Netflix May Have to Add 4000+ Hours of Content to its EU Catalog to Meet New Guidelines

New research shows the massive amount of content Netflix and Amazon would need to add to meet the EU’s revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive

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Netflix and Amazon will need to add thousands of hours of content to their EU Catalogues to meet new guidelines set to be introduced by the European Union, according to research from Ampere Analysis released this month.

The new rules, outlined in a revision to EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), will require SVOD services such as Netflix and Amazon to offer content libraries that are made up of at least 30 percent European-origin programming. The revision, which was purposed by the EU Commission in April 2018, is an attempt to direct more funding towards EU programming from international SVOD services, which are becoming increasingly more dominant in the EU’s entertainment sector.

While it has yet to be clarified if this increase in content pertains to the number of titles or volume of hours available on the platform, either option would mean a significant change in strategy for international players like Amazon and Netflix.

According to the Ampere Analysis data, Netflix would have to add over 4000 hours of European content or nearly 800 European titles to its U.K. catalog to meet the content quotas, while Amazon Prime would have to add a little under 2000 hours or 400 titles to its catalog.

One alternative that would save a service like Netflix from investing billions in new or licensed content is to cut a large portion of non-European titles from its library. Of course, this move would risk devaluing the streaming giant’s content offering, which has found great success with American titles.

While the EU has already agreed on the new rules via an informal agreement, the revision still has to be voted on by the Culture and Education Committee, which is leading the negotiations. A vote in plenary to endorse the new rules is likely to take place within the coming months, according to the European Parliament.