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.
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.