Netflix and Amazon Prime Face European Commission Content Quota

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Yesterday, the European Commission ruled that American subscription video-on-demand services Netflix and Amazon Prime will need to meet similar content quotas as other broadcasters, with no less than 20 percent of their catalogs made up of European offerings.

At the moment, the Commission noted, on-demand services invest less than one percent of their revenues in original content.

Simply having one-fifth of their catalogs of European origin isn't enough, however. Netflix and Amazon also need to surface that content and provide "good visibility." There could be more demands to comes from individual countries, as the Commission said member states are allowed to demand that SVODs make a financial contribution to creating new shows and movies in Europe.

Netflix said that it has already committed hundreds of millions of euros to European original works, and took issue with the requirement. Netflix argues that imposing a quota system won't automatically lead to quality programs getting produced, but more likely to the purchasing of cheap filler content.

“We appreciate the Commission’s objective to have European production flourish, however the proposed measures won’t actually achieve that," said a Netflix spokesperson as quoted in The Guardian.

But perhaps this won't be a major shakeup for the SVODs: The Commission offered a study showing that 21 percent of Netflix and Apple iTunes film catalogs are already from the European Union.

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