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NETFLIX

Get ready to binge watch: Netflix is coming to Spain on October 20th

The popular streaming service will make its long-awaited arrival in Spain on October 20th.

Get ready to binge watch: Netflix is coming to Spain on October 20th
Photo: Matthew Keys / Flickr Creative Commons.

The company announced in June that the video streaming service would at last be available in Spain, after the country was skipped over in Netflix's last European expansion last year.

Now the arrival date has been announced: Spaniards will be able to binge watch their favourite series from October 20th. 

The service will cost from €7.99 per month and users will be able to access Netflix's wide-ranging catalogue of everything from the latest blockbuster releases, to documentaries and television series, including Netflix originals such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. 

Two other price ranges, €8.99 per month and €11.99 per month, allow users to watch the service in high definition and on more than one screen simultaneously.

CEO Neil Hunt explained in an interview with newspaper El Periodico in early September that most devices sold in Spain within the past 18 months will be Netflix-compatible when the service starts up as TV manufacturers have been prepping their devices in anticipation of Netflix's Spanish launch. 

Vodafone previously announced that it would be the first Spanish cable provider to sign an agreement with Netflix, allowing Vodafone TV households to use a Netflix app through their set-up boxes.

“Television on demand is the best model for the consumer because you can consume what you want, when you want to. You don't have to wait until 7pm to start your content,” Hunt told El Periodico. “Television as we know it is going to completely change in the future.”

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TAX

Online streaming giants face rise in tax to fund Spanish productions

Spain is preparing legislation that would impose a 5.0 percent tax on streaming giants like Netflix with the funds used to boost Spanish cinematic production, the government said on Friday.

Online streaming giants face rise in tax to fund Spanish productions
Founder and CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings speaks during a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 27, 2017. LLUIS GENE / AFP

The draft law, which would tax online entertainment platforms on the basis of earnings generated in Spain, seeks to bring existing legislation “in line with the reality of the market where new audiovisual players have multiplied as a result of new technologies”, an economy ministry statement said.

The reform is part of the government's Digital Spain 2025 strategy, one of whose aims is to improve the country's appeal as one of the most attractive locations for shooting films and series.

The text “extends the obligation to fund European audiovisual production to those providers offering services in Spain even if they're not based there” in a nod to platforms like Netflix, HBO, Disney and Amazon Prime Video.

“Providers with a turnover of more than 50 million euros generated from services in Spain must allocate 5.0 percent of these revenues to finance European audiovisual works or as a contribution to the Cinematography Protection Fund,” it says.

Of that amount, 70 percent must be used to finance audiovisual works by independent producers, and a minimum of 40 percent must be used to fund independent films “in any of Spain's official languages”.

For those earning under 50 million euros, that 5.0 percent can be diverted into buying the rights to finished European productions, but at least 70 percent must go towards works by independent producers.

Those earning under 10 million euros in Spain will be exempt from the proposed tax.

Global giants such as Amazon, Google and Netflix often pay very little tax in nations where they are not physically present, presenting a major challenge for many countries.

Early last month, the Spanish government gave final approval to a 3.0 percent tax on revenues generated by digital giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon which will come into effect within three months.

It will apply to all internet giants with annual global sales of over 750 million euros and 3.0 million euros in Spain.

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