Amazon and Netflix may have a few more subtitled films in the near future. The European Union is proposing an updated set of broadcasting rules that would force European-made movies to make up at least 20 percent of streaming catalogues.
The new rules, uncovered by the Financial Times, extend existing regulations already in place for traditional broadcasters. Under the new rules, Amazon and Netflix would have to devote financial resources toward producing content in Europe, which would likely lead to larger libraries of European movies and TV shows on the streaming networks.
The planned rules, set to be announced next week, would also force streaming players to feature European content prominently on their websites. This has lead Netflix to push back against the idea, arguing that it would upset their algorithmic homepage that shows titles users are most likely to want. It may also force streaming companies to buy cheap — and therefore poorly produced — European content over higher-quality content from outside the EU.
“Rigid numerical quotas risk suffocating the market for on-demand audiovisual media services,” Netflix told the Financial Times. “An obligation to carry content to meet a numerical quota may cause new players to struggle to achieve a sustainable business model.”
However, Netflix has been working on original productions outside the U.S. recently, including the poorly reviewed Marseille series. But the new rules would require a much higher investment in European series.
Right now, the new rules would only affect Netflix and Amazon, as smaller streaming startups would be exempt from the rule. But if other U.S. streaming services want to bring their libraries to the EU, they may have to add a few more foreign films first.