Switzerland will vote today in a referendum on issues including a so-called “Netflix Law” requiring streaming companies to invest in
Switzerland will vote today in a referendum on issues including a so-called “Netflix Law” requiring streaming companies to invest in Swiss TV and films.
The law obligates international streaming services to invest 4% of their revenue from Switzerland back into Swiss cinema and TV production, matching existing requirements for national and regional Swiss distributors. The new legislation also requires at least 30% of streaming services’ content to be produced in Switzerland or Europe.
Roughly half of Europe already requires streaming platforms to invest in local or European productions, to varying degrees—Portugal requires 1%, whereas Italy requires 20%. Yet, the law met resistance from various political parties—especially their youth wings—who claim the requirements will drive up subscription prices, lack quality controls and undermine diversity.
Expect the streaming law to pass by a thin margin. The latest May poll showed 54% of Swiss were in favor, a drop from 59% in March. Switzerland’s efforts to capitalize on streaming’s popularity for domestic cinema’s benefit parallels its neighbors, so services like Netflix are unlikely—and largely unable—to resist. Crucially, the law’s 30% European content requirement fulfills a key demand for Switzerland to be a part of the EU’s cultural promotion program Creative Europe.
Download the Daily Brief app to stay ahead of geopolitics with daily, short, forward-looking analysis of geopolitical events before they hit the headlines.