Netflix and Amazon will have to invest 25% of their turnover in France

Minister Franck Riester gathered the audiovisual and cinema industries on Tuesday to prepare for the implementation of the audiovisual reform that he presented at the end 2019.

The Ministry of Culture wants to set at 25% of turnover made in France the minimum rate that online video platforms like Netflix and Amazon must invest in French and European production, a level higher than that mentioned so far.

Minister Franck Riester on Tuesday brought together the audiovisual industries and cinema, to prepare for the implementation of the audiovisual reform which it presented at the end 2019, and which must be examined by the Parliament in April.

Rebalancing the rules of the game

This bill must considerably modernize the funding model for films and audiovisual works in France. The objective is to rebalance the rules of the game between television channels, subject to numerous regulatory obligations, and online platforms which have so far benefited from very light regulations.

To do this, online services like Netflix will have to comply with production investment obligations, as has already been the case for French channels for decades. And this, thanks to the transposition of the European directive known as AMS (audiovisual media services), made possible by this reform. The platforms will have to negotiate these investment obligations with the sectors concerned, but in the absence of professional agreements, it is a floor rate fixed by decree which will apply, once the law is promulgated.

Negotiations will open

And the Minister of Culture has set the bar very high: Franck Riester has confirmed a minimum rate of 16% for platforms broadcasting generalist content, as he had already mentioned in September, and above all, announced a level of 25% for those specializing in fictions, according to a document from the ministry consulted on Wednesday.

Special cases are planned, in particular for public service, thematic channels, or even services with payment for service (which will be apply a minimum rate of 15%). A period of intense negotiations, as these sectors are used to, will therefore begin, under the aegis of two “facilitators” appointed by the ministry, Pierre Sellal and Florence Philbert.

In September, Franck Riester had strongly emphasized the importance of these new obligations, and he had warned that if platforms like Netflix or Amazon failed to comply with them, an arsenal of sanctions would '' would apply, which could go as far as an outright ban on broadcasting their content in France.

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