Bottom line: Major content providers shouldn’t have too much trouble coming into compliance although smaller outfits or those with niche content like Crunchyroll could struggle to get there.
Netflix, Amazon and other streaming video outfits operating in the European Union will soon have to ensure that at least 30 percent of their on-demand catalog consists of local content.
Roberto Viola, who runs the European Commission department that regulates communications networks, content and technology, told Variety at the Venice Film Festival that the new rules are on pace to be approved in December. “It’s a mere formality,” he said.
Once the vote is in, the European Union’s 28 member states will have 20 months to enact the new laws. Viola said individual member states could choose to raise the quota from a minimum of 30 percent up to 40 percent. Additionally, each country can decide if the 30 percent includes sub-quotas on original programming in their country and if they want to implement a small surcharge added to subscription fees that would support national film funds.
Netflix is already being forced to collect this surcharge in Germany after failing to skirt it in court.
The new rules also dictate that European content be featured prominently by streaming providers in their catalogs.
In October, the European Union will publish figures showing the amount of European content already on various streaming platforms. Viola said Netflix isn’t far from the 30 percent mark at this point.