Apple’s original TV shows will have to abide by EU quotas

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Apple needs to source a percentage of its shows from Europe.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

As Apple makes moves to become a provider of streaming video content, it will be among the companies bound by new EU laws, stating that companies dedicate at least 30 percent of their on-demand catalogs to local content.

Roberto Viola, head of the European Commission department which regulates this area, says that the laws are on track to be enshrined in December. “We just need the final vote, but it’s a mere formality,” he recently told trade publication Variety.

The laws will affect companies such as Netflix, Amazon, and anyone else who produces and streams subscription content. It means that at least 30 percent of such commissioned content will need to be made up of TV series and movies produced in Europe. It could also mean charging extra fees.

According to Variety these companies will, “be required to fund TV series and films produced in Europe by commissioning content, acquiring it or paying into national film funds through a small surcharge added to their subscription fee, something which is already happening in Germany. Netflix tried unsuccessfully to fight the German surcharge in court.”

Member states in the EU will also have the opportunity to raise the quota from 30 percent to 40 percent.

The move is an attempt to get streaming companies to increase their investment in Europe. In October, the EU will publish preliminary figures showing the percentage of European works that are already present on different streaming platforms.

Apple’s current development slates

At present, Apple has in excess of 20 original series in various states of development. While the majority of the high profile commissions involve production companies based in the U.S., Apple has signed some Europe-centric content, such as what could prove to be its first animated feature film, and an experimental remake of a French short story series.

Apple has yet to reveal exactly how it plans to distribute its contents — although analysts suggest it could rake in billions of dollars for the companyPopular theories range from giving its shows away for free to launching its own Netflix-style streaming subscription service.

Source: Variety