European Commission: No Single Netflix and 20% Content Rule


Anyone who has used Netflix before, has traveled and tried to use Netflix while in another country, will be acutely aware of the issue of geoblocking. This is where services like Netflix (among many others) see restrictions being imposed on their content. While Netflix in different regions does curate content to reflect the viewing habits and needs of that region, it is also restricts some content to some regions. The reason behind this is not that Netflix does not want everyone to enjoy the same show, but licensing comes into effect. Some shows in some countries are subject to a 'first run' licensing deal and this means that Netflix and services like it, have to also abide by those licensing restrictions.

In Europe however, this is somewhat problematic as the European Commission is constantly striving to bring about a more universal approach to everything within the EU. In terms of streaming digital content, this would mean that everyone in the EU has the same rights and access to the same content. What the European Commission currently refers to as the 'Digital Single Market'. As a result the European Commission has been debating the plans for the Digital Single Market and whether services like Netflix will be able to offer same-content across the board to all countries in the EU. However, the latest is that will not be the case. At least not for now.


While announcing various measures which will look to bring more of a single market approach to online shopping and services, streaming services will not be part of that package and largely due to the licensing issue. In addition, the European Commission announcement details that streaming services like Netflix will have to ensure that 20-percent of their content is original European content. In fact, the EU would ideally like to see this number close to 50-percent, although the requirements will only look to stipulate 20-percent as the baseline. Up until now, on-demand services were exempt from a 20-percent rule that was applied to traditional TV broadcasters in Europe, where they had to ensure that 20-percent of their revenue went to 'original content'. As such, this is not exactly a hike specifically aimed at on-demand service providers, but more to do with bringing what is expected of them in line with what is expected from traditional TV broadcasters. Those interested in reading more about the announcement made today by the European Commission on the Digital Single Market, head through the source link below.

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John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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