Netflix and Amazon will be legally bound to show more European content

Dark (Netflix)

A new EU law will see minimum quotas for the amount of European content streamed through the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

The online streaming services are said to have reached a preliminary agreement with European lawmakers, which would require 30% of the content streamed in EU member states to be locally-made shows or movies. Individual nations could then opt to increase this figure to 40% internally.

The law seems like a certainty at this point. Talking to Variety, Roberto Viola, who heads the European Commission department for content, communications, and technology, called the upcoming vote “a mere formality”.

Posting on his personal Twitter, Viola added that "European film makers produce great content. It should be easier for them to bring it to new audiences."

Both Netflix and Amazon see the business sense of expanding their libraries, so we expect to see more European content being brought in, rather than just cutting out non-EU content to balance the ratio. If that means more Nordic crime dramas or French arthouse cinema, who are we to complain?

Home is where the heart is

The European Commission has previously been proactive about the rights of subscribers to paid streaming services – such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Spotify – which usually restrict content depending on the country being streamed to. As of April 1, however, EU citizens travelling through Europe have been able to access the same package of titles as they would at home.

A looming Brexit may mean UK subscribers don’t have these perks for long, but for now freedom of movement means freedom to stream what’s rightfully yours.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.