Apple TV+ will struggle to meet European quotas for local content at launch

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2019
All streaming service providers entering Europe must include at least 30% locally-produced video by the end of 2020, and neither Apple TV+ nor Disney+ are currently close to that figure.

Tim Cook promotes Dickinson, one of the shows Apple TV+ is launching with in November
Tim Cook promotes Dickinson, one of the shows Apple TV+ is launching with in November


By the end of 2020, all streaming video services, including the new Apple TV+ and Disney+, will be required to have 30% of their entire catalogue locally produced. The requirement is part of a 2018 ruling by the European Parliament, and the existing Netflix and Amazon Prime services are almost at that figure.

According to Variety, Netflix and Amazon Prime together offer approximately 8,000 titles, and currently between 20% to 30% of those are European.

Based on estimates by London-based consultancy Ampere Analysis, Apple TV+ is expected to be launching in Europe with 38 titles, of which just 6.2% are European. Disney+ is thought to be starting with 982 titles, of which 4.7% are locally-made.

Apple TV+ is launching on November 1, and after some current trials, Disney+ is scheduled to make its first European launch in the Netherlands on November 12. That gives both companies around 14 months to achieve the 30% figure. However, while the 30% quota was set in 2018, the specifics of how it is counted are still being debated.

"It's going to be a challenge for the European Commission to come up with a fair system for the quota," Ampere consultant Ed Border told Variety.

Central to the debate, expected to be decided by the European Commission later this year, is whether to count the quota by titles or by hours. One single typical British drama might be in six episodes, so a decision has to be made whether to count that as one or six titles in the catalog.






It's also complicated defining what constitutes a locally-produced show, as series are now rarely produced by a single company in a single country. Consequently a show filmed in France, might be made by a German studio, but financed by America.

Apple may have an advantage in this, however, as it currently seems to be favoring being the sole producer, and also to not be acquiring as many existing titles as its rivals.

"Unlike Netflix and Amazon," Tim Westcott of IHS Markit told Variety, "which have been doing a lot of acquisitions to bulk up their libraries, Apple TV's strategy in Europe looks as if it will be to focus on making a select amount of original films and series with big stars and creatives attached."

"If they take all the rights," he continued, "they can roll out the titles globally instead of acquiring shows for specific markets."

Some of the new Disney+ titles are made in a galaxy far, far away from Europe
Some of the new Disney+ titles are made in a galaxy far, far away from Europe


The 30% locally-produced figure does not mean a third of everything Apple TV+ makes must be produced in Europe.

It means that around a third of all the video made available in Europe must be created there. It's not yet known what penalty the European Union could apply to Apple, Disney or others if they fail to meet the quota by the end of 2020.

So just as Netflix customers around the world see quite different catalogs, so streaming services may limit their US-made offerings in order to help meet the required balance.

However, in January 2020, there will be a proposal in the French senate that adds a further requirement. If the proposal is accepted, streaming companies will have to set aside at least 16% of their local revenues for investment back into local content.

And France's Culture Minister, Franck Riester, has said that services which do not comply with such a rule would be shut down in that territory.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    Did not know this law existed. Does Europe have this requirement for any other industry such as manufacturing? 
  • Reply 2 of 44
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,718member
    I guess the US could do the same thing to France and other EU companies, force them to include 30% of US created whatever for them to be able to sell in the US. Now I just have to think about what French items I actually purchase. Lets also force France to set aside 16% of the sale of their wine (what else?) in the US for developing American wineries. Let's just be fair.
  • Reply 3 of 44
    Thank you for this article. This explains why there is so much European-produced TV content popping up in Hulu (Das Boot), HBO (Chernobyl), etc. I think EU over-regulation is going to really hamper Internet companies operating there, and ultimately not serve the public interest. The “right to be forgotten” rule for example, while they make exceptions for “public” figures, is very gray in a number of areas and could be used to withhold valuable information from the public. It also places an undue burden on the providers to figure out who can make a legitimate takedown request and who cannot.
  • Reply 4 of 44
    rob53 said:
    I guess the US could do the same thing to France and other EU companies, force them to include 30% of US created whatever for them to be able to sell in the US.
    They could, but the US would have more to lose, than the EU, seeing as the EU consumes tons of US movies/shows, and the US consume almost none european ones. So, yeah, bring it on!
    Now I just have to think about what French items I actually purchase. Lets also force France to set aside 16% of the sale of their wine (what else?) in the US for developing American wineries. Let's just be fair.
    I don't expect Americans to know much about the world, anyway, but you seem like you'd be surprised to learn that the US has lots of such tariffs in place itself, for all kinds of industries.

    How about taking off that MAGA hat?
    edited September 2019 muthuk_vanalingamwonkothesaneuraharaCarnage
  • Reply 5 of 44
    firelock said:
    Thank you for this article. This explains why there is so much European-produced TV content popping up in Hulu (Das Boot), HBO (Chernobyl), etc. I think EU over-regulation is going to really hamper Internet companies operating there, and ultimately not serve the public interest. The “right to be forgotten” rule for example, while they make exceptions for “public” figures, is very gray in a number of areas and could be used to withhold valuable information from the public. It also places an undue burden on the providers to figure out who can make a legitimate takedown request and who cannot.
    As a European, it's certainly in the public interest not to have 100% American shows in the dominating subscription services...
    avon b7irelandElCapitanCarnage
  • Reply 6 of 44
    razorpit said:
    Did not know this law existed. Does Europe have this requirement for any other industry such as manufacturing? 
    Both the US and Europe have such requirements for all kinds of industries, and have had since forever. Those are part of trade agreements and tariffs. The US however doesn't have one such for movies/shows, because Americans are provincial and not very world-aware, and don't consume as much foreign movies/shows in the first place, compared to any other country (closer to zero, with small exceptions such as anime, though even those are niche when it comes to the general public). Even for music, the mainstream American audiences barely listen to anything not American (or, at best, British).
    croprmuthuk_vanalingamurahara
  • Reply 7 of 44
    Not a big deal, there are a lot of local junk everywhere. Apple may include the local junk to just fulfill the quota. Same for Netflix.

    Actually that won't affect the quality of the service, instead it will increase it. If Apple offers a small inventory of top-quality shows, it can include a few top-quality local shows. If it presents a large inventory mostly consisting of American junk like Netflix, it has to include larger amount of local shows, 30% junk added to 70% junk. That rule forces Apple to keep the inventory small and the quality high.
    edited September 2019 Carnage
  • Reply 8 of 44
    croprcropr Posts: 1,053member
    razorpit said:
    Did not know this law existed. Does Europe have this requirement for any other industry such as manufacturing? 
    No it is only for cultural items.  The purpose is to promote the productions in the many smaller languages in the EU.  A Danish production with world wide addressable market of 6 million Danish speaking people, can never compete with an English/American production.  The only way to have at least some Danish speaking content, is to have an obligation to partially produce some local content with local actors and directors.

    This scheme has been existing for a long time on a per country basis.  In view of the upcoming elimination of per country distribution rights of cultural productions,  these regulations have been extended on a European level.
    edited September 2019 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 44
    Call me a free market guy, but this just sounds like straight up censorship. I'm from Canada, and the Canadian gov't pulls the same crap. It's nominally to protect Canadian artists and workers. But it makes me angry that there is content that is on the internet, technically available globally, that we cannot access for political reasons. It's also infantalizing of the Canadian population. A) That we can't decide for ourselves what we'd prefer to watch, and spend our money on what we actually want to spend our money on, and B ) That Canadian artists can't compete on a global scale. Yes they can. If a Canadian production is good, people everywhere, including in the US, will lap it up, not because there is some law forcing them watch it, but because it's great content. So, governments should stop treating us like children, and let us spend our money to watch whatever we want. And if that content is coming from America, then, that's where it's coming from. </rant>
    edited September 2019 AppleExposeduraharapscooter63karsk
  • Reply 10 of 44
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    The downvoted Apple trailers get are hilarious considering no one has seen these shows yet. Were conservatives triggered by this or something?
    AppleExposedmobird
  • Reply 11 of 44
    let see, EU loose their best talent to the US because they tax the crap out them so the EU is not force US company to make stuff in their country so the people who are left have something to do. Yeah they will work well. 

    The US needs to put in place automatic reciprocal laws, if the EU has this rule for US company then any EU company has to complain the exact same way in the US. the BBC who provide content in the US is not required to have 30% local content.
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 12 of 44
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,956member
    rob53 said:
    I guess the US could do the same thing to France and other EU companies, force them to include 30% of US created whatever for them to be able to sell in the US. Now I just have to think about what French items I actually purchase. Lets also force France to set aside 16% of the sale of their wine (what else?) in the US for developing American wineries. Let's just be fair.
    The quotas exist to safeguard cultural areas.

    I'm normally against quotas as they only guarantee quantity and not quality but I do understand they are a necessary evil in some cases and this is one area.

    Using English as a first language gives us many advantages that we take for granted. In the past, you would hear people in foreign countries ask the natives 'do you speak English'? Now, more often than not, people in Europe just speak English and almost 'expect' the other person to be able to speak it. That's great on some levels as communication barriers are being reduced but on another level it can be seen as a cultural threat, as language often isn't just a simple vehicle for communication, it often comes attached to a certain way of living. 

    It can also create  certain conflicts. The major studios will often dub films into Spanish for example (for countrywide release in Spain) but not into the the Spanish regional languages as they say the cost/benefit ratio isn't favourable to them when everybody understands Spanish. That is a perfectly logical viewpoint but the Catalan government for example will take issue with that stance as they think Catalans should be able to see the film dubbed into Catalan on the same terms as the Spanish version (equal screenings, same prices etc) and things quickly snowball out of control and you realise that the subject has to be tackled in some way.

    To give you a possible U.S angle on the situation, imagine a few decades from now, we suddenly realise that Spanish starts to nudge English aside as a preferred language. The government would definitely take measures to protect the main native language of the country.
    AppleExposedCarnage
  • Reply 13 of 44
    foljs said:
    razorpit said:
    Did not know this law existed. Does Europe have this requirement for any other industry such as manufacturing? 
    Both the US and Europe have such requirements for all kinds of industries, and have had since forever. Those are part of trade agreements and tariffs. The US however doesn't have one such for movies/shows, because Americans are provincial and not very world-aware, and don't consume as much foreign movies/shows in the first place, compared to any other country (closer to zero, with small exceptions such as anime, though even those are niche when it comes to the general public). Even for music, the mainstream American audiences barely listen to anything not American (or, at best, British).
    First, The US does not have the same requirements as the EU does and the rest of the world, our trade policies are very liberal for foreign companies we have very little trade barriers. Anyone can sell their product in the US if they like we do not require any local content. Yes there are some restriction the US puts in place on certain things for various reasons but it nothing like you see from the rest of the world. US companies have to jump through lots of hoops, if the US had the same hoops you would see far less product from outside the US since those company could not afford to do business in the US. There is a reason that the US has 50% of largest companies in the world, the us know how to make products the world wants.

    You are correct most US citizens do not consume foreign made content, is that because we all ignorant and lack cultural or it is because the rest of the world products are not that good. Keep in mind everyone in the US came from somewhere else, and they mostly choose to consume US made content. There are exceptions, I know there are communities of people in US who tend to consume their home country content, but it usually fads within a single generation. Again is it that people in the US lack curiosity or what is out there is not all that good. On the flip of this, what do people in other country tend to like US content over local content.

    razorpit
  • Reply 14 of 44
    Why would this have any impact on Apple (or the others) in any meaningful way?

    When we were talking about broadcast content, having 30%+ being local meant that a part of finite resource (hours in the week) was being set aside for Euro content.  But with streaming, who cares if Apple has 30 great shows + 10 other shows versus 30 great shows?  So Apple (and others) just need to buys a bunch of cheap Euro content and stash it in a dark corner of their app.  If there aren't a few companies out there cranking out super cheap "local" content to meet the demand for quality-is-no-object content, they are missing a great opportunity.

    Having said that, I doubt Apple would actually do this (pad their inventory with cheap garbage to meet the letter of the law), but I would.

    Don't get me wrong, there is great content coming out of Europe.  Das Boot is terrific (if you don't mind more raping scenes than most shows) and there was that one about the America mobster hanging out in Sweden, for example.  But if necessary to meet the quota, these companies shouldn't think twice about filling the rest with garbage.  No one cares about the average/mean rating of all the shows on a platform.
  • Reply 15 of 44
    The case can be made that Apple is closer than Amazon and Netflix....Lets say Apple has 20 total titles...that means only 6 European titles would get them to 30%.
  • Reply 16 of 44
    The case can be made that Apple is closer than Amazon and Netflix....Lets say Apple has 20 total titles...that means only 6-8 European titles would get them to 30%.
  • Reply 17 of 44
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,678member
    20% is ridiculously high for "local content" from smaller European countries, and its unlikely that many people will want to watch that much local stuff. 

    Ah I see the "local content" is any European content. With the UK gone expect a lot of stuff produced in Ireland, or in English outside of Britain. Game of Thrones was produced in Northern Ireland but come Brexit it wouldn't satisfy these rules. 
    edited September 2019 AppleExposed
  • Reply 18 of 44
    Canada is worse. They require 55% of television content to be locally created. 
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 19 of 44
    razorpit said:
    Did not know this law existed. Does Europe have this requirement for any other industry such as manufacturing? 
    I have many European friends and I can tell you American entertainment dominates TV and the internet via YouTube, etc...  I have Swedish nieces who learned English that way. Imagine if the US did not have Hollywood and we got a majority of our entertainment from India or China? 
    I enjoy music and movies from many different cultures and countries however home grown stuff is the majority. 
    razorpit
  • Reply 20 of 44
    foljs said:
    razorpit said:
    Did not know this law existed. Does Europe have this requirement for any other industry such as manufacturing? 
    Both the US and Europe have such requirements for all kinds of industries, and have had since forever. Those are part of trade agreements and tariffs. The US however doesn't have one such for movies/shows, because Americans are provincial and not very world-aware, and don't consume as much foreign movies/shows in the first place, compared to any other country (closer to zero, with small exceptions such as anime, though even those are niche when it comes to the general public). Even for music, the mainstream American audiences barely listen to anything not American (or, at best, British).
    Get off your European high horse. Americans are not very world aware? Give me a break. Do you not realize the United States is ranked second in the world for people traveling abroad? In 2018, 93 million Americans traveled abroad. The USA is the entertainment hub of the world so of course the stuff produced here will always be the most consumed. Even with that being the case, lots of producers and directors in Hollywood are from other English speaking countries such as the UK, New Zealand, etc. As for music, your comment is really ridiculous. Look at the charts the last 5 years or so. Lots of popular artists here come from Canada, UK, Australia, etc. EDM has become mainstream here and most of the artists are from the Netherlands. Even if you go back further in time, many of the artists on the charts weren't American. It's funny you believe Americans are apparently "not very world-aware" yet you have no idea about things here. 
    razorpit
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