Amazon, Netflix face new EU guidelines on content in bid to level SVOD playing field

The European Union wants online video streaming giants Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) to devote a much larger portion of their libraries to regional content, an attempt by the governing body to force a more level playing field in the SVOD space, according to media reports.

The Financial Times first reported the proposed rules last week, which would require streaming providers based outside the EU to have a library made up of at least 20 percent European-produced content. The EU announced the proposal on May 25.

Furthermore, outside streaming services would have to financially contribute or support the production of European works if member states mandate it, under the proposed rules. That is perhaps of more concern to Netflix, which already has a library in the region composed of 21 percent European films and series.

"An obligation to carry content to meet a numerical quota may cause new players to struggle to achieve a sustainable business model," Netflix said in response to the report. It also could impact the quality of content libraries, with SVOD providers licensing less-than-ideal movies in order to meet catalog requirements.

Amazon, of course, has a pretty significant presence in Europe thanks to its industry-encompassing retail presence. Its streaming service is not present in all of the same countries as Netflix – Germany and U.K. subscribers to Prime get access to regional streaming, but Prime subs in France, Italy and Spain don't have streaming at all, at least not yet.

For more:
- see this GeekWire article
- see this Quartz article

Related articles:
Competition, consolidation, and … Cosmo? A look at OTT's year to come
Netflix has bright European future, but analysts sound caution about costs
Netflix shares slip on Sarandos' comments over content rights issues
NBCU's Seeso, PlayStation Vue, Starz headline SVOD launches in Q1 2016

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