EU law would force Netflix, Amazon to stream more European content

On-demand video services will need to ensure that at least 30 percent of their media is European.

European Union lawmakers have already made it so that people who travel around the EU can access their paid streaming media from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video as if they were at home. That data portability law was just the start, however. The European Parliament, Council and Commission have all reached a preliminary agreement to revise the rules that apply to audiovisual content across the region, including online, streaming media. In addition to extending the current rules to video-sharing platforms like YouTube and Facebook, the proposal also requires that at least 30 percent of the content on Netflix, Amazon Prime and other on-demand paid services be of European origin.

Other features of this wide-ranging proposal include better protection of minors against harmful content on both broadcast and video-on-demand services, stronger rules against hate speech and public provocation to commit terrorist offenses. In addition, broadcasters will be able to show ads at more times during the day (though they'll still be limited to 20 percent of broadcast time). The proposal also promises to reinforce the independence of audiovisual regulators as distinct and independent from regional governing bodies.

The agreement still needs to be formally approved by the EU Parliament and member states, most likely in June. "A fairer environment for all players in audiovisual sector is much needed," said Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel in a statement. "Moreover, our cultural sector will have a more prominent place in on-demand catalogues – a significant and positive change for European creators and authors."