul.
The meeting between Netflix and French officials was reported by Reuters. Netflix declined comment.
The U.S.-headquartered company – now available in 41 countries — has been eyeing a move into France for years but has been particularly cautious because of the country’s set of rules, such as obligations to invest in local content, higher value-added taxes and a release window set at 36 months for subscription-based VOD platforms (SVOD).
Gaul’s film and TV industryites are currently debating the legal obligations that should apply to foreign digital companies that distribute content in France, as well as the window release schedule for SVOD, as part of the review of France’s anti-piracy law, Hadopi.
Deemed “protectionists” by some media analysts, these rules were created by the French government to ensure that theater exhibitors and TV channels, which contribute to French films’ financing via a tax levy on ticket sales and acquisition/coproduction, get their own exclusive window to show movies. Ultimately, these guidelines have helped France forge Europe’s top film industry.
France is also perceived as an ultra-competitive market for a service like Netflix due to its high pay-TV penetration rate and its well-established players, notably Canal Plus and Orange Cinema Series that already feature a plethora of premium content with low subscription costs.