30 JAN 2023

Australia to impose local content streaming quotas by 2024

Streaming platforms will be required to invest in making local Australian content under new rules set to be introduced by mid-2024.

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Streaming platforms will be required to invest in making local Australian content under new rules set to be introduced by mid-2024, ABC News reported. The plans were announced by the Australian government as part of its “Revive National Cultural Policy,” a five-year plan to renew the country’s arts, entertainment and cultural sector.

Details of the new policy are still to be negotiated with both the streamers and the Australian film and television industry, but the sector has previously argued for 20% of revenue. These rules would also bring the streaming sector into line with free-to-air networks, which are already subject to local content quotas.

The streaming sector is already a significant producer of Australian screen content, spending more than $330 million on the local industry in the last two years. Anthony Stephen Burke, Australian Minister for the Arts, said that, while he appreciates the platforms are already voluntarily producing content, it should be a requirement.

"There is no requirement that Australian content be there at all, and the percentages of what we are seeing with Australian content are way down on what traditionally was expected on free to air,"  Burke said. "The days of there being no guarantee of Australian content on streaming services have to come to an end,"  he added.

This is not the first time that the debate on the contribution that streaming platforms should make has arisen in Australia. In fact, many players in the local audiovisual industry are not convinced that the government is taking the right approach. While content creators are mostly in favor, some broadcasters are concerned that this move will raise the price of Australian content, thus hurting local production. The same could happen, according to them, regarding rights, with more streamer-backed commissions meaning fewer opportunities for distributors.

The days of there being no guarantee of Australian content on streaming services have to come to an end.” Anthony Stephen Burke Australian Minister for the Arts

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