Doctor Omega

Staff member
EU Imposing Quotas On Streaming Services


New laws set to go into place by the end of the year will see the likes of Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services who are operating in the European Union having to dedicate at least 30% of their on-demand catalogs to local content reports Variety.

Roberto Viola, head of the European Commission department that regulates communications networks, content and technology, says the rules are on track to be approved in December and include demands for visibility and prominence of European product on streamers.

Netflix, Amazon and other streamers will be required to fund TV series and films produced in Europe by commissioning content, acquiring it or paying into national film funds through a small surcharge added to their subscription fee.

The EU’s 28 member states will have twenty months to apply these new norms and countries ‘could choose to raise the quota from the 30% minimum to 40%’. Netflix reportedly isn’t that far off from having a 30% portion of European content on its platform already, but the rules are obviously to force them to up their investment in Europe.

Of course, the likely short-term solution is that many streamers will simply cut off access to various non-EU shows on the service available in EU countries so as to bring the overall number of shows available down until it meets the quota.

The report comes at the same time that CICAE, the International Confederation of Art Cinemas, has criticized the current Venice Film Festival and its director Alberto Barbera’s decision to screen films backed by Netflix in its competition line-up including the likes of Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” and the Coen brothers’ “The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs”.

Deadline reports that the group calls on Barbera to keep competition slots for ‘works of art that will be seen in cinemas internationally’. The group obviously stands with Thierry Fremaux, director of the Cannes Film Festival who this year took a stance to exclude films without a theatrical release in France from competition. They say that allowing films from streaming services: “encourages practices that endanger an important sector of the film industry. Cinema and television are different mediums, and cinematic films are made to be seen according to high-quality standards on the big screen.”

Part of the statement could be put down to professional jealousy. Barbera’s tenure at Venice since 2012 has been a huge success, leading to the festival rivalling Toronto to become the biggest launchpad for potential Best Picture Oscar winners. At the same time, Cannes has slowly been fading out of the limelight and isn’t seen as the shining beacon of cinematic excellence it once was.

Asked by the same outlet in an interivew this week about Cannes’ stance against Netflix and the like, Barbera says: “I think they [Cannes] have been too strict to defend a form of cinema that belongs to the past. I agree the best way to see a movie is on the big screen but I don’t think the big screen experience is going anywhere. However, we do need to work to educate the younger generations about cinema.”

Doctor Omega

Staff member
Apple’s SVOD Aims Not To Offend Anyone


It has a $1 billion budget and multiple projects in development, but questions about the product on Apple’s upcoming streaming on-demand service have been on the rise and now The Wall Street Journal has posted a report which says the company’s need to protect its image is proving a problem.

The paper says Apple’s own staff in Los Angeles have begun referring to the streaming project as “expensive NBC”. This is said to be due to the fact the company, in order to maintain its pristine brand image, is intent on keeping all its content offerings family-friendly and so unlikely to raise anyone’s ire that it is actually delaying and interfering with many projects.

Apple has bought more than a dozen shows, favoring broadly appealing, family-friendly fare. However, they are reportedly going beyond just removing sex, profanity and violence as ‘drawn guns’ and religious iconography are an issue as well.

M. Night Shyamalan is producing a psychological thriller series for the service about a couple who lose a young child, but crucifixes in one of the sets had to allegedly be removed as Apple doesn’t want shows that venture into religious subjects or politics. The “Amazing Stories” reboot changed showrunners after Apple concluded the new take on the family anthology series was too dark.

The creative tweaking has impacted the company’s high-profile morning news program-themed series starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. That show, costing a whopping $12 million an episode if not more, has been delayed due to issues with an executive producer and Apple taking issue with the tone – they want a more upbeat sensibility and had issues with some of the humor.

Unhampered by the need to remain as uncontroversial as possible, Apple’s main competitors like Netflix, Amazon, and HBO have so far had no problem releasing gritty content with much larger production budgets.