Apple TV+, Netflix, Disney+, more agree to pump $330m into French content

Disney+ on an iPhone
Disney+ on an iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • US-based streaming services have agreed to invest as much as $330 million in french content.
  • The announcement comes after months of talk surrounding local requirements.

Apple TV+, Netflix, Disney Plus, and more streaming companies agree to invest up to $330 million in French content as part of an agreement that has been months in the making. According to reports, Netflix alone will be responsible for up to $225 million.

The move comes after the group signed an agreement with France's broadcasting authorities (CSA) and will see them invest 20% of their annual revenues on French content. According to Variety, the CSA "expects the investment to be between €250 million ($282 million) to €300 million ($330 million) on average per year." What's more, France is likely only the first European country to seek investment.

The pact provides specific guidelines on the new investment obligations that were published in the French decree that came out in July and stemmed from the implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS). The legislation was put forth by the European Commission to even the playing field between streaming giants and existing players across Europe. France is the first country to have set new regulations as part of the AVMS; other countries within the E.U. are expected to follow course.

Netflix on iPhone X

Netflix on iPhone X (Image credit: iMore)

The report notes that Netflix, Amazon, and Disney+ have signed the pact while five more are set to do so befor the year comes to a close.

Of the 20% streaming companies will need to invest, Variety notes that 80% will be set aside for shows, movies, and documentaries that will air worldwide — not just in France. The rest will go on theatrical releases.

Streamers will have to dedicate 80% of the 20% invested in French content to audiovisual works, such as shows, movies and documentaries that will world premiere on the platform. The remaining 20% — or 4% of streamers' total turnover in France — will be invested in movies that will be theatrically released and will be subjected to the country's strict windowing rules.

Local television outfits already contribute to local content creation and this move is designed to ensure that streamers do the same. It's difficult to see any real loser here, too, with streaming content providers gaining more content to show customers, French content creators getting the chance to create more content, and viewers seeing more French content appear on their TVs.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.