New Zealand’s TV and film producers have joined an international call to action against streaming services.

The Screen Producers and Directors Association is one of twenty industry groups from around the world to sign an open letter urging their governments to impose stricter regulations on American streaming companies.

Other countries represented in the letter include Australia, Canada, and several European nations.

“The impact of these streamers on local productions globally is so significant and so damaging,” SPADA president Irene Gardiner said.

“It feels like it’s time to have a concerted effort where all of us come together and lobby together.”

She said it had become increasingly difficult to compete with streaming services.

“They are operating in the local screen ecosystem without paying any local tax or facing any regulation,” she said.

“It is very hard for local broadcasters to make the same amount of advertising revenue, and so at that point the money that used to be made through advertising revenue becomes very tight.

“[It] has both an impact on the New Zealand economy and a massive cultural impact, we’re talking about the ability to tell local stories and create intellectual property.”

She hoped some of that revenue could be returned to the local economy.

“Probably the simplest way to do it would be to put a small percentage levy on big international streaming companies, where a percentage of their New Zealand revenue is channelled back into local productions,” she said.

She was hopeful the new government would be receptive.

“We will be going to see our new ministers soon to talk about this, and I actually feel like we might get a good reception.

“We’re not asking for money [from the government], we’re saying this is a way to make our business playing field more level and bring some money into our industry. So I’m hopeful.”

rnz.co.nz

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