Entertainment

Australia imposes local content quotas on streaming platforms – The Hollywood Reporter


Australia is preparing to impose local content quotas on streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, the government said on Monday.

The new plan is part of a long-running national cultural policy called “Revive” and the government promises that the quota will come into effect no later than July 1, 2024. The framework is published. Monday’s is obviously very detailed, however, given the exact proportion of Australian local content that global streaming services will be required to produce and distribute is left to negotiate further.

The Australian government said on Monday that it would take “necessary action” to prevent Australian storytelling from being “submerged” by foreign shows, particularly from Hollywood and the United States.

“The Government has committed to taking the necessary action so that Australians can continue to see and listen to quality content they produce, regardless of the platform they are using. It is important that streaming services invest in key genres, including children’s content, screenplays and documentaries,” the policy framework reads.

Major US streaming companies, including Netflix and Disney+, have produced a number of original Australian films as part of their local content strategy, albeit in limited quantities. Netflix hit a breakout success late last year with the revival of its hit Australian high school series, high heartache. And Disney+ has launched a number of local docuseries, including female sports programming Fearless: The Inside Story of AFLW and Australian shipwreck hunter.

The ‘Revival’ policy shows that Australians now watch more content on streaming platforms than through traditional broadcasters and the local subscription video industry is up 50% by 2021. total revenue of $1.7 billion (AU$2.4 billion).

The Australian display industry has been lobbying its government for years to impose content quotas on major global streamers. Screen Producers Australia has promoted a model whereby platforms must spend 20 per cent of their local revenue on Australian productions. But with the variety of monetization models and the range of local and international partner streaming operators used in Australia, mapping out policy details remains complicated. The clarity of what qualifies as “Australia” content is also still to be determined.

The Australian government says it will continue to hold consultations with streaming companies and local industry groups until the legislation is introduced in the third quarter of 2023. Industry observers look forward to it. Expect this policy to include: a required portion of revenue to be spent on Australian content; requirements for privileged genres, such as documentaries and children’s content; and minimum shipping quotas for “discoverable” Australian content across all platforms, among other commercial terms.

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