New East Digital Archive

New Russian licence law could hit streaming services hard

New Russian licence law could hit streaming services hard
Still from 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016, dir. Dan Trachtenberg), which recently became available on Netflix Russia

17 March 2017

Industry experts are predicting that online streaming services will suffer as the result of a new requirement, introduced by the Russian Culture Ministry, which will obligate video streaming sites to acquire exhibition licences for all films and TV programmes.

The now mandatory exhibition licence was previously required only for theatrical exhibitions.

It is expected that the new ruling will see Russian video streaming services reduce the rate at which they currently acquire content, much of which originates in the US — a potential blow for Hollywood revenue, given the recent substantial growth in Russia’s streaming sector.

While the Russian government has yet to take any steps to enforce compliance with the new law, even the future of larger services, such as streaming giant Netflix, seems precarious — a large share of Netflix’s content, especially TV series, lack exhibition licences.

“Saying that a requirement of that kind is killing the online video industry in Russia would be too mild,” Marina Surygina, who heads up online video service TVzavr, told The Hollywood Reporter. “To function normally, all rights holders providing content for online video services, social networks and video hosting services, will have to pay 3,500 rubles ($60) for every single item and wait for, probably, ten years to obtain the exhibition licences as the culture ministry just won’t be able to cope with that number of applications.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter