Netflix, Amazon must invest in Dutch shows or face Netherlands tax: Advisory

Netflix on Xbox Live
Netflix on Xbox Live. photo: Jorge Glеz / Flickr

In order to prevent the local film industry form being wiped out by foreign movies and series, entertainment distributors serving the Netherlands market should financially support more Dutch productions, the Raad voor Cultuur stated in a report. The top government advisory board for culture and the arts said those companies should also be forced to pay a tax on its income derived from Netherlands consumers to support the entertainment industry there.

Services like Netflix and Amazon Prime should also be required to include a minimum quota of Dutch productions in its catalog for local consumers. The cultural board's director, Jeroen Bartelse, said that quota should hit 15 percent, according to the Volkskrant.

"With a system of taxes and quota, the Dutch audiovisual sector can come along better in the new dynamic caused by the introduction of these kinds of media companies", the board writes. "Our media use and the media landscape have changed dramatically in a short period of time, putting the sector under great pressure."  

The boards wants a so-called "circular financing system" to be introduced in the sector so that revenue derived from Dutch consumers does not solely go into the pockets of foreign distributors and foreign productions. The financing of the audiovisual fund can partly come from the proposed tax. The board recommends that 2 to 5 percent of the turnover from distributors should be collected from the companies.

Netflix invests a good deal in non-American television, but as the Netherlands only provides incentives to film productions it is difficult to bring series production to the country. Patriot shows many scenes shot in Belgium and Luxembourg meant to portray Amsterdam. New Netflix series Undercover will be a Dutch-language show based at the Belgian/Netherlands border, but it is not clear where the show will be shot. Other productions are set around Europe, like sci-fi series Dark (Germany) and crime thriller Suburra (Italy).

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