As major US-owned media corporations such as Disney, Amazon, Netflix, Comcast and WarnerMedia continue to grow their streaming services globally, each region is starting to push back with new restrictions to protect their TV and Film industries.
The European Union is looking into applies more rules that they see as crucial to preserving Europe’s economic and cultural ecosystem. Recently it was revealed that both Canada and Australia governments are looking to do a similar thing.
In 2018, the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive stated that streaming services including Disney+ must offer a 30% quota of European content to European subscribers starting in 2021. There will also be some additional options that EU countries can introduce nationally tailored legislation that will require the US companies to directly reinvest a percentage of their revenues within each European territory where they operate. France, Italy and Germany parliament are apparently scrambling to meet the January 2021 deadline.
France has some of the most strict local restrictions to protect its own filming industry is behind the European effort, with President Emmanuel Macron personally involved and according to Variety’s several sources, is applying pressure on Netflix and other streamers to sit down and negotiate with France’s venerable National Film Board (CNC) and other associations to agree on rules of engagement that are acceptable for everyone.
Disney has recently been filming new shows in Europe including a documentary on a Dutch football club and another on Croatia. Disney+ in Italy also saw its own Italian series called “Knights Of Castelcorvo” was released earlier this year.
This chart shows how little European content is currently available on Disney+, with barely 5% of content being produced locally.
Disney has been actively purchasing rights to local films in the Netherlands, France, Italy and other European countries to boost the amount of local content available.
In France, the government is asking that between 20%-25% of each streaming service’s local revenues from subscriptions are invested in European product and 85% spent on French-language content, which must be commissioned to independent French producers.
While Italy wants to set the investment quota for streamers at 20% of revenue, with a lower rate permitted “if the rules of engagement are regulated.” They also want the rights to content to revert back to local producers after 5 years.
Disney, along with the other big corporations will have to produce much more local content around the globe, hopefully, most of this content is released globally, but this might vary depending on local rules. But these rules won’t just affect Disney+, it’ll impact all of the streaming services.
What do you think of Disney+ being forced to create local content to run their services?
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.