The Federal Government is currently considering local quota requirements on larger streaming services as part of its Media Reform Green Paper.
“We’ve now received some feedback on that proposal, which we’re considering, as I mentioned in the speech as an interim measure, I’ve asked for formal annual reports from the major streaming players in Australia as to how much they’re spending with Australian producers,” Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said yesterday.
Recent reporting indicates Amazon Prime, Disney, Netflix and Stan spent over $150 million on Australian programs in 2019-20, however not all of that is for what some would define as Australian voices, Australian stories (Clickbait was written and produced by Australians but the characters are all US… similarly the recent Nine Perfect Strangers is set in LA). The bulk of the spend also goes to the expensive titles and not all of it remains in Australia.
Addressing the National Press Club yesterday, Paul Fletcher was also asked if any potential local quotas would cover commissioning of new work as opposed to just picking up existing local content?
“There are some very important definitional questions in there,” he replied. “Does it include new Commissions only? Or do you also get credit for acquisitions of existing programming?
“In policy terms new commissions is probably what we’re much more interested in. But again, we’re wading through, carefully considering the different views of people in the sector. There are also some very involved, but important questions, about ‘How do you define Australian content?’ So there’s a lot to work through here.
“But these are very important questions we’ve got a real focus on.”