This is a so-called investment obligation, Uslu explained during the media debate in the House of Representatives. Such an obligation to invest in Dutch productions is already included in the coalition agreement. According to Uslu, the duty is necessary to ensure that the increase in foreign productions ‘is not at the expense of Dutch stories’.
Percentages still unknown
The streaming services will soon have to reinvest a certain percentage of their income in Dutch productions. The previous cabinet was already working on such an obligation, when it was aimed at 6 percent of the turnover that streamers made in the Netherlands. At the time, Netflix and Disney+ were mentioned, among others. It is not yet known whether the Netherlands will soon apply a certain lower limit for the investment obligation.
It is also not yet clear whether that percentage of 6 percent will remain the same, which will be stated in the bill. Uslu expects to send that proposal to the House of Representatives ‘shortly after the summer recess’. The recess will last from July 8 to September 5. It is also not known whether the obligation applies to all foreign streaming services, or only from a certain turnover or number of subscribers.
France already enforces strict
With the upcoming obligation, the Netherlands follows European regulations that oblige streamers to reinvest part of their turnover in European countries since 2018. France has been using that law quite liberally for some time now, requiring the major streamers to invest 20 percent of their French turnover in European productions, of which 85 percent must be French-speaking. The rights of those productions must also remain in the hands of the producers.
GroenLinks Member of Parliament Lisa Westerveld asked the State Secretary why the cabinet is not proceeding more energetically, for example by requiring a creators’ fund in which streamers place the percentage of their turnover. “The coalition agreement states that the money will remain with those large international providers,” says Westerveld. “There is a risk there: Netflix earns more in the Netherlands than the cinemas on tickets, so it is also at the expense of the national offer.”
However, Uslu is not keen on further expanding the forthcoming requirements. According to the State Secretary, the result of either a fund or an investment obligation is the same: more Dutch productions. “I would not want to get into a discussion again because I am happy that the investment obligation will become possible,” said Uslu.
NPO podcast platform must open, praise for NLZiet
The State Secretary further states that podcast platform NPO Luister of the public broadcaster should also be opened to other parties.
Uslu also praised platform NLZiet, a collaboration between NPO, RTL and Talpa. “NLZiet helps with the ambition to achieve a strong Dutch media sector and wide availability of Dutch content,” said the State Secretary.
“When it comes to the further development of NLZiet, I would like to call on the NPO to constructively participate in the further development. But also the other parties, so that it becomes a successful further development. I do not only want to be a facilitator, but also a booster.”