The Liberal direction needs streaming companies like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon most important to have an extra Canadian flavor to binge going over sessions, with a form for more Canadian content
predictable to be part of legislation introduced next year. Have you ever taken notice of what is or isn’t Canadian while you’re scrolling through movies and TV shows on streaming services? The government has and they want to make some changes to what we see on our screens. Canadian Netflix and other streaming services like Disney+ could soon be forced to have more Canadian content on their platforms.
The federal government is stepping in to make your endless scrolling and binge-watching sessions on streaming services a little more local. So, Stranger Things but make it from the True North? According to the National Post, something is considered “CanCon” if a company based in this country oversees the production. They get bonus points if there are Canadians in key roles like director, lead actor, or writer.
There are so many streaming sites available in the country for you to choose from but the shows and movies on those platforms aren’t always made at home. To change that, the Liberals are looking to create a law that will require more homegrown productions from Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and other services.
By the end of 2020, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has been told to introduce legislation to get this done. Along with actually having the content on the platform, these internet giants will also have to make sure the northern creations are easily accessible for people. If that law is put in place, it means you could be seeing a lot more local stories on your streaming site of preference in the future but not everyone is on board with that. In a Reddit post about the changes, most people were firmly against making Netflix or Disney+ have more variety from north of the border. Another said, “Oh my god, no. That’s not even commenting about Canadian content. It’s solely to do with keeping the government out of the entertainment business.”
Even without an abundance of nationally-produced shows on streaming services today, Canadians are still watching and still paying to watch movies and TV shows on those platforms.
In 2019, Netflix earned CA$780 million in Canada and that’s not even for the full year, just nine months. For all of 2018, the streaming giant raked in $835 million from this country and $668 million in 2017. Though there currently aren’t any regulations for platforms like Netflix, there are specific rules when it comes to TV. Canadian broadcasters have to make sure 50% of their content between 6 p.m. and midnight has to be CanCon.
With the legislation concerning streaming services expected to be introduced by the end of 2020, it might be a little while longer before you start seeing Jack Ryan-Reynolds on Amazon Prime or another Schitt’s Creek-like show. “That content is significant to defining Canada and giving us a voice on the international period,” he said.
Netflix signed a deal with the Canadian administration in 2017 to invest $500 million over five years. At the time, the management said it would not require it to pay into content making funds or charge GST. That contract was panned in Quebec because it had no obligation for the company to produce French-language training.
The mandate letter as well as calls for Guilbeault to create a new system for social media companies, requiring them to take down “illegal satisfied” including hate talking within 24 hours or face important fines. “This should include extra online harms such as radicalization, incitement to violence, development of children, or creation or sharing of terrorist propaganda,” reads the mandate letter. A Facebook representative said there are open to a discussion about the issue and already take noteworthy steps to police their podium.
Geist said he sees several possible issues with these rules, together with that only large social media companies will be able to react to these demands. He said that could mean big companies like Facebook or Twitter don’t face challenges beginning startups.
“It is entrenching that power even extra because it is only those big players that can comply,” he supposed.