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PRODUCTION / FUNDING France

Netflix, Amazon and Disney+ enter into the French funding system

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- The three streamers have signed agreements and are set to invest 16% of their turnover in France in French and European audiovisual productions, while film investment quotas are yet to be confirmed

Netflix, Amazon and Disney+ enter into the French funding system

The implementation of the European Audiovisual Media Services Directive which looks to regulate the activities of SVoD platforms and ensure they contribute towards the funding of creation, is now a reality in France, at least with regard to audiovisual production. Indeed, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ have all signed agreements with the CSA (French Broadcasting Authority) ratifying the provisions of the French transposition decree dated 22 June 2021.

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For the record, the French plan requires On-Demand Audiovisual Media Service Providers to contribute up to 20% of their turnover in France to French creation, with 80% of this sum going to audiovisual production and 20% to film production. Netflix, Disney + and Amazon Prime Video all agreed to sign a contract in respect of audiovisual production, however, pending an interprofessional agreement (which is currently the focus of complex negotiations – read our news) which overhauls media chronology windows (whereby film are made available for broadcast by different parties at different times), the movie side of the deal is yet to be signed. Consequently, the CSA has notified platforms of their investment obligations vis-à-vis film production. The very same notification process has been set in motion to remind Apple of their new legal obligations, while another five On-Demand Audiovisual Media Service Providers are also due to sign agreements with the CSA, failing which they will be notified of their obligations before the end of 2021.

The overall sum expected to be paid towards audiovisual and film production by Audiovisual Media Service Providers is €250 to €300m per year, according to the  calculations of the CSA, who are congratulating themselves on this huge step forwards: "until now, national broadcasters were the only parties expected to contribute towards the creation funding system. At a time when audiovisual options are changing and access to on-demand works is growing in such a delinearised fashion, these agreements and notifications confirm the concrete involvement of major international players in the audiovisual and film industry. This is a huge step forwards for the French and European cultural model".

It’s worth noting that, whilst welcoming this new and ambitious regulation, the members of France’s SACD (Society of Authors and Playwrights) were disappointed that the platforms signing agreements with the CSA were only obliged to dedicate 75% of their investments to original French works (whereas all the other major operators are obliged to invest 85%), that minimum investment quotas were fixed, especially with regard to animation (at a level deemed far too low by the SACD) and documentaries, and without prior consultation with French industry professionals, and that 5% of platforms’ investment obligations might not appertain to heritage works (fiction, animation, creative documentaries, live performances).

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(Translated from French)

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