U.S. online streaming service Netflix, in order to keep providing its services in Turkey was required to get fresh license under new online broadcasting rules, has formally applied issuance of fresh license.
The government last month came amending the regulations, which further exposed the media companies to possibilities of censorship and tightened controls in future, as it further empowered its radio and television regulatory authority with more authorities and oversight over all online content which also includes news outlets as well as streaming platforms.
Last week on Tuesday, president of Turkey’s television regulatory agency RTUK, Ebubekir Sahin on Twitter confirmed that Netflix has applied for the new license adding that the authority is in receipt of license application from more than 600 institutions including the application of local streaming platforms Blu TV and Puhu TV.
Netflix has to set up a local entity in the country and will also has to pay 0.5% share of its revenue that would be generated in the country to the Turkish government, all as part of obtaining the new license. Netflix is discussing similar levies with governments in Italy and Spain too, said the company.
The Los Gatos, California-based company holds nearly 1.5 million people in Turkey subscribed to its streaming service that covers only 10% of the households in the country having broadband connections, which makes the Turkey a strategically important and lucrative market for the company to increase its subscriber base in the midst of rising competition and losing subscribers in home country, the company said.
Netflix though facing saturation in its U.S. home market, but rise up to top in luring new subscriptions count outside the United States and stands among the largest streaming services in the world.
For being a platform that generally not involved in the business of news and current affairs, Netflix has not faced any attempt of censorship to its content by regulators in Turkey so far.