Europe agrees to 30% “Netflix quota” to support local content

The European Union Parliament has voted to impose a 30% local content quota on Netflix, Amazon and other online streaming services.

Under the terms of a new EU law agreed in Brussels on Thursday, the streaming services will have to fund European TV series and films, either by directly commissioning the content or contributing to national film funds.

The European commission’s original proposal was for a 20% “Netflix quota” but MEPs said that was not enough for protection of local industry from Hollywood and beyond.

The EU is also banning product placement from children’s programmes, although member states can decide whether they want to outlaw corporate sponsorship of under-18’s TV shows.

Advertisers will only be allowed 20% of screen time during the prime-time hours of 6pm to midnight.

But the law has to jump over several procedural hurdles before it is passed, a process not expected to be completed until September.

Meanwhile Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner said, “The EU Parliament has recognised the need for a level playing field where both broadcast media and online streaming services are regulated similarly. A level playing field is good for businesses, audiences and industry.”

Source: Guardian


  1. Just another very small example why millions of us in the UK voted for Brexit. Another law which our national parliament never voted for but will have to accept.

  2. Ivory Tower Politics and tokenism. Have the streaming services agreed to a quota system? EU Citizens will continue to stream what they like despite the bureaucratic hurdles. Cross border smuggling is rife in the EU, even for groceries. It’s become a way of life, thumbing their noses at authority. 60 years on and still no agreement on a “Common Market”.

  3. I wonder how this ruling by the EU Parliament will mean for TV and movie financing, if recent bargaining by studio execs are any indicator it’s the location tax breaks that determine where movies and TV shows are made, I think the European TV and movie industries, who have been doing reasonably well in recent times, could find future projects shunned if Netflix and others find that too much political pressure is being applied by the over officious EU bureacracy.

  4. “Advertisers will only be allowed 20% of screen time during the prime-time hours of 6pm to midnight.” – Oh yes, remember when that applied here?!
    “banning product placement from children’s programmes”. The Australian Banana Growers Assoc. is starting a ‘Save B1 and B2 campaign’.

    • There is a limit on ads in prime-time Australian TV of 13 minutes (14 during an election campaign), which is 21.7%. Though that is an average and it can be up to 15m in any one hour.

      • So, an ep. of Chicago Fire runs 40mins. Commercials run 15mins, leaving 6mins or so for promos (advertisements for other programs)but still manage overall, to exceed 60 mins in an ‘hour’. “On their main channels commercial television licensees may schedule an average of:13 minutes per hour of non-program matter between 6pm and midnight; and 15 minutes per hour on non-program matter at other times. Because these limits are ‘averages’, more can be scheduled in any particular hour. However, the maximum that can be scheduled in any given hour is:15 minutes from 6pm to midnight.

      • How well enforced is it ? I can surely count more than this not including promos is an hours in some programmes Overselling ad space When I was a child growing up it was 2 min ad breaks – 4 commercials – you knew where you stood – and could take a quick trip to the toilet Now a days – I can jump in the car and drive to the corner store and still be back before the promos have finished This why I rarely watch live TV

        • In the 1980s, the average running time for a program was 48 minutes. Today, it’s around 40-42 minutes. The difference is due to more ads and station promotions.

    • Because as the EU will find out – it will be legally unenforcable – you cannot have local content quotas on a worldwide streaming service because of VPN’s and if ad-hoc content quotas account for over 100% of program content then compliance would be impossible.

      Its a massive over-reach by the EU and a pathetic doomed to fail attempt at de-facto protectionism, and a legislative game of “whack-a-mole” outside its area of juristiction.

      • It’s 30% European and 70% non-European. Netflix can stream content that it owns the European copyright to from offshore. But having to use a VPN will raise the cost and hassle for consumers. If Europeans don’t want to pay for cheap European content on Netflix, since they get high quality TV for free on state broadcasters, the Netflix will just end up paying money into production funds for other people to profit from. They will raise their prices and reduce the content they make available providing a service targeted to the rich. If that is not economically viable they will withdraw from the European market and sell their content on DVDs.

      • Yes – perhaps my comments could have been clearer – its all about percentages of catalogues “available”, since Netflix and Amazon Prime are on-demand and not linear broadcasters then they need to pay for and make available a certain amount of EU content

        This is the same EU that is proposing to try to outlaw geo-blocking on the internet – which seems in direct contradiction to their intentions about the EU content quotas….

        I look forward to see how the EU will tell the governments of China, Iran, Burma, Vietnam and North Korea what is and isn’t allowed, the EU compliance team will sure have an interesting job….

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.