The dominance of American media across the globe means we don’t have to worry about our culture being drowned out by foreign media, but that same dominance also makes it to where foreign countries have to worry about American media drowning out their culture. That’s why many European countries require local broadcasters to devote a certain amount of their programming to European content, and now the European Commission is considering a proposal that would force streaming services like Amazon and Netflix to do the same.
In addition to a 20 percent European content quota, new legislation would allow countries, such as France, to force streaming giants to invest in European films and TV series. The European Commission wants to impose a quota on on-demand and streaming video services, such as Netflix and Amazon, forcing them to ensure European content makes up at least 20 percent of the films and TV shows in the catalogs. In addition, the Commission proposed Wednesday to allow individual European governments to force online companies to comply with their national quota systems, even if the companies are based outside the country in question. The Commission unveiled the proposals in Brussels on Wednesday as part of a broad overhaul of European laws regulating the online world. The 20 percent quota is unlikely to have much immediate impact on Netflix and peers. A recent study by the European Audiovisual Observatory found that European films already make up 27 percent of all titles on online video platforms across Europe. The average for Netflix and iTunes is 21 percent, well within the proposed quota.