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Netflix & Amazon may be forced to source 20% of film and TV content from Europe


By John Glenday, Reporter

May 19, 2016 | 2 min read

Netflix and Amazon are bracing themselves to allocate ‘at least’ 20 per cent of their catalogues to film and TV content sourced from Europe under a new quota system planned as part of a shake-up of broadcasting rules on the continent.

Brussels is set to unveil a raft of new measures next week which are thought to include an obligation to ‘ensure prominence’ for material of European origin and maintain a minimum of 20 per cent of all content from the continent to limit the volume of US imports.

This would be enforced by bringing streaming providers such as Amazon and Netflix under the same regulatory umbrella as broadcasters in an effort to stimulate investment in local film and television productions.

According to the Commission’s plans, member nations would be able to “impose financial contributions [direct investments or levies allocated to national film funds] to on-demand services in their jurisdictions."

Criticising the likely measures Netflix said: “Rigid numerical quotas risk suffocating the market for on-demand audiovisual media services,” Netflix wrote in its response to the commission. “An obligation to carry content to meet a numerical quota may cause new players to struggle to achieve a sustainable business model.”

The potential reforms are part of the Commission's update of audiovisual media laws to reflect how people consume content and will be central to the creation of a Digital Single Market when it comes to streaming, online delivery, copyright and networks.

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