Illustration by Hanna Lee

Foreign streaming services’ spending in Canada not trickling down, independent producers say

In September, Netflix announced it had spent more than $500 million in the last two years producing television shows and movies in Canada. The news came ahead of schedule; in 2017 the firm had promised to spend that sum over a half-decade, in a deal that played the starring role in the federal government’s new creative industries policy.

Netflix won’t say how much of the money went to Canadian production companies. But independent Canadian producers say they haven’t benefited much from the huge sums streaming services like Netflix are spending as they compete for subscribers. “At its core, this is really an issue of market power, one where giant foreign corporations are subsidizing their operations on the backs of small and medium Canadian production companies,” Andrew Addison, vice-president of communications and marketing at the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), told The Logic.

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