Switzerland proposes reforms to popular streaming services

Switzerland proposes reforms to popular streaming services
A Netflix app close up. Photo: MARTIN BUREAU / AFP
Swiss authorities have forecast regulations for the streaming industry which may have significant impacts for viewers and media sources generally in Switzerland.

Led by international platforms such as Netflix, streaming has exploded in popularity in recent years. The growth has however caught Swiss authorities off guard, with streaming services still not regulated to the same extent as television, radio and film content. 

The Federal Media Commission has laid out a set of proposed regulations on streaming services in Switzerland which would focus on extending the regulations to that which cover traditional media. 

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As yet, the proposal has not been adopted by the Swiss government. 

With additional money to be paid by streaming services towards Swiss productions as well as boosting the percentage of Swiss content on streaming platforms, there is the potential that costs for streaming services in Switzerland could increase. 

The proposal wants to bring streaming providers up to European Union standards, which would include a minimum of 30 percent local content as well as requiring four percent of profits to be invested towards producing Swiss films. 

The proposal also called for the Swiss state broadcaster SSR to receive stable funding as well as the prioritisation of information, education and cultural programs. 

Journalism ‘must be protected’ 

The report, released on Monday, also included proposals to increase funding for news and media organisations while also tackling the risks of fake news and information bubbles that people can become locked into through the use of social media. 

The report called for additional support to be provided in an independent and guaranteed fashion from government to media sources in order to ensure “democratically relevant” journalism into the future. 

The report said the plan could be funded through additional taxation on television and streaming platforms as well as tax incentives and deductions for donations to media platforms. 

The authors also called for more research to be done into how to improve algorithms so that social media users and people on streaming platforms such as YouTube would be exposed to a more diverse array of information. 

 

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