New ‘lockdown charge’ on video-on-demand platforms to help support film industry
Poland plans to help support its film industry with a new contribution from video-on-demand providers.
To combat the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown which has seen all cinemas closed to reduce the virus spread, the country is looking to introduce a new charge on video-on-demand (VoD) platforms to support the film industry, protect jobs and fund future productions.
The Polish Film Institute said: “This widely expected and necessary change was possible thanks to the consensus of the industry, which was a reaction to the crisis in the Polish film world caused by the current epidemiological situation.
“In addition, it’s a response to the challenges posed by technological development in the audiovisual market.”
The charge, equivalent to 1.5% of revenue, has been included in the update to Poland’s anti-crisis shield, which aims to protect the economy from the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.
The money would be paid to the Polish Film Institute, which receives a similar fee from television broadcasters, cinema owners, distributors, and others, which “derive revenues from the exploitation of the achievements of Polish cinematography”.
The new charge could bring in an estimated 15 million złoty (3.3 million euros) this year, and at least 20 million złoty a year in subsequent years, most of it from a handful of major players on the VoD market in Poland. Small providers would be exempt from the charge.
Based on data from the European Audiovisual Observatory, the largest amount would be paid by American media-services provider and production company Netflix, the leading provider of subscription VoD in Poland.
Netflix had a revenue of 429.31 million złoty in Poland last year, which means that, if the charge were introduced, it would pay a contribution of roughly 6.44 million złoty to the Polish Film Fund.
Other providers would pay the equivalent amounts based on their annual revenue.