Netflix commits to $500m spend on Canadian content
James R | On 02, Oct 2017
Netflix has committed to invest half a billion Canadian dollars on original content from Canada over the next five years.
The country’s Heritage Minister, Melanie Joly, announced the agreement between Canada and the streaming giant last week, unveiling her vision for Canadian culture in the digital world. The move comes as Netflix faces growing pressure from countries around the world, who seek to make sure that the company supports TV production in their own territories, rather than poach away talent and audiences without any investment back into the industry.
Traditional broadcasters in Canada, for example, have to meet a quote of Canadian content they put on the air and must also contribute 5 per cent of their revenues to fund programmes of national interest through the Canada Media Fund. Netflix has been keen to avoid a new tax or similar requirements, instead finding a new solution that marks its first permanent production present outside of US soil.
Content will be produced by the streaming giant in both English and French, co-ordinating with Canadian producers and broadcasters, with at least $25 million going towards French content, notes Deadline.
“If we get this right, we will be a leader in the world,” Joly said in a statement.
It follows a growing relationship between Netflix and Canadian broadcasters, with co-productions in recent years including Anne with an E, an adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, a new series from Sarah Polley based on Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace, and the sc-fi thriller Travelers.
Netflix has faced similar calls for content quotas in Europe, where the streaming giant has similarly made a concerted push to invest in content across the continent, with around £1.5 billion invested in the last five years. European co-productions include Marcella (ITV), Kiss Me First (Channel 4), Watership Down (BBC), La catedral del mar (Antena 3), Rita (TV2 Denmark) and El ministerio del tiempo (RTVE), as well as licensed series, such as The Break (RTBF), Nobel (NRK), Cannabis (Arte), Bordertown (YLE), No Second Chance (TF1), Call My Agent! (France 2), Case (RUV), Beau Sejour (VRT) and The Same Sky (ZDF), among others. Upcoming collaborations include German original series Dark and Italian original series Suburra.