As major streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Disney+ continue with their global expansions, many countries worldwide have been pushing back and making rules to ensure shows and films are being made for locals. This is being done to protect local film industries and also to ensure that local culture is kept alive. As global streaming services continue to expand, local television networks and streaming services, are falling to the side, unable to keep up with the substantial cost implications.

Europe has already introduced a local quota, which requires streaming services like Disney+ to have a certain amount of original content created within the region. Australia has now announced its plans, which have an impact on Disney+ not just in Australia but globally.

The Australian government is taking this “necessary action” to prevent Australian storytelling from being “drowned out” by overseas programming, especially from Hollywood and the U.S.

The new five-year policy will be introduced through legislation in the third quarter of this year and will be in place by July 1st, 2024. No exact figures have been released, though it’s expected to be around 20% of local revenue on Australian productions, but the policy is currently being negotiated with the film and TV industries, including the many streaming services.

“The government has committed to take the necessary action so that Australians continue to be able to see and hear quality homegrown content, regardless of which platform they are using. It is important that streaming services invest in key genres, including children’s content, scripted drama and documentaries.

Disney has already begun creating more original content within Australia, with shows such as “Shipwreck Hunters”, “Donna Hay’s Christmas” and “Fearless”, plus they’ve got lots more in production, such as “The Artful Dodger”, “Last Days Of The Space Age” and “The Clearing”.

Disney also has a huge film studio facility in Sydney called Disney Studios Australia, which it acquired through the purchase of 20th Century Fox, which was where “Shang-Chi: Legend Of The Ten Rings” and “Thor: Ragnarok” was filmed, plus the upcoming “Planet Of The Apes” film is being shot there.  This new quota system will no doubt help keep Disney in line with new laws and will keep Disney investing in making more content within the region.

If the quota system is set at 20%, it would require Disney to drastically increase regional production, either with more unscripted content, or by buying local content to boost its numbers.  This has already been happening in Europe, where Disney licenses a large number of shows and films, often on a non-exclusive basis, to boost the amount of content available.

It will also mean more Australian content will likely be released globally on Disney+, providing more opportunities for Australian actors, creators and crew to work.

With streaming services becoming global platforms, this is one reason why the number of international originals is drastically increasing, with more countries wanting to protect their film industries and culture from being overrun by US content.  Plus, the local content also helps boost subscribers, who want to watch films and shows they can relate to easier.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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