Will the government finally force Netflix and co to create Australian content?

In contrast, Burke made it clear that he supports the idea of ​​a local content quota for Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Apple and the others (including Stan, which like this imprint is owned by Nine) and opposes a levy on Australian revenue rather than one Percentage of library content.

He also made it clear that he thought the 5 percent proposed by the then coalition government, combined with a largely self-regulating regime, was “too little, too late”. But in government, some senior figures in the streaming sector suspect, the full complexity of the situation has become all too apparent.

Arts Minister Tony Burke says Australia's cultural institutions are in a desolate state.

Arts Minister Tony Burke says Australia’s cultural institutions are in a desolate state.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“At one point, I had a feeling they were going to come up with an extremely high revenue-linked number — probably 20 percent,” says a senior figure who asked to remain anonymous. “But in the last few months, they feel like they’ve realized it’s not that simple.”

Says another, who predicts Monday’s announcement will not include a number at all: “They don’t have the modeling yet to predict what economic impact a given number will have, so they need to get that and then engage properly with the industry.” advise before including it. I think they’ll be kicking it in the streets for at least another six months.”

What is so irritating about the question of a uniform quota is that the streamers operate according to very different models.

Stan and Paramount+ are owned by companies that also own free-to-air TV channels (nine and 10, respectively) that are already subject to local content requirements (though these have been significantly watered down under the coalition), and they’re understandably eager to avoid double regulation.

Prime Video is just a part of the Amazon membership offering whose main purpose is to retain customers for the shopping experience; Calculating the revenue solely attributable to the streaming service would be extremely complicated and contestable. Apple+ is often offered as part of a bundle and serves as an incentive to keep customers in the Apple ecosystem; Just how much of the company’s Australian revenue comes from subscriptions alone could be similarly opaque. Disney+ and Netflix are streaming-only games, as are Britbox and AMC+ and a whole host of others, though they operate at vastly different economies of scale.

Chris Hemsworth at the launch of Thor Ragnarok in Sydney in 2017. Disney has argued that the production of such films should count towards any local content obligations.

Chris Hemsworth at the launch of Thor Ragnarok in Sydney in 2017. Disney has argued that the production of such films should count towards any local content obligations.Credit:James Alcock

There are additional complications as well. Disney is a major producer in this country and wants everything it spends on a Marvel movie, for example, to count towards its commitments. Forcing all streamers to commit to Australian content could hurt Stan by removing his differentiator of focus on Australian-made productions. Netflix’s (and Disney’s) recent financial woes have shown that streaming might not be the industry’s magic pudding after all.

Supporters of streaming quotas insist they are essential to ensure sustainable levels of investment in Australian screen stories and that reflecting ourselves on screen is vital to the health of our cultural life. At least publicly, streamers (and FTA broadcasters) agree with the latter part of this equation. They just don’t think they need to be forced to do it.


In their contributions to the review, which has influenced the development of Labour’s national culture policy, both Netflix and Amazon cited the $628 million streamers spent on “Australian or Australia-related” content in 20121-22 as evidence of your engagement. That was up from $268 million in the previous year, and it’s about five times the combined investment of commercial free-to-air channels Foxtel and Screen Australia in Australian drama, children’s films and documentaries, the genres that are currently subsidized – Quota Obligations for Non-Streamers.

It should be noted that streaming spend includes sports documentaries, comedy and reality programming and if these were included across the board, free-to-air and pay-tv spend for Australian content would far outstrip that for streaming cast the shadow.

Australia is undeniably in the midst of a manufacturing boom. A record $2.29 billion was spent on scripts and television (including overseas shows) in Australia last year, up from the previous record of $1.94 billion set a year earlier.

“What exactly is the problem they’re trying to solve here?” asks a senior streaming expert, adding that increased commitments in a sector already struggling with shortages of crew and facilities will only lead to inflation will.

The answer lies in the question of trust.

There are those on the production side who believe streamers only increased spending in anticipation of regulation to prove they are good citizens who need no more than a velvet touch to guide them.

There is also the question of sustainability. Lobby group Screen Producers Australia, which wants a 20 per cent quota, believes the current production boom is only a temporary slump “and should therefore not be the basis for any lasting policy development”.

This debate has smoldered and occasionally raged since Netflix officially entered the Australian market in 2015. It has dragged on for so long in part because of the complexity within the sector, its interdependence with FTA television and the rapid evolution of technology delivery.

Everyone is expecting Tony Burke on Monday to at least reveal which streamers will be subject to a levy and set out the principles for the quota system his government will implement. Not putting a number on it would no doubt be greeted with groans from the manufacturing sector, but given the complexity that lies ahead, it might not be the worst idea in the world.

Email the author at kquinn@theage.com.au or follow him on Facebook at karlquinnjournalist and on Twitter @karlkwin.

Find out the next TV, streaming series and movies to add to your must-sees. Get The Watchlist delivered to you every Thursday.

https://www.smh.com.au/culture/tv-and-radio/will-the-government-finally-force-netflix-and-co-to-make-australian-content-20230127-p5cfyw.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Will the government finally force Netflix and co to create Australian content?

Jaclyn Diaz

InternetCloning is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@internetcloning.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button