New EU legislation proposes 30% 'European content' minimum for Apple TV+, Netflix

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in General Discussion
In an attempt to level the playing field for European content creators, EU lawmakers are proposing legislation that would require streaming services like Apple TV+ and Netflix to feature 30% European content or face a European Union customer block.

New EU legislation proposes 30% 'European content' minimum for Apple TV Plus and Netflix  height=


The bill, known as the General Scheme of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill, was published by Catherine Martin, an Irish Green Party politician. She serves as the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media in Ireland.

If ratified, the law would require all streaming media services to host a minimum of 30% content classified as "European Work," or be shut down within the European Union.

The proposal was pointed out by Adrian Weckler on Twitter.

Minister Catherine Martin says Apple TV+ has to have minimum 30pc European content or govt will shut it down across Europe.

(-- Same new legislative bill, implementing EU directive.)

-- Adrian Weckler (@adrianweckler)


The bill hopes to provide more European content to consumers across Europe, as many big-name streaming services tend to overwhelmingly host content produced by the United States.

Section 64 of the bill reads as follows:
his head transposes the requirements of Article 13 of the Revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive. It provides that on-demand audiovisual media services provided by media service providers shall ensure that a minimum of 30% of the works in their catalogues qualify as European works.
Section 65 expounds upon the requirement, stating that "on-demand audiovisual media services shall, in the interests of providing culturally diverse European content to the widest possible audience, ensure the prominence of European works on their service."

It notes that the rules will not apply to services deemed to have "low turnover" or "low audience."

If passed, streaming giants such as Netflix, Apple TV+, and Disney+ would likely need to scramble to procure enough content to meet the minimum requirement or shut down in the EU. Netflix likely already has an appropriate product mix, but it would depend greatly on how much of any given production has to be done in the EU.

The Minister has noted that the content can include content produced by the United Kingdom, even post-Brexit, which may make the criteria easier to meet for certain services.

The proposition comes at a time when Apple is currently facing myriad of other legal issues, including multiple antitrust investigations, both at home and abroad.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 64
    red oakred oak Posts: 919member
    You ever get the feeling the EU has been a failed effort? 
    aderutterlkruppanantksundaramSpamSandwichkillroyviclauyycentropysJWSCzeus423elijahg
  • Reply 2 of 64
    I remember when Netflix service in the UK was very poor with very little content worth watching; so people simply used VPNs to access the US Netflix. If this bill comes to pass, expect the customer to suffer because it will simply reduce the quantity of material available.

    e.g. If Netflix had 5% EU content and 95% non-EU content, they will simply remove non-EU content and not increase EU content. They will go from proportionally 100 programs to 18 programs. How is that a win for consumers?
    entropysJWSCmuthuk_vanalingamsteven n.razorpit
  • Reply 3 of 64
    I’d like to be able to filter out non-US, non-English-language native shows. Majority are horrid.
    zeus423fahlmanrazorpit
  • Reply 4 of 64
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,995member
    I'm against quota systems in general and prefer other lines of action. That said, for EU markets, it would be easy to comply with a 30% content requirement for the companies involved.

    The problem is that it might mean getting even less decent content to users which is hard to come by nowadays. 
    killroymuthuk_vanalingamrazorpit
  • Reply 5 of 64
    aderutter said:
    I remember when Netflix service in the UK was very poor with very little content worth watching; so people simply used VPNs to access the US Netflix. If this bill comes to pass, expect the customer to suffer because it will simply reduce the quantity of material available.

    e.g. If Netflix had 5% EU content and 95% non-EU content, they will simply remove non-EU content and not increase EU content. They will go from proportionally 100 programs to 18 programs. How is that a win for consumers?
    Or they pay for the mandated EU content (which no one wants otherwise it'd already be there) and pass the cost on to EU customers. A nice little bit of wealth redistribution from the working classes to the rich media folks.

    Why does the thought never cross the minds of the European ruling classes to encourage starting a streaming service and compete in a free market where people will choose what they want?

    We replaced Netflix with Britbox. Great British content. Love it. Much, much smarter comedy. American comedy by comparison is mostly like still thinking fart jokes are funny. We chose to pay for what we like in a free and open market. Other people who don't want what we want are free to pay for whatever they like. Why can't EU countries offer EUTube or something? People will pay for it if it's any good. And perhaps herein lies the problem.

    So EU customers are destined to either pay more, have less content or both. As Reagan said, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help."
    ionicleviclauyycentropysJWSCsteven n.elijahgNotoriousDEVgeorgie01mike1
  • Reply 6 of 64
    DoomFreakDoomFreak Posts: 19unconfirmed, member
    The problem with Netflix is that it has too much EU content. I am cancelling that one.  It has a vast amount of programs that are foreign and have dubbed audio.  The result is crap.  If the actors were any good it is masked by dubbed audio that makes them look ridiculous.  ... and they are charging more for that garbage.  I have enough to watch with all my other services.  I get frustrated because I can never find anything on it anymore.  Once my son is done watching whatever he is watching, Netflix is gone.  I get Prime that has a ton of stuff and I would be paying for Prime anyway.  Hulu is cheaper, even with the no commercials added option.  I get the feeling that many others will do the same and drop Netflix.  It seems like the obvious one to cut.
  • Reply 7 of 64
    ppietrappietra Posts: 278member
    Is it so hard for people to understand that this is also about preserving cultural diversity in Europe? 
    The EU is made up of 27 countries, with 24 official languages! Only 2 of those countries have English as an official language. Do you think it is reasonable to expect an healthy local culture in the future when streaming services only have American shows? A similar law already applies to local networks. TV is not just a business.
    NumNutsanome
  • Reply 8 of 64
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,504member
    ppietra said:
    Is it so hard for people to understand that this is also about preserving cultural diversity in Europe? 
    The EU is made up of 27 countries, with 24 official languages! Only 2 of those countries have English as an official language. Do you think it is reasonable to expect an healthy local culture in the future when streaming services only have American shows? A similar law already applies to local networks. TV is not just a business.

    I get it, but why should that responsibility be put on US companies? Aren't there streaming/content companies in the EU that their citizens can sign up for?

    It seems to me that the EU is more interested in litigating fair competition rather than actually competing.
    SpamSandwichrhbellmorviclauyyczeus423JWSCsteven n.NotoriousDEVgeorgie01razorpit
  • Reply 9 of 64
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 870member
    If there's a country who doesn't think the world outside of its boundaries exists, it's the US. Shithole countries as Trump says. His comments about the Oscar winning picture "Parasite" makes that clear. 

    Frankly, I find it next to impossible to find foreign films in the US. 

    Take Disney for example. In my travels I've been able to watch their films like Dumbo, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, etc in other languages, but I could not buy or rent these foreign language versions in the US. For example, I've never seen The Little Mermaid in English (La Sirenita)  -- I know the movie only in Spanish -- it's just wonderful, especially the actor for Ursula (played by Pat Carroll in the English version). 

    In contrast to the US, I routinely meet citizens in Europe who speak 3-4 languages. Even the street vendors in Egypt speak 5-6 languages sufficiently to sell their wares to foreign tourists. 
  • Reply 10 of 64
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,319member
    mjtomlin said:
    ppietra said:
    Is it so hard for people to understand that this is also about preserving cultural diversity in Europe? 
    The EU is made up of 27 countries, with 24 official languages! Only 2 of those countries have English as an official language. Do you think it is reasonable to expect an healthy local culture in the future when streaming services only have American shows? A similar law already applies to local networks. TV is not just a business.

    I get it, but why should that responsibility be put on US companies? Aren't there streaming/content companies in the EU that their citizens can sign up for?

    It seems to me that the EU is more interested in litigating fair competition rather than actually competing.
    You get that it's about preserving local culture but don't get why the preserver would want to restrict imports of foreign culture?
    mike1
  • Reply 11 of 64
    ppietra said:
    Is it so hard for people to understand that this is also about preserving cultural diversity in Europe? 
    The EU is made up of 27 countries, with 24 official languages! Only 2 of those countries have English as an official language. Do you think it is reasonable to expect an healthy local culture in the future when streaming services only have American shows? A similar law already applies to local networks. TV is not just a business.
    Want to “preserve cultural diversity”? Then break up the EU. 
    rhbellmorviclauyycJWSCsteven n.elijahggeorgie01mike1razorpit
  • Reply 12 of 64

    mjtomlin said:
    ppietra said:
    Is it so hard for people to understand that this is also about preserving cultural diversity in Europe? 
    The EU is made up of 27 countries, with 24 official languages! Only 2 of those countries have English as an official language. Do you think it is reasonable to expect an healthy local culture in the future when streaming services only have American shows? A similar law already applies to local networks. TV is not just a business.

    I get it, but why should that responsibility be put on US companies? Aren't there streaming/content companies in the EU that their citizens can sign up for?

    It seems to me that the EU is more interested in litigating fair competition rather than actually competing.
    Quotas are for losers.
    rhbellmorJWSCNotoriousDEVrazorpit
  • Reply 13 of 64
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,504member
    crowley said:
    mjtomlin said:
    ppietra said:
    Is it so hard for people to understand that this is also about preserving cultural diversity in Europe? 
    The EU is made up of 27 countries, with 24 official languages! Only 2 of those countries have English as an official language. Do you think it is reasonable to expect an healthy local culture in the future when streaming services only have American shows? A similar law already applies to local networks. TV is not just a business.

    I get it, but why should that responsibility be put on US companies? Aren't there streaming/content companies in the EU that their citizens can sign up for?

    It seems to me that the EU is more interested in litigating fair competition rather than actually competing.
    You get that it's about preserving local culture but don't get why the preserver would want to restrict imports of foreign culture?

    Umm, forcing 30% European content, has nothing to do with restricting foreign culture... it's about enhancing and increasing European culture.
  • Reply 14 of 64
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,852member
    ppietra said:
    Is it so hard for people to understand that this is also about preserving cultural diversity in Europe? 
    The EU is made up of 27 countries, with 24 official languages! Only 2 of those countries have English as an official language. Do you think it is reasonable to expect an healthy local culture in the future when streaming services only have American shows? A similar law already applies to local networks. TV is not just a business.
    This is an extreme example for sure, but thought it funny.  I went scuba diving in Cuba back in late-2016.  I was there when Fidel Castro passed away.  Everything that was broadcasted on TV, every..single..day... were all government propaganda shows, Casto nationalism, and really, really bad shows.  It was terrible.  Some establishments had TV's playing current shows from the U.S., but they were hidden beyond plain site.  As I am fluent in Spanish, I would talk to the owners about this curiosity and they would tell me that the shows were bootlegged on USB sticks and that any shows not approved by the Cuban government were illegal.

    My point of mentioning that story is I can understand that preserving cultural diversity is important, but when the shows in their country sucks balls big-time, that quota system isn't going to work very well.  My guess is if that happens, the VPN industry will explode in Europe in order to get access to other shows in other countries.

    In the end, I find it shameful that the EU is telling streaming companies what to show even if it means losing money having shows no one wants to see.  If the content was good in their country, people would be watching it.
    rhbellmorJWSCNotoriousDEVgeorgie01razorpit
  • Reply 15 of 64
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,319member
    mjtomlin said:
    crowley said:
    mjtomlin said:
    ppietra said:
    Is it so hard for people to understand that this is also about preserving cultural diversity in Europe? 
    The EU is made up of 27 countries, with 24 official languages! Only 2 of those countries have English as an official language. Do you think it is reasonable to expect an healthy local culture in the future when streaming services only have American shows? A similar law already applies to local networks. TV is not just a business.

    I get it, but why should that responsibility be put on US companies? Aren't there streaming/content companies in the EU that their citizens can sign up for?

    It seems to me that the EU is more interested in litigating fair competition rather than actually competing.
    You get that it's about preserving local culture but don't get why the preserver would want to restrict imports of foreign culture?

    Umm, forcing 30% European content, has nothing to do with restricting foreign culture... it's about enhancing and increasing European culture.
    I don't really understand why you think these are different things, in this context.

    30% isn't even all that much.
  • Reply 16 of 64
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,950member
    ppietra said:
    Is it so hard for people to understand that this is also about preserving cultural diversity in Europe?
    It’s primarily about stimulating business in the EU and raising tax revenue.
    elijahg
  • Reply 17 of 64
    ppietrappietra Posts: 278member
    mjtomlin said:
    ppietra said:
    Is it so hard for people to understand that this is also about preserving cultural diversity in Europe? 
    The EU is made up of 27 countries, with 24 official languages! Only 2 of those countries have English as an official language. Do you think it is reasonable to expect an healthy local culture in the future when streaming services only have American shows? A similar law already applies to local networks. TV is not just a business.

    I get it, but why should that responsibility be put on US companies? Aren't there streaming/content companies in the EU that their citizens can sign up for?

    It seems to me that the EU is more interested in litigating fair competition rather than actually competing.
    If you make those arguments then you don’t get it. Culture is not just a business and as such it can not rely on an economic competition mentality.  
    the law applies to all. It applies to TV networks as well. Why wouldn’t streaming services operating inside the EU comply with those rules?
  • Reply 18 of 64
    ppietrappietra Posts: 278member
    cpsro said:
    ppietra said:
    Is it so hard for people to understand that this is also about preserving cultural diversity in Europe?
    It’s primarily about stimulating business in the EU and raising tax revenue.
    Actually no! This kind of rule is based on a decades old policy in some EU countries, like France and Spain, protecting cultural identity through local culture production. 
    edited December 2020
  • Reply 19 of 64
    mjtomlin said:
    crowley said:
    mjtomlin said:
    ppietra said:
    Is it so hard for people to understand that this is also about preserving cultural diversity in Europe? 
    The EU is made up of 27 countries, with 24 official languages! Only 2 of those countries have English as an official language. Do you think it is reasonable to expect an healthy local culture in the future when streaming services only have American shows? A similar law already applies to local networks. TV is not just a business.

    I get it, but why should that responsibility be put on US companies? Aren't there streaming/content companies in the EU that their citizens can sign up for?

    It seems to me that the EU is more interested in litigating fair competition rather than actually competing.
    You get that it's about preserving local culture but don't get why the preserver would want to restrict imports of foreign culture?

    Umm, forcing 30% European content, has nothing to do with restricting foreign culture... it's about enhancing and increasing European culture.
    “Enhancing and increasing European culture” is also known as “protectionism”.
    elijahgmike1razorpit
  • Reply 20 of 64

    cpsro said:
    ppietra said:
    Is it so hard for people to understand that this is also about preserving cultural diversity in Europe?
    It’s primarily about stimulating business in the EU and raising tax revenue.
    Exactly. It’s protectionism. Just like is done in China.
    zeus423razorpit
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