It's Official, Netflix and Amazon Now Have to Meet EU-Mandated Content Quotas

By Tom Pritchard on at

The EU has been mulling over having streaming services, Netflix and Amazon especially, meet quotas to ensure a ready supply of EU-produced content. The last we heard about this was back in September, when the EU had decided it was definitely going to demand these targets, but had to pass a vote through parliament. Now it's all official.

The EU voted to approve the new rules, and once they've been formally approved it will apply to streaming services, broadcasters, and video hosting sites operating in all EU member states. All of them will need to ensure their European catalogues contain at least 30 per cent European content, though individual EU states will have the option to increase that figure to 40 per cent. The last month the EU also pointed out that the laws required "visibility and prominence", meaning they can't purchase a bunch of local content and hide it away.

But that's not all. Those affected by the rules will also be asked to contribute money that will be used to boost European film and TV production. They've been asked to invest in shows, contribute to national subsidies, and offer monetary support. Advertising is to be made stricter as well, with calls to protect kids "from violence, hatred, terrorism and harmful advertising" on streaming services. If any of that gets flagged they have to take faster action to remove it, rather than just sitting around claiming it's not actually an issue.

Broadcast advertising is also going to take a hit, as was previous mentioned in April. Now the EU has said no more than 20 per cent of airtime can be dedicated to advertising between the hours of 6am and 6pm. The same is true for a designated 'prime time' between the hours of 6pm and midnight, meaning broadcasters have to show at least 80 per cent broadcast content when people are actually watching TV.

The rules still need to be approved by the EU council of ministers, and following this streaming services and broadcasters will have 21 months to get their act together - and make sure they don't fall behind. [EU via TechRadar]