Screen producers globally want streaming platform regulation to protect local stories

Screen producers

SPA’s Matthew Deaner: ‘Producers unable to do business deals on fair terms with powerful digital platforms’

Industry lobby groups representing screen producers from a dozen countries have united in a call to protect independent production companies from being disadvantaged by global streaming giants. They previously came together to call for action just last month.

In addition to the countries being represented, there are bodies also representing producers’ rights across Europe and Latin America.

A joint statement has been released calling on government regulations to ensure all platforms that derive financial benefit from conducting business in a local market should financially contribute. That contribution should be proportional to the creation of new local content for the benefit of local audiences.

The statement doesn’t specify any action regarding quotas or investment targets to safeguard local content.

Leading the charge for production companies in Australia is Screen Producers Australia and its chief executive Matthew Deaner (pictured above).

In a separate statement released today, Deaner said:

“In Australia and many countries around the world, independent screen businesses are facing tough new market dynamics brought about by the global audience shift to digital streaming platforms.

“Our members have been telling us for some time that without intervention their financial viability and future existence cannot be taken for granted.

Make It Australian

Actors lobby the PM during the Make It Australian campaign

Stop “abuse of market power” by streamers

“As this global statement shows, Australian producers are not alone in this fight for survival. We welcome this expression of solidarity from around the world.

“With the Australian Government shortly to bring forward legislation to ensure streamers invest some small percentage of their Australian-derived revenue into making Australian stories, there has never been a better time also to address this critical issue brought about by the abuse of market power by streamers.

“Screen producers are increasingly unable to do business deals on fair terms with powerful digital platforms and therefore, cannot solve this problem on their own.

“That is why, like many others worldwide, SPA is calling on the Australian Government to recognise and protect the value of Australian creative intellectual property in screen stories.

Protect ownership of creative IP

Deaner continued: “Our creative IP is what the screen industry produces. Ownership of it is the ‘value-add’ to our industry from making screen stories. It’s important that the screen IP created by Australians stays in the hands of Australian businesses and is not lost to mostly global streaming platforms.

“Coming up with a successful character or storyline means a screen business has created a valuable economic asset that can be leveraged in several ways including for sequels, adaptations and other marketing and merchandising opportunities.

“Australian screen producers are urging the Australian Government to recognise the value of our Australian creative screen IP and to help them build a strong and viable future for our industry.”

Make It Australian

Bryan Brown calling for protection for local stories during a visit to Canberra

Who’s who behind the global push to protect screen producers

• AECINE – Asociación de productoras de Cine Independiente (Spain)
• Animation in Europe (Europe)
• AnimFrance (France)
• APA – Associazione Produttori Audiovisivi (Italy)
• APCA – Associação Producers Cinema Audiovisual (Portugal)
• APFC – Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada (Canada)
• APIT – Associação de Produtores Independentes de Televisão (Portugal)
• AQPM – Association québécoise de la production médiatique (Canada)
• CEPI – European Audiovisual Production Association (EU)
• CMPA – Canadian Media Producers Association (Canada)
• EPC – The European Producers Club (EU)
• FIPCA – Ibero-American Federation of Film and Audiovisual Producers (LatAM)
• FPS – Association of Slovene Film Producers (Slovenia)
• PATE – Asociación de Productores Audiovisual Independientes (Spain)
• Produzentenverband (Germany)
• SPA – Screen Producers Australia (AU)
• SPADA – The Screen Production and Development Association (NZ)
• SPI – Screen Producers Ireland (Ireland)
• UPFF+ – Union of Francophone Producers of Films & Series (Belgium)
• USPA – Union Syndicale de la Production Audiovisuelle (EU)

See also: Regulating streaming services – Government reveals timeline for content quotas

To Top