Denmark authorities decided to rework their controversial plan to implement a bill that would have seen streamers paying a 6% levy on local revenues, TBI reported. The move comes just days after the country voted in a new coalition government, with the centre-left social democrats, the centre-right liberal parties and the centrist moderate party agreeing to work together.
The Danish audiovisual sector has been in crisis since last year due to a payment dispute between some streaming platforms and the actor-director union Create Denmark. For this reason, practically all the projects that were in development ended up being paused for an indefinite period of time.
Compounding this was the plan for a 6% levy on streamer revenues, which the previous Danish government had looked to introduce but which many production groups said would hit local commissions. However, the new coalition has said that while it will implement much of the Media Agreement struck in May, it would “explore the possibility of replacing the cultural contribution” scheme.
“We will explore the possibility of changing the Cultural Contribution to a model whereby the streaming services can choose between an obligation to invest in Danish-language content or pay a levy – as well as making further adjustments,” the government said in its Foundation statement.
Local sources told TBI that it remains to be seen how the changes will be implemented, partly because several parties that had voted for the Media Agreement in May are now not part of the coalition. That could mean the entire agreement has to be “scrapped and started from scratch,” according to one source.
● OPPOSITION FROM THE EUROPEAN VOD COALITION
The European VOD Coalition, an association created back in May by some major video-on-demand companies, claimed a plan to create a 6% streamer levy in Denmark will devastate the country’s creative sector. A statement slammed the proposed to create a “Cultural Contribution Act” and urged the new Danish government to “show leadership and true support for its production ecosystem by rethinking it,” and specifically dropping the streamer tax.
“It is clear that the proposal as it currently stands will be damaging for the whole creative ecosystem. The levy will chase production away rather than foster investment and partnership,” the European VOD Coalition statement said. “Coalition members are committed to investing in high quality Danish and European productions and seek a sustainable, long-term framework that rewards and encourages investment rather than double taxing success,” it added.