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France: streaming platforms shall invest in local productions

Since July 1st, on demand audiovisual content platforms, such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max or Apple TV, must assign between a fifth and a quarter of their revenue to French local production.

A new decree in France forces large audiovisual content streamers to pay a significant tax: “They shall allocate at least 20% of the billing they perform in France in order to finance the production of European audiovisual and cinematographic works or in French language”, the Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, explained in a statement. This decree equals the tax obligations of such platforms with the remaining audiovisual services of the country. The percentage would increase by 25% for services which offer audiovisual content released in cinemas during the last year.

On its part, the French Government has eased platforms the possibility to disseminate films released during the last months, as opposed to the three years they had to wait before.

Likewise, regulations include diversity clauses as well as provisions to promote the broadcasting of independent productions, which have the purpose to prevent streamers from limiting to exhibit large budget films. This decree is part of an overall reform of the audiovisual sector, which seeks for a better and larger financing of French and European independent productions, in general.

The measure was announced in October 2020 by the Minister Bachelot herself, who compared the initiative to the one of the law on the sale of books of 1981, which stated a unique price throughout the country with the aim to protect small bookshops.

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