×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Local Product Quotas for Netflix, Amazon to Become Law, EU Official Says (EXCLUSIVE)

Quotas obligating Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services operating in the European Union to dedicate at least 30% of their on-demand catalogs to local content are set to become enshrined in law soon.

Roberto Viola, head of the European Commission department that regulates communications networks, content and technology, said the new rules, which will also demand visibility and prominence of European product on streamers, are on track to be approved in December.

“We just need the final vote, but it’s a mere formality,” he told Variety at the Venice Film Festival.

Netflix, Amazon and other streamers will be required to fund TV series and films produced in Europe by commissioning content, acquiring it or paying into national film funds through a small surcharge added to their subscription fee, something which is already happening in Germany. Netflix tried unsuccessfully to fight the German surcharge in court.

Viola said that, starting in December, the EU’s 28 member states would have 20 months to apply these new norms and that countries “could choose to raise the quota from the 30% minimum to 40%.” EU nations can each choose whether the 30% includes sub-quotas on original productions in their countries and whether they want to follow the German model of adding a small surcharge on streamer subscription fees to support the national production fund.

Viola noted that Netflix isn’t that far from having a 30% portion of European content on its platform already, but said that the new rules are clearly intended to force streamers to up their investments in Europe.

He added that, in October, the EU will publish figures showing the percentage of European works already present on the various streaming platforms. “It doesn’t have a legal value, but will help national regulators apply the rules,” he said.

Other European Union rules being developed are intended to force streamers and user-generated platforms like YouTube to pay increased copyright fees to film and TV directors and writers.

“It’s a paradox that, in the digital world, the platforms are getting the largest shares of the revenue stream and those who create the content and drive traffic get the smaller share,” he said. “There is what we call a value gap there which the Internet world has created. … Artists and creatives must be able to renegotiate their contracts.”

More Film

  • Sony Pictures Classics Buys Michael Covino's

    Cannes: Sony Pictures Classics Buys Michael Covino's 'The Climb'

    Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all worldwide rights, excluding France and German-speaking Europe, to Michael Angelo Covino’s buddy comedy “The Climb.” The film premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Un Certain Regard Heart Prize alongside “A Brother’s Love” on Friday. Covino directed, co-wrote (with Kyle Marvin) [...]

  • Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Heads for Magical $100 Million Opening in North America

    Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” is heading for at least $100 million in North America during the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend, early estimates showed Friday. “Aladdin” will likely finish Friday with around $30 million, including $7 million in Thursday night previews. Sony’s launch of horror-thriller “Brightburn” should pull in about $10 million for the holiday weekend and [...]

  • Henry Ian Cusick

    'Lost' Star Henry Ian Cusick Signs With Buchwald (EXCLUSIVE)

    Henry Ian Cusick, best known for playing Desmond on the hit ABC series “Lost,” is signing with talent agency Buchwald for representation. Cusick also starred in the CW sci-fi/drama “The 100” and was most recently seen in the Fox series “The Passage.” His other notable television credits include “Scandal,” “24,” “Fringe,” “The Mentalist,” “Body of [...]

  • Invisible Life Brazilian Cinema

    Brazil's 'Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão' Wins Cannes Un Certain Regard Award

    Brazilian filmmaker Karim Aïnouz emerged triumphant in tonight’s Un Certain Regard awards, as his grand-scale period melodrama “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão” received the top prize from jury president Nadine Labaki. The “Capernaum” director and her fellow jurors demonstrated eclectic taste in the ceremony, ultimately handing honors to eight of the 18 feature films [...]

  • Dan the Automator

    Heeding the Call of Olivia Wilde, Dan the Automator Scores 'Booksmart'

    Dan The Automator, aka Daniel Nakamura, knows a thing or two about setting a mood. The Bay Area-based producer has worked on projects such as Gorillaz’s debut album, Handsome Boy Modeling School (with Prince Paul) and multiple projects with rapper Kool Keith. Now, Nakamura has set his sights on film scoring, and will make his [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content