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Netflix EMEA Boss Criticizes Local Quotas For “Stifling Creativity” & Says Competitors Are “Dialing Back” – Series Mania

Netflix EMEA boss Larry Tanz has criticized local quotas for “stifling creativity” and said the streamer remains “all in” while competitors “dial back.”

Speaking at Series Mania, Tanz addressed the ever-controversial conversation around quotas by calling for “greater flexibility” given how many shows Netflix is currently making around the world.

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He cited the example of Spain, a nation that has obligations in place but with “flexibility” so that Netflix can make Spanish-originated films and series but then also film the likes of [big-budget UK production] Kaos in the nation.

“Our opinion is flexibility is a great way to encourage creativity and when we have constricting quota limitations it can stifle creativity,” he said. “The more flexibility we have, the more we can do.”

Recent research showed that Netflix had hit its 30% target in most countries on the continent but quotas remains a hot button topic.

Elsewhere, Tanz addressed the slowdown of some of Netflix’s biggest competitors, saying that Netflix remains “all in” while “worthy adversaries” seek to “dial back” their offerings. Netflix has made a string of announcements in recent weeks, unveiling dozens of shows from the UK, Germany, the Nordics and Africa, while other streamers batten down the hatches.

“Competitors realized streaming is a great business but it’s also very very hard and in some cases expensive,” he added. “That has caused competitors to dial back or exit countries entirely but we are continuing to invest.”

Tanz said Netflix is shooting 40 productions in Europe this month, although Netflix declined to say whether this is the most the streamer has ever shot during one month.

“Mythbusting”

Tanz also attempted to “mythbust” the notion that Netflix owns all rights to its shows, pointing to recent research that found it only owns the IP on 25% of its European projects.

“A lot of myths are based in some kernel of fact,” he explained.

“When we started local commissioning it was very early days and expensive and we were taking on all the risk. So in the beginning we had that Hollywood model of ownership but it has changed a lot over these past few years.”

Tanz unveiled series led by Isabelle Adjani and Famke Janssen on day one of Series Mania. The likes of Disney+ and HBO Max will speak later this week.

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