The reform had already been approved by the Swiss Government and Parliament on October 1 last year, although opponents of it, many of them from the youth sections of the main national parties, managed to gather the necessary signatures to submit this legal initiative. to referendum.
The Swiss Government maintained that the initiative, popularly known in the country as the “Netflix Law”, sought to alleviate the current inequality in the Swiss audiovisual market, since national television channels do pay the aforementioned 4% rate while streaming platforms do not. they did until now.
According to the Swiss authorities, the legal reform sought to “compensate for the gaps created during the digital transition”, after the emergence of services that did not exist a decade ago but are currently widely used in the country, where they move an annual turnover of about 300 million Swiss francs (287 million euros).
After the “yes” given today by the Swiss population, the audiovisual platforms will either be able to directly help Swiss cinema and television, with sponsorships and national productions, or pay an equivalent tax so that the Government can redirect those funds.
The legal reform will also affect foreign channels that broadcast content specifically aimed at Swiss viewers, such as the French TF1 or M6.
Supporters of the “no” argument argued that this rate will have a negative impact on consumers, since it is possible that the platforms react to it by increasing the price of subscriptions, or withdrawing non-European productions from their offers.
With the victory of the yes, Switzerland joins other European countries that have previously dictated their own “Netflix rates”, some with percentages considerably higher than the 4% set today in Switzerland, in the case of France (26%) or Italy (20 %).