The EU Wants Netflix’s Shows To Be 20% European
The European Union often makes some interesting demands aimed at American businesses. These demands, such as forcing Google to show their rivals higher up in search rankings where they belong, are often made in order for the EU to be a safer and fun place for businesses and home grown talent to thrive. Reasoning behind this attitude is clear – there is no place for American monopoly capitalism within the internal European regulated market.
This is obviously why a selection of TV streaming companies, including Netflix, Amazon and iTunes are facing a new European regulatory demand – the services must make at least 20% of their content come from European sources, featuring European talent.
Over in EU HQ at Brussels, G√ºnther Oettinger, of the European Commission in charge of digital economy and society was emphatic that ‘young people’ in the EU have some sort of EU culture to absorb alongside popular mass marketed US shows.
“We want new service providers to meet these rules so for young people there is some European culture on offer for them.”
“We think European content should be in those programs which European viewers watch. There should be a guaranteed share. We think 20% is a reasonable figure. That means 80% can be non-European.”
Critics have already moved to brand the announcement as ‘prehistoric’ and ‘protectionist’, with yet more criticism being levelled at Brussels over these demands, although it is easy to see just why these demands are being made.
In the US, a ‘free market’ concept of economics allows large companies to dominate sectors of the economy by sheer size and other methods such as copyrighting, buying out competitors as soon as they get off the ground and other less than friendly business practices. It’s easy to see why the EU is cautious, especially as television today has such a large impact on culture.
Whatever the result we can expect more home grown content to arrive on Netflix in the near future, which is great for local talent and new shows trying to get off the ground. Hopefully this won’t affect current content at all. However, the encroachment of European power on the TV we watch isn’t as welcome to some as it is others.