The ongoing battle to get more local content on digital platforms has hit boiling point, with Australia’s music, film and TV industries all calling for government support.
APRA AMCOS and Screen Producers Australia have upped the game via a joint submission to a Senate inquiry into Australian content on broadcast, radio and streaming services, requesting the government implement local content quotas; a move that would affect companies such as Netflix, Stan and more.
The joint submission notes that a quantitative analysis of the Australian Netflix library found around 2% - 2.5% local content, while Stan’s was 9.5%; figures described as “dire”.
There is also reportedly more Australian content in the United States Netflix catalogue than there is in the Australian Netflix catalogue.
“Regardless of the technology or the platform, continually exposing Australian audiences to the wealth and quality of Australian music and screen content fosters a sustainable Australian industry and encourages the development of original and creative Australian works,” APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston said.
“In particular, we know that for Australian music it’s vital to ensure there’s space and opportunities for a variety of local artists to be programmed through streaming services and aired on commercial radio, in particular on the big metro stations.”
Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner said the current rules “need updating and loopholes closed”.
“For example, the loophole that allows New Zealand content to be passed off as Australian means that in 2017, a significant level of proscribed genres, such as drama and documentaries, was from New Zealand,” Deaner said.
Radio and television in Australia have had content quotas since 1942 and 1961 respectively.
The joint submission states that quotas “ensure the production of quality Australian content and industry capability” and “have had a demonstrable effect in growing the market for Australian content and creative employment”.
The development comes only a couple of weeks after a number of prominent figures in the Australian screen industry called on the government to introduce local content quotas on streaming services.