EU Streaming Content Quota
Netflix increased their European content production by a third in 2019 and has indicated efforts to further this investment.
- According to Bloomberg, streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon currently do not have enough European content to reach the 30% quota.
- Netflix and Amazon dominate the European SVOD market and together account for 80% of SVOD subscriptions (45.7% Netflix and 34.7% Amazon) and 74% of revenues (51% Netflix and 23% Amazon).
- According to Ampere Analysis, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google are on a commissioning spree to meet the quota, with Netflix leading the way.
- As of July 2018, Netflix was only halfway to the quota in France, Amazon only had 13% in Italy, both companies were tied at 16% in Spain, Netflix had 17% and Amazon 18% in the UK and Netflix had 19% in Germany while Amazon presented a more solid 27%.
- An article released in January 2019 by Bloomberg showcased the following numbers:
- Germany: Amazon Prime — 30%, Netflix — 23%, Sky/Now TV — 30%
- Spain: Amazon Prime — 19%, Netflix — 20%, Sky/Now TV — 9%
- Italy: Amazon Prime — 17%, Netflix — 21%, Sky/Now TV — 21%
- UK: Amazon Prime — 13%, Netflix — 20%, Sky/Now TV — 20%
- France: Amazon Prime — 21%, Netflix — 20%, Sky/Now TV — 0%
- Netflix is already working on expanding its European production, with an increase in Netflix original and co-produced and licensed European content. The company stated in November 2018, that it is to increase its slate of European titles by a third in 2019.
- In 2018, there were 81 Netflix original European productions and 60 co-produced and licensed European content versus 153 and 68 in 2019, respectively.
- Netflix director of public policy, Benjamin King stated that they still do not know how the quota is going to be calculated, but that they are confident that they will be able to reach it.
- In 2018, Netflix launched its first European production hub in Madrid and 20 original Netflix productions are taking place in the country since 2018.
- In the fourth quarter of 2018, Netflix announced 24 new European titles, which is the equivalent of their total for the region in 2017 and represents 22% of its upcoming catalog.
- The streaming service also announced a rights deal with the Roald Dahl Company, with ambitions to produce a broad raft of children’s titles based on Dahl’s books.
- Pushing to reach the quota, European titles make up 29% of Netflix’s announcement in the first quarter of 2019.
- This push is responsible for a huge spike in announced European titles, that climbed from 3rd to 2nd position when it comes to new titles by region, losing only to North America.
- Experts predict that Netflix will end up adding over 4000 hours of European content to its UK catalog to meet the new quotas.
- Netflix is set to spend $1 billion in European original productions, more than double what it spent in 2018.
- In July 2019, Netflix announced the UK production hub at Shepperton Studios. In 2018, there were 40 Netflix originals and co-productions across Britain and that number is set to increase in 2019, with Netflix currently working on 50 live projects out of the UK.
- Amazon has responded with a different approach in Europe. So far, the company has focused on co-productions with national broadcasters that views as major distribution channels.
- Amazon is also planning to produce more originals by setting up a European production hub.
We began our research with well-regarded general and business media sources such as Forbes, Bloomberg, Variety, among others. Although these sources offered some insights, the information gathered from them lacked the degree of specificity our research team required to develop a full picture of the major streaming platforms' responses to upcoming content quotas in the EU.
Next, we turned to the web presence of the platforms themselves, gathering information from press releases and media coverage about content strategies as they relate to the upcoming quotas. This strategy failed to produce the granularity our research team needed.
Finally, we turned to corporate, financial and investor reports published by the major streaming platforms. These sources provided a great deal of detailed information about current expenditures and investments but remained coy concerning future strategies.
One trend that emerged from our research is that despite the high number of articles and news reports covering this matter, when explored, the preponderance of these articles turned out to be using the same handful of original information sources. This creates the illusion that this matter has been thoroughly examined and reported upon when, in fact, the major streaming platforms have failed to release a great deal of information about their business strategies vis-à-vis meeting these EU content quotas.