A new law, which could go into effect as early as December of this year, would require that streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, to fund and source content produced in participating European Union countries. News of the new law came via an exclusive report from Variety.
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.
The law would require that at least 30% of the content from streaming service providers be essentially sourced in Europe, and that could go as high as 40% in some countries.
In the program, countries can simply chose to take revenue from the content produced in country or, like Germany, could add a surcharge to the subscription fee. It will be up to the individual countries.
Roberto Viola, would leads the European Commission that regulates communication networks, stated that Netflix is very close to the 30% content rule as it stands today and that he expects the vote to approve the new law to be approved.
“We just need the final vote, but it’s a mere formality,” he told Variety at the Venice Film Festival.
If approved, companies will have 20 months to get into compliance with the new law.