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Netflix, Disney, Amazon Prime: The big changes coming to streaming services

Aussies using streaming services will soon get a host of new local content to choose from.

A woman looking at a laptop screen showing the logos of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus and Hulu.
Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus and more will soon be required to make local content. (Source: Getty)

A host of new local content will be coming to streaming services in Australia, thanks to new government rules.

Major streaming giants like Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime will be required to invest in making local Australian content.

The new rules will come into effect around mid-2024, when streaming giants will be required to put some of their revenue into Aussie film and TV projects.

The changes will bring the streaming sector in line with free-to-air networks, such as Seven, Nine and Ten, which are already subject to local content quotas.

For commercial TV channels in Australia, 55 per cent of their content must be local between the hours of 6:00am and midnight on primary channels, and a total of 1,460 hours between the same hours on non-primary channels.

The details of the local-content policy for streaming giants is yet to be announced, but the Australian film and television sector has asked for 20 per cent.

According to ABC News, Arts Minister Tony Burke said while streaming giants were already voluntarily producing local content, it should be a requirement.

"There is no requirement that [Australian content] be there at all, and the percentages of what we're seeing with Australian content are way down on what traditionally was expected on free-to-air," Burke said.

"The days of there being no guarantee of Australian content on streaming services have to come to an end."

But not everyone is happy about the potential change. Free TV CEO Bridget Fair said she was concerned local content quotas for streaming services would drive up the cost of producing shows in Australia, according to the AFR.

“I understand we’ve got to compete in a new environment, but I’m not sure we need to distort the market with new quotas,” she said.

“If we skew it too far in favour of the streamers, we will end up with more content behind the paywall.”

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