Netflix has announced plans to invest a whopping $500-million in Canadian content over the next five years, according to the Financial Post.
The half-billion dollar investment has the potential to take the place of the proposed tax for internet service providers, an idea that’s been hotly-debated in both political and pop culture circles lately.
At one time, the creative industry funded projects with revenue they received as a percentage of television subscription fees (remember those?). In the contemporary market, however, where consumers get the bulk of their content online from sources such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, that funding model is no longer practical and production companies have scrambled to find a solution.
Creators have long lobbied for new platforms – like Netflix – to contribute financially to Canadian content production, while Netflix argued that it was unfair to require the company to subscribe to the same regulations as an existing broadcaster. In the end, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nixed the concept of internet tax entirely, suggesting the tax would unfairly target the “middle class,” the primary consumers of internet streaming.
This new funding development comes after months of public consultations held over the past year.
It’s yet to be decided who exactly will get to use this funding to partner up with Netflix, but we know the company is actively working with CBC on a number of projects, including Alias Grace and Anne of Green Gables.