The Norwegian Government proposes obligation for on-demand audiovisual streaming services to invest in Norwegian content

| Insight

Today the Ministry of Culture issued a Green Paper with several proposals for amendments to the Norwegian Broadcasting Act and Regulation, some of which will affect streaming services. The proposals are part of the Norwegian implementation of the amendments to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (Directive 2018/1808/EU).

One of the proposals set out in the Green Paper concerns an investment obligation for streaming services. According to the proposal, streaming services are required to either invest directly in Norwegian films and series, or, if the services do not invest sufficiently in Norwegian content, contribute to the financing of such productions through financial contributions to the Norwegian Film Fund. In the latter case, the services will have to make contributions to the Norwegian Film Fund worth up to 5 % of the services’ Norwegian revenue. This obligation shall be reduced correspondingly with the level of direct investments in Norwegian content and lapse completely if the service invests more than NOK 100 million in Norwegian content.

As an alternative, the Ministry proposes that the investment obligation may be solely related to direct investments in Norwegian content and that the services must invest a sum equal to 5 % of their Norwegian revenues in productions with Norwegian language.

The proposed investment obligations shall apply for Norwegian streaming services, as well as streaming services based in other EEA countries which are aimed at a Norwegian audience. Certain exemptions are also proposed, aimed at services with lower revenues or limited audience, as well as exemptions for the Norwegian public service broadcaster NRK and certain other services.

Other obligations proposed in the Green Paper are inter alia that such services must shield the public from certain forms of illegal material, shield minors from certain harmful material, provide at least 30 % European content, and that services must be registered with the Norwegian Media Authority.

Ministry welcomes feedback to the Green Paper and the consultation is open until 16 December 2022.

The Green Paper is available here: https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumenter/horing-gjennomforing-av-endringsdirektivet-til-amt-direktivet-mv/id2927696/