Australia’s lack of ambition

Stars lobby for Netflix to face 20 per cent local content quota.

Seriously? Just 20%? You’re selling your talent short, guys.

Why not 50% or even 75%? If “Australian content” is so good, surely we should be pushing for more of it? Who doesn’t like “Australian content”?

In fact, why not 89.56161 (recurring) %?

Who on earth wouldn’t want to be faced with pages and pages of Netflix options of shows featuring stars and A listers such as Simon Baker, Marta Dusseldorp, Bryan Brown and Justine Clarke?

We’ve all enjoyed their back catalogues, haven’t we?

Well, at least you’ve heard of these people, right?

Clue: Baker has starred in a USA TV crime series. As for the others, your guess is as good as mine; it’s probably safe to assume they’re panellists on some crappy quiz shows on the ABC.

Anyway, we digress.

This call for legislation mandating the origin of the entertainment offered by Netflix raises many questions. Questions such as:

  • Why is there so little Australian content on Netflix?
  • Of the existing Australian content, how popular is it with the Australian public relative to content from other countries?
  • What’s the international worth of this Australian content? Are other countries lining up to buy it off us faster than we create it?
  • Who the fuck are these so called “stars” and couldn’t they even get Huge Ackman to join them, given his track record of turning up to the opening of anything more significant than an electricity bill?

Bill’s Opinion

There’s a few things going on here. Firstly, this is a very Australian response to the reality and impact of market forces; seek government intervention in the form of protectionism, regulation and subsidies.

From car manufacturing to baked beans, there isn’t an industry in the country that, even before the luxury communism of covid, didn’t benefit from taxpayer largesse. Australia went from being a nation of ex-convict sheep farmers without a chance of leaving to a nation of farmed sheep without a chance of leaving.

More amusingly though, this is the type of lunacy we get when people who get paid to play “let’s pretend” for a living try to interfere in economics and business. That they’ll even get an audience in Canberra for this stupidity also tells us much about the IQ and real life experience of the political class.

In the meantime, anyone with an understanding of economics or recent experience with paging through reams of unpalatable viewing options of woke, race baiting, climate change pushing, unfunny, uninteresting and, frankly, preachy bollocks on Netflix, will be able to tell you what the likely unintended consequences of this will be; cancelled subscriptions.

If your “Australian content” is so good, sell it to us and the world like France does with series like Bureau des Legendes or Dix Pour Cent. Don’t force it on us like medicine.

Toot toot chugga chugga big red car….

8 Replies to “Australia’s lack of ambition”

  1. “Australia went from being a nation of ex-convict sheep farmers without a chance of leaving to a nation of farmed sheep without a chance of leaving.”

    Well put. I’d laugh if it wasn’t so painfully true (and if I didn’t have an ailing mother in the UK who I’m unlikely to be permitted to see alive again).

  2. No union is on your side. Strictly speaking a union is a cartel and is there to help their members raise their price at the cost of others. Netflix is competition reducing their income, so apply to the government to transfer money to them. This is the idea behind all tariffs however they are disguised. If you are robbing Peter to pay Paul, Paul will vote for you.

  3. We (Canada) tried that with music, starting in the early 70s. Radio stations had to play a certain percentage (50%, maybe) of “Canadian” music, with a point system based on where the performers, writer(s), and session musicians (?) lived, and where the recording was produced. The idea was that it would let emerging (typically rock) performers get experience to build a career, and maybe even make it onto the international music scene. Quite why that was anything to be desired, let alone subsidized, was never really explained. Of course, you all remember the tidal wave of Canadian talent that was unleashed, right? Okay – Rush, BTO, Bryan Adams – maybe a few more. One irony is that after Bryan Adams relocated to the UK, he is no longer considered a Canadian talent, and so his back catalogue is eligible, but nothing over the past six or seven years (maybe more). It doesn’t really matter, since he isn’t making much music these days, anyway.
    I am sure we do that with TV broadcasting, although the formula is no doubt different, or it may just determine whether productions can get tax subsidies (and that’s on top of the state broadcaster shovelling boat-loads of money into a furnace every day). The point is that it’s a crummy policy, and it won’t achieve what is claimed for it.

    1. To be fair to Canadia (which she doesn’t deserve, by the way), for a population almost the same as Australia, they’ve produced many more internationally famous musicians.

      Comparing a L Cohen, N Young, or J Mitchell to Savage Garden, INXS and The Wiggles doesn’t really work.

      And no, AC/DC were British, before anyone tries that furphy on for size.

      1. Yeah – there’s those three, and some others. I might’ve mentioned Gordon Lightfoot on here at some time or another – Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald is (to my ears) wonderful, and Canadian Railroad Trilogy is probably the only corporately-commissioned song to every get any traction.
        I suspect the biggest difference wasn’t government broadcasting policy (we got an awful lot of dreck, that never went anywhere), but proximity to the largest music scene in the world, within 50 miles south of where most of us live. Neil Young could take a chance and drive to LA to start his career; Joni Mitchell could move to Detroit because she met a guy from Michigan, and then on to New York, etc. Those opportunities are much fewer, and harder to grasp when there is a big ocean (and an expensive Qantas ticket) between you and the big smoke.

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