Netflix And Stan Could Soon Be Forced To Make Much More Australian Content

Tell him he's streamin'.

Streaming services such as Netflix and Stan could soon be subject to local content quotas, according to a parliamentary inquiry into the growth and sustainability of the Australian film and television industry.

On Friday, Department of Communications content head Carolyn Patterson said the department was currently looking into the possibility of a quota, and that it would likely make its recommendation by the end of the year. “It’s a very timely question,” she told the inquiry. “We recognise that the system we currently have in place is probably not contemporary for our environment, and what we’re really starting to grapple with is the online space.”

Video on demand platforms are currently under no obligation to carry local programs. The same is not true of free-to-air television stations, which are required to air 55 per cent Australian content between 6am and midnight.

Earlier this year, Netflix greenlit their first Australian series: a ten-part supernatural crime drama called Tidelands that will go into production in Queensland in 2018. Home-grown competitors Stan have for their part produced a number of local commissions, including Wolf Creek, No Activity and Matt Okine’s upcoming comedy series The Other Guys.

Speaking to Fairfax, Stan content head Nick Forward said they planned to double their number of original shows this year. A spokesperson from Netflix declined to comment specifically on the matter, but did point to a number of local programs carried by the platform.

The talk of content quotas comes in the same week that the Australian media landscape experienced a major shakeup, with Channel 10 announcing it was being placed into voluntary admission.