Netflix has received a regulation proposal from South Africa’s Department of Communications and Digital Technologies.
This plan to set a 30% local content quota on video streaming platforms was proposed in the Draft White Paper on Audio and Audiovisual Content Service Policy Framework authored by the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT).
Collin Mashile, the DCDT Chief Director of Broadcasting Policy pointed to the Netflix-produced show Queen Sono as the potential positive impact of this proposed change. However, Netflix said that the unintended consequences of a strict quota would likely result in the opposite effect.
“Rather than promoting South African content and production, content quotas will likely lead to harm, which would result in a regulatory regime that is counterproductive to what it is setting out to do, It is necessary to ensure that policy interventions do not unintentionally undermine the industry potential by failing to focus on encouraging the production of high-quality content that can appeal to local and international audiences.”said Shola Sanni, the Director of Public Policy for Sub-Saharan Africa at Netflix.
Netflix explained that if global video streaming players are forced to spread their local content production budgets too thin in an effort to hit an artificial quota, it will result in a quantity-over-quality problem.