These are eventful times for video on demand services in Poland.
At the beginning of this month new rules came into effect requiring such services to pay 1.5% of their income to the Polish Film Institute (PISF). Although there has to date been little public reaction to this so-called “Netflix tax”, TVN Discovery Polska, which operates Player.pl, has said that it has no objections as it already supports, and indeed works with, the Polish film industry.
Netflix, on the other hand, may have a slightly different view. Although it, too, supports the local film industry, it will now become the largest contributor to the PISF, paying up to €1.5 million a year into its coffers.
In another important development, it was reported earlier this week that TVN Discovery Polska and Cyfrowy Polsat have submitted an application to the European Commission to launch a joint platform. News of their plans first became known last October, when it was announced that the platform would be operated as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) by the two parties on a 50:50 basis. Start up costs would be capped at €14 million (€7 million) and the service made available to viewers both in and outside Poland. The latter has made it necessary to obtain approval from the European authorities as well as Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK).
While TVN Discovery Polska and Cyfrowy Polsat intend to retain their existing on demand services following the new platform’s launch, they will still find themselves playing catch-up with the market leader Netflix. This will be despite the latter predicting in its latest set of results a global slowdown in paid memberships in the second half of this year following a record 10.1 million acquisitions in Q2, compared to 2.7 million last year.
For more information about Chris Dziadul, please visit https://www.chrisdziadul.com