Online Platforms Face Quotas for EU-Made Content


BRUSSELS: The European Commission has proposed a set of new guidelines that would require streaming platforms across the EU such as Netflix and Amazon to devote at least 20 percent of their catalogues to European movies and TV shows.

Currently, European broadcasters invest around 20 percent of their revenues in original content, but on-demand providers allocate less than 1 percent. The Commission is proposing that broadcasters continue to dedicate at least half of viewing time to European content and that at least 20 percent of the catalogues for on-demand platforms be European content. Member States would also be able to ask on-demand services available in their country to contribute financially to European programming.

Advertising was also addressed in the new directive, aiming to provide broadcasters more flexibility as to when ads can be shown. The overall limit of 20 percent of broadcasting time is maintained between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., but instead of the current “12 minutes per hour” rule, broadcasters would be able to choose more freely when to show ads throughout the day. Broadcasters and on-demand platforms would also have greater flexibility in how they use product placement and sponsorships.

Andrus Ansip, VP for the Digital Single Market, said: “I want online platforms and the audiovisual and creative sectors to be powerhouses in the digital economy, not weigh them down with unnecessary rules. They need the certainty of a modern and fair legal environment: that is what we are providing today. This means not changing existing rules that work, such as those related to the liability of online service providers. It also means deregulating where necessary for traditional sectors like broadcasting, or extending certain obligations to platforms and other digital players to improve user protection and to reach a level playing field.”

Günther H. Oettinger, commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, commented: “The way we watch TV or videos may have changed, but our values don’t. With these new rules, we will uphold media pluralism, the independence of audiovisual regulators and will make sure incitement to hatred will have no room on video-sharing platforms. We also want to ensure a level playing field, responsible behavior, trust and fairness in the online platforms environment, our today’s communication sets out our vision for that.”