Disney +, Netflix, and other streaming companies could face tougher local regulations overseas – The Streamable

As the domestic market reaches saturation point for new streaming audiences, big players like Netflix, Disney + and Amazon Prime Video are looking internationally for greener pastures and potentially untapped viewership numbers. Their efforts have not been in vain as streaming services have experienced tremendous global growth.

“This rapidly expanding international audience has created a huge opportunity for content developers, device makers and advertisers to engage new audiences, as brands and publishers who understand exactly how, when and where people stream streaming will inevitably triumph, ”said Bill Demas, CEO of online video analytics company Conviva.

Big streamers know that it is essential to enter these new markets. Those who are late to the party may find that potential subscribers are already tuning in to their competition. Paolo Pescatore, analyst at PP Foresight, says, “It is essential to enter as many markets as possible and to secure key distribution agreements with local suppliers. Build a base, scale the business, understand viewer habits, then invest in local production.

Netflix has led the charge when it comes to international expansion. Domestic viewers, hungry for new content, have shown great interest in foreign broadcasts. The streamer has also pledged to spend nearly $ 500 million this year alone on South Korean productions, as well as funding around 16 Japanese anime projects.

However, the grass may not stay as green as the big streamers hope across the pond.

The UK government is keenly aware of the global intentions of US-based streaming services. As a result, the powers that be are in the midst of consider strengthening surveillance on foreign interest in engulfing audiences and potentially stifling locally sourced UK funded broadcasting.

Regulations for broadcasters in the UK have been developed for the Communications Act 2003, long before anyone could predict the explosion of online streaming services. Many believe that these rules are long overdue for revision.

Regulatory changes could cause Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime Video, and any other streamer to be subject to the same rules as traditional linear outlets like the BBC or ITV, with respect to age classifications and the accuracy and fairness of documentaries and news content. The aim is to enable public service media, such as the Channel 4, to have a chance to compete with the international behemoths.

“The time has come to see how we can unlock the potential of our public service broadcasters while ensuring that viewers and listeners consuming content in new formats are served by a fair and functional system,” said the UK Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden in a statement quoted by Fierce Video. “So now we’re going to look at how we can help ensure that Channel 4 maintains its place at the heart of UK broadcasting and level the playing field between broadcasters and video on demand services. “

While some streamers, like Netflix, have created their own relationships with UK regulatory agencies to maintain restrictions on age ratings and potentially offensive content, “the current landscape creates an inconsistent, ad hoc and potentially dangerous gap in regulation between video-on-demand services as well as a potential competitive disadvantage between UK broadcasters and their internationally funded online counterparts, ”according to the UK government.

To coincide with potential restrictions on international streaming services, the government is also looking to strengthen public broadcasters by making it easier to find and view their content on connected devices and smart TVs.

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