Apple TV+ may struggle to meet European quotas for locally-produced content at launch

Apple TV+, coming this fall, is the new home for the world’s most celebrated creative artists
Apple TV+, coming this fall, is the new home for the world’s most celebrated creative artists

Apple may initially struggle to meet local programming and investment obligations in Europe that include the requirement that their catalog offers at least 30% European content by the end of 2020.

Elsa Keslassy for Variety:

It’s still unclear how that 30% will be assessed — according to number of hours or number of titles — but officials are expected to clarify the issue by the end of this year. “It’s going to be a challenge for the European Commission to come up with a fair system for the quota,” says Ed Border of London-based consultancy Ampere Analysis. Counting either by titles or hours could be open to abuse.

Going by number of titles, European works account for 20%-30% of [Netflix’s and Amazon Prime Video’s] offerings in the biggest markets, thanks to a mix of acquisitions and original productions in countries such as the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus won’t have nearly as much content at launch, but meeting the 30% threshold is likely to take a while… Ampere estimates that Apple TV Plus will bow in Europe with 38 titles, including movies and seasons of TV series, only 6.2% of which are from Europe. Disney Plus is expected to launch with about 982 titles, 4.7% of which are from Europe.

MacDailyNews Take: The requirement is part of a a ruling by the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education regarding rules on audiovisual media services:

In order to support the cultural diversity of the European audiovisual sector, MEPs ensured that 30% of content should be European, also in the video-on-demand platforms’ catalogues.

Video-on-demand platforms are also asked to contribute to the development of European audiovisual productions, either through a direct investment in content or a contribution to national funds. The level of contribution in each country should be proportional to their on-demand revenues in that country (member states where they are established or member states where they target the audience wholly or mostly).

The EU penalty on streamers for failing to meet the quota by the end of 2020 is unknown.

More info here.


  1. I suspect the ‘fair’ way to avoid abuse would be to do a mixture of both. A certain percentage of titles of a minimum length. e.g. 30% of all content with each title counted towards that percentage being a minimum length of 30 min.

      1. These aren’t Europeans. These are MEPs. Just like I’m the US the government doesn’t know what is best for us. If the European people don’t want to watch American entertainment, they won’t, and the streaming services will have to adapt.

        1. I vehemently disagree. Most of these web companies are American. For european countries who don’t have the economic capacity to compete with US brands it’s very easy to saturate the market rather quickly. And in this case we are not only talking about a product’s market share but also of the cultural content that is distributed.

        2. Schmluss, if it were not for content requirements, Europeans and Canadians would not have anything but American programs to watch, because the US market is so big that it can sell shows cheaper per eyeball than producers in foreign markets. An American monopoly would not only be a problem for local content producers, but for any effort to maintain a national culture that is not smothered by US TV values.

  2. Glorious President Trump will fix this. How dare those Yurpeeans write laws that restrict US profits!

    Also the POTUS didn’t quip pro qua so he cannot possibly be guilty of anything. If he doesn’t state that he is breaking the law, then he isn’t. #ExecutivePrivlage

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