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Proposed law will force Apple, Amazon, Netflix to produce 30% of streamed video in the EU

Video streaming services from Netflix and Amazon operating in the European Union will be forced to dedicate a portion of their content catalog to local TV shows and films under proposals said to be close to becoming law, one that could also affect Apple's rumored video content efforts.




The proposal would require services such as Amazon Instant Video and Netflix, among others, to ensure at least 30 percent of their on-demand catalogs are produced within Europe, reports Variety, though this could be raised to a minimum of 40 percent by individual countries.

Roberto Viola, in charge of the European Commission's department that regulates communications networks, content, and technology, advised to the report the new rules are on the path to be approved by December. "We just need the final vote, but it's a mere formality," claimed Viola.

Under the rules, streaming services would be required to fund content produced in Europe, including commissioning its own content, acquiring existing series from regional producers, or by contributing to national film funds. The latter is already occurring in Germany by way of an additional surcharge to the subscription fee, which Netflix failed to stop in court.

Once in force, the 28 EU member states would have 20 months to integrate the rules into their laws.

The European Union will be publishing figures in October advising what percentage of European-derived content appears on each service, which Viola advises is just to "help national regulators apply the rules" when they come into force. While 30 percent seems difficult to achieve, Viola also notes that Netflix is already quite close to achieving that figure.

While the proposals could cause issues for smaller services, such as Crunchyroll's catalog of primarily Japanese content, it also impacts services that have yet to arrive.

Apple is reportedly in the process of producing a large swathe of original video content, one that could form part of a bundle alongside Apple Music, News, and other content-based services it operates. While it is unknown how much of the estimated $1 billion Apple will spend on the effort is being used on projects sourced from Europe, the proposals could force Apple to consider increasing its overseas investment in content.