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Europe is about to make streaming services more European, at least in Europe


Streaming services that operate in Europe are about to become a bit more European — or pay a price to avoid it, reports Variety .

A new rule, which is all but signed, will require streaming services that operate in the EU to have at least 30 percent of their catalogs comprised of local content. Starting in December, the 28 members of the EU (for now, anyway) would have 20 months to get their content in order.

From Variety , which spoke to Roberto Viola, head of the European Commission department that regulates communications networks, content and technology:

Netflix, Amazon and other streamers will be required to fund TV series and films produced in Europe by commissioning content, acquiring it or paying into national film funds through a small surcharge added to their subscription fee, something which is already happening in Germany. Netflix tried unsuccessfully to fight the German surcharge in court.

Viola said that, starting in December, the EU's 28 member states would have 20 months to apply these new norms and that countries "could choose to raise the quota from the 30% minimum to 40%." EU nations can each choose whether the 30% includes sub-quotas on original productions in their countries and whether they want to follow the German model of adding a small surcharge on streamer subscription fees to support the national production fund.

Viola said Netflix already was pretty close to the 30 percent minimum.