Streaming services ordered to fund Canadian content

Paw Patrol has been doing a great job carrying the Canadian film industry on its back lately, but Ottawa is keen on bringing in some reinforcements.

What happened: Canada’s telecom regulator is looking to expand the success of Canada’s entertainment industry beyond Schitt’s Creek and Law & Order Toronto (kidding) with a 5% tax on the Canadian revenue of streaming giants like Netflix, Disney+, and Spotify.

  • The plan would inject $200 million annually into Canadian film, television, music, and local news, and go towards the creation of content by under-represented groups.

Why it matters: The decision sets the stage for another episode of Ottawa trying to force big players to fund local industries — remember the Meta news ban? Experts warn that this battle could similarly backfire and possibly drive up subscription prices for consumers.

  • Netflix, which has lobbied hard against the law, has spent more than $5 billion on Canadian productions in the last five years, investments that dwarf a new 5% tax.

Bottom line: Toronto and Vancouver have become major production hubs. While much of the content being filmed in those cities isn’t technically considered “Canadian,” the reality remains that even with the choice, Canadians often opt for US entertainment.

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