Producers push for local content on streaming services


Screen Producers Australia wants the government to introduce local content quota obligations on streaming services.

“These are big, disruptive, successful businesses that have had time to expand in this market without making any significant investment in local production,” SPA chief executive Matthew Deaner told Fairfax Media. “It’s time they step up to the plate and contribute to new Australian film and television production.

“The participation of local commercial and public broadcasters to local production remains critical but now is the time to create a level regulatory playing field that ensures responsible and fair engagement from both local and international businesses with our sector and Australian audiences.”

Stan has produced Wolf Creek and No Activity, and recently announced a Screen Queensland-funded feature, while Presto has Home & Away: An Eye for an Eye with more on the way.

Netflix is yet to fund any original Australian productions, despite having the lion’s share of subscribers.

But the government, which did not increase local content for Free to Air networks when it decreased licence fees in the last budget, has rejected the idea.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said: “The Turnbull government has no plans to expand existing content regulations.”


  1. I wouldn’t hold your breath.With a limited amount of subscribers it would be extremely tough to get a green light on that one.These companies would not have the resources if they were told to venture down that track

  2. Far out, talk about sour grapes! ‘Disruptive’ businesses? Disruptive because they have brought competition to a previously limited market. I don’t even see how it would be legal to require streaming companies to abide by those rules – I subscribe to channels on YouTube to watch web series so wouldn’t requiring Netflix, etc to produce local content be the same as demanding that every single channel on the net produce local content? It seems very odd to me.

  3. Secret Squïrrel

    “Screen Producers Australia wants the government to introduce local content quota obligations on streaming services.”

    Of course they do. Despite the platitudes about a level playing field this is simply about self-interest. The SPA is asking the govt to legislate for streaming companies to give them money. FTA networks have an obligation because they have been given the use of public RF spectrum at a cheap price. Streaming companies pay for their content delivery medium at commercial rates. They owe us, and especially the SPA, nothing.

    I’m all for more local content but not if it’s going to be of the quality of poorly written and executed generic drivel such as “Hiding”.

    • I said much the same thing in another comment last week. FTA & PayTV both use &/or were built on public resources, so there’s a justification for expecting some level of public good in return. That justification simply doesn’t exist for streaming.

      While I like the idea of local content rules in general, I can’t see any basis for SPA’s expectation that they be applied to streaming services except “we want it, and it’s unfair if we don’t get it” – which is nothing more than self entitlement…

      • eastwest101

        Yes – could be seen by some as rent seeking noises from a lobby group whom (as already pointed out by other posters) already receive generous taxpayer funding and some protections with local content quota rules.

        As Secret Squirrel says – if they put more effort into making appealing content with good writing/scripts and put less effort into trying to regulate the future, they would find that Stan/Netfix etc would be quite happy/able to participate.

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