Online streaming services including Netflix and Amazon could be required to contribute financially towards the development of European content.
In its report on the audiovisual media services directive, the European Parliament’s culture committee proposed EU member states could ask on-demand platforms to give money to national funds or invest directly in their own productions. Contributions would be proportional to the revenues in the country where they would contribute.
Rapporteur Petra Kammerevert (S&D, DE) said: “To increase quotas for video on demand offers does not necessarily ensure a stimulation of new European audiovisual content, but it is a clear EU policy signal. Such a quota should be achievable and should not be an undue burden on anybody”. “At the same time, we want to enable member countries to commit video on demand platforms to payments of national film funds that can stimulate the production of new European works”.
The committee of MEPs also proposed children should have the same protection whether they are watching TV, a web-shared video or a web-streamed film.
Under the proposals video-sharing platforms would be required to take action if users flagged content as inciting violence, hatred or terrorism.
Rapporteur Sabine Verheyen (EPP, DE) said: “One of our main priorities is the protection of minors. We proposed adapting some of the rules applying to programmes on television to internet services, such as rules on advertising, product placement and sponsorship. Certain advertising in programmes aimed at a children’s audience will be restricted, allowed only to a very limited extent or will be prohibited in general.”
To reflect Europe’s cultural diversity, MEPs called for a 30 per cent quota of European works in on-demand platform catalogues, instead of the 20 per cent proposed by the EU Commission. The quota would include works in the languages of the countries where they are distributed.
Commenting on the proposals EBU said the report would strengthen EU Member States’ freedom to give appropriate prominence to audiovisual media.
“The EBU also welcomes an adapted definition of video-sharing platforms, which is better adapted to future developments, and the application of qualitative advertising and sponsoring rules for these platforms, said EBU Head of European Affairs Nicola Frank. “We would however have preferred to see the hourly limit for advertising on linear services being maintained. Moving away from this rule could have negative consequences for the value of TV advertising and subsequent investment in original European content.”
A vote on the proposals will take place in May.