Netflix to invest $500 million in Canadian content

Lena Tucker
September 30, 2017

Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly has announced a government initiative to promote Canadian cultural productions and their export overseas, CBC reported, adding that the minister has called on global players like Netflix and Facebook to participate.

One thing Canadian media companies aren't too pleased about is the omission of a "Netflix tax" in the updated policy. Of the $400 million, for instance, $25 million will be specifically allotted for French-language content, according to Variety.

The company has largely avoided the requirements put on Canadian content producers by the country's government.

Facebook, Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, and other online firms reach Canadians directly, outside of Canada's regulated broadcast system. Overall, though, the plan plots a course that aims to rework many of Canada's laws and regulations that oversee broadcasting, telecommunications and copyright, as well as the private and publicly supported funds that back musicians, writers and publishers in the coming months.

In this light, the government's intervetions focus on "innovation, experimentation and the transition to digital", she said. "Our government won't increase the cost of these services to Canadians by imposing a new tax".

Joly cited already high rates paid by Canadians for broadband Internet access in her decision not to add a new tax on streaming services.

The government on its side will give a boost to the Canada Media Fund and spend United States dollars 125 million on a creative export strategy.

"Today's announcement affirms there's more to come as Netflix launches Netflix Canada, our permanent production presence in Canada", Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement.

Netflix Canada will be the first production entity of its kind established by the streaming platform outside the US.

"In announcing the pact, the Canadian government called out "Alias Grace", a co-production of CBC, Netflix and Halfire Entertainment".

As part of a swath of new cultural policies, Joly also announced new "cultural trade missions" overseas to help Canadian creators break into new markets.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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