On-demand streaming giants including Amazon, Netflix and YouTube will have to ensure at least 30 percent of their content is European-made, under new regulations passed by the European Parliament on Tuesday.
The new regulations, aimed not just at boosting Europe’s creative industries, but at better protecting children from “violence, hatred, terrorism, and harmful advertising”, apply to video-sharing and video-on-demand platforms, as well as broadcasters.
The regulations also include a host of new online advertising rules. It still requires sign-off by member states.
“Audiovisual media services providers should have appropriate measures to combat content inciting violence, hatred, and terrorism, while gratuitous violence and pornography will be subject to the strictest rules.
“In order to support the cultural diversity of the European audiovisual sector, MEPs ensured that 30 percent of content in the video-on-demand platforms’ catalogues should be European,” MEPs agreed.
The European Parliament said that the legislation won’t include automatic filtering of content; rather, video-sharing platforms will be trusted to comply and be responsible for “reacting quickly” when content is flagged by users as harmful.
Netflix, Amazon “Being Asked” to Contribute to European Content Development
Video-on-demand platforms are also “being asked” to contribute to the development of European audio-visual productions, either by investing in content or contributing to funds. The level of contribution in each country should be proportional to on-demand revenues there, it said.
The rules also include limits on advertising; mainly that advertisers take up only as much of 20 percent of the daily broadcasting period between 6am and midnight each day. The regulation will have to be approved in a final vote before the revised law can come into force.
Paolo Pescatore, at London-based independent tech and media analyst, told Bloomberg that “given the fragmentation of the European market, there is a demand [for local content].”
These streaming services have realised as they’ve gone global, that “they need to have good balance with global blockbuster hits but also serve local communities,” he added.
Countries around the world have global rules regarding locally-made film and music content. According to Music In Australia, cinemas must reserve five weeks per quarter for French films, and 40 percent of songs broadcast on private and public broadcasters must be French.
Korea had enforced a screen quota requiring cinemas to reserve 146 days per year for Korean films, while in 2009 declared no more than 60% of films screened could be foreign.