The Dutch government is one step closer to implementing its “Netflix tax”
- Streaming services with a turnover of at least €10 million will be obliged to invest at least 5% either by co-producing Dutch content or by buying recent Dutch series and films
Last week, the Dutch House of Representatives approved a bill requiring large streaming services to invest a proportion of their revenue in local productions.
According to a statement released by the government on Tuesday 6 June, streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+, which generate more than €10 million in revenue in the Netherlands, will be obliged to invest at least 5% of those sales either by co-producing Dutch content or by acquiring recent Dutch series and films. Moreover, some 60% of these series and documentaries must be the work of independent production companies.
Interestingly, an amendment to the legislation backed by the coalition and right-wing parties has made it possible for reality shows and game shows to be included in this agreement, and these could account for as much as half of the investment.
The Dutch government estimates the law will generate at least €40 million in additional investments in the country’s film and television sector. The new provision is set to enter into force after approval by the Dutch Senate. The plan was drawn up by the Secretary of State for Culture and Media Gunay Uslu.
We reached out to Doreen Boonekamp, a seasoned Dutch audiovisual expert and former CEO of the Netherlands Film Fund, for her reaction. When asked whether the 5% obligation is a fair percentage or merely a starting point, Boonekamp opted for the latter, “especially because only half of this amount has to be spent on films, documentaries and series, and only a minimum of 60% has to be invested in independent productions.” Nonetheless, she described the provision as “a step towards strengthening the Dutch production sector and levelling the playing field with other countries in Europe.”
Speaking about how streamers might react, as more and more European countries align to the AVSMD, Boonekamp stated: “Most other countries have decided to align investment obligations and levies with the AVMSD, so one might consider the framework in the Netherlands to be fairly modest. In the past few years, more streamers have started to invest in Dutch productions. However, now all streamers with turnovers of more than €10 million in the Netherlands will be required to invest 5% in Dutch productions and to comply with the sub-quota for films, documentaries and series, and for independent productions which keep their share of the rights.”
“This investment obligation might help Dutch films, documentaries and series to become more competitive, both in the Netherlands and abroad, if investments are made to raise the level of Dutch output and to focus on quality rather than quantity, by using the power of independent production and co-production to attract the best talents and finance from different sources.”
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