Streaming platforms to be made to help finance Flemish fiction

The Flemish Government has announced that Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services are to be made to make a financial contribution to help pay for the production of Flemish films and series. Currently companies that distribute linear television services such as Telenet, VOO and Proximus pay around 1.3 euro/subscriber/annum to subsidise the production of Flemish. 

This is either through the sponsorship of a specific series or by giving money to the Flemish media fund.  However, up until now streaming services such as Amazon and Netflix have not been obliged to do so. Such services are growing in popularity and have an ever growing number of subscribers.

In the Spring, the Flemish Media Minister Sven Gatz (liberal) announced that he was working on a bill that in line with a new EU directive, would oblige streaming service to make a financial contribution towards Flemish fiction.    

Providers such as Netflix are being given the choice to either invest in Flemish series and films directly or to transfer a lump sum to the Flemish Audio-visual Fund. The Media Media has set a figure of 2% of turnover in the second year prior to the year in which the contribution is made.

All providers with an annual turnover of 500,000 euro or more will be obliged to pay up. Streaming services that don’t state in time which of the options the chosen will be obliged to pay 3 million euro to the Flemish Audio-visual fund. The new rules come into force from next year.