The European Commission is set to require video-streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to make at least 30% of their content in Europe, while also giving European shows ‘prominence and visibility’ on their services. Variety broke the news, based on an interview with the European Commission’s Roberto Viola at the Venice Film Festival.
The companies could meet the quotas – which could be raised to 40% in some individual countries – by acquiring local-made content, or by adding a ‘surcharge’ to their subscription fees, which is then used by local film funds for production, as is the case already in Germany. The thrust of the story is firmly on video, but we can’t help wondering whether music-streaming services will also be covered (and if not, whether the new video rules will create pressure for similar regulation of music too). Most obviously, there is the video content being commissioned by Spotify and Apple Music, but you can also imagine discussion over what percentage of the prominent programmed playlists on music-streaming services are local artists. One sticking point, for music as for video, is the question of algorithmic recommendations. Netflix users see different homepages based on their viewing habits, so how ‘prominence and visibility’ of European content can be tracked is an interesting question – just as it would be for, say, Discover Weekly on Spotify.