A new law in Denmark will require streaming services to pay a levy of 6 percent of their revenue to support local TV production.
Aimed at securing local investment from the likes of Netflix, Disney and Amazon, the bill was approved by Danish lawmakers this weekend.
In 2018, Denmark became the second country in Western Europe (after the UK) where SVOD subscriptions overtook pay TV subscriptions. According to Ampere Analysis, Danish consumers subscribe to an average of 2.6 services per SVOD household.
Legislators are keen to ensure those subscription revenues contribute to public service, as opposed to feeding the American companies’ dominance. “Denmark must go as far as possible in providing good public service to children and young people, which can serve as a real alternative to the tech giants’ platforms and foreign content,” the Ministry of Culture said in a statement on Saturday.
The statement also warned that the entry of global streaming services fragments the media landscape and “can challenge the cohesion and democratic dialogue in our country.”
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The new law makes Denmark the latest European country to introduce legislation of this kind, designed to make popular streaming services pay their way in the local economy as tends to be required of traditional broadcasters.
Last week the Swiss public voted by referendum in favour of a law ordering streaming services to invest at least 4 percent of revenues in local content. In Portugal, the Cinema Law created a 1 percent tax on the income of streaming platforms that operate in the country. These proceeds are used to fund the national film institute, the Portuguese Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual.
Meanwhile in Spain there is legislation underway that would force streamers to produce 30 percent of content in Europe, deliver 9 percent of programming in Spanish and 6 percent in Spain’s co-official languages (Catalan, Galician or Basque). The government confirmed that the platforms would assume the cost, and face sanctions for noncompliance. The law is expected to be approved this year and come into effect in 2023.