EU could shut down Apple TV+ unless it meets European content requirements

Tim Cook Apple TV+
Tim Cook Apple TV+ (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • EU legislation proposed last year about streaming content is now being realized in Europe.
  • A new report says that Apple will have to have a minimum of 30% European content or it will be shut down across Europe.

A new report says EU legislation first proposed last year could result in Apple TV+ being shut down if it doesn't comply with rules about how much of its content is European.

As noted by The Irish Independent's Adrian Weckler:

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As Weckler notes, the rules will also apply to platforms like Netflix and Disney+. The former is likely very close to this target (as is Amazon Prime Video), he says, but Disney+ is not.

The new laws are not a surprise, and were first posed last year, from September 2019:

Apple TV+ won't be here for another month but it's already hunting for new shows. This time it needs European shows in order to meet new rules introduced by the European Commission.While those rules haven't been finalized yet they're expected to come into force towards the end of 2020. If things go as expected, content streamers will need to offer shows produced in Europe to the tune of at least 30% of its catalog. It's not clear yet quite how that 30% will be measured, but it's expected to be a concern for both Apple TV+ and Disney+.

The Irish Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht (Irish language speaking regions), Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, shared a finalized version of the General Scheme of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill, which is based on EU directives about content, including the 30% target. The bill states that "on-demand audiovisual media services provided by media service providers shall ensure that a minimum of 30% of the works in their catalogues qualify as European works."

To qualify, works must originate in an EU member state, an EU third party state, or be co-produced by the community and another country. Interestingly, as noted by Weckler, British content will count towards the quota even post-Brexit.

As we noted last year, Apple TV+ has something of an advantage over larger platforms, as its smaller catalog will make it easier to achieve this target. This week reports show Apple is lining up several new titles for its platform including a new climate change documentary titled Extrapolations.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9