Get ready to see a lot more local content on Netflix and Amazon Prime

New rules from the European Union are expected to soon force streaming services to dedicate at least 30% of their libraries to locally-made content. 

The legislation is set to come into force in December, after which point EU countries will have 20 months to apply them. 30% is a minimum for the amount of local content available, with countries free to go as high as 40%.

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Roberto Viola, the director general of the European Commission’s communications networks, content and technology department, is the representative leading the initiative.

Although there is a small chance the measures won’t pass in a vote, Viola told Variety that they’re expected to, and that the vote is more of a formality.

As well as choosing an exact percentage, individual countries will have a degree of freedom in how streaming services contribute to national film-making industries. Streaming services may be required to spend money on original productions or contribute to national film-making funds (such as the UK’s BFI Film Fund), or they may simply acquire locally produced content for distribution.

Local content from international players

Viola notes that Netflix is already close to hitting the 30% quota, which matches with what the company has already been saying about investing in locally produced content to drive up subscriber numbers.

In the last couple of years we’ve already seen Netflix put out shows such as the German-language ‘Dark’, Spanish ‘Money Heist’, and French ‘The Chalet’ in an attempt to entice more subscribers from their respective countries.

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As such, the implications of the new rules might not be quite as obvious in larger European nations. However, we’ll be interested to see what effect it has in smaller countries where domestic content might be harder to find.

Do you think it’s right for the EU to force Netflix and Amazon to embrace local content? Let us know @TrustedReviews.