Swiss films shunned by movie watchers

Video on Demand providers may soon be obliged to support the Swiss movie industry with a share of their profits. Keystone / Elise Amendola

Less than 2% of all movies watched on video on demand (VoD) platforms in Switzerland were Swiss productions, according to official statistics released on Tuesday.

This content was published on October 26, 2021 - 13:14

Swiss films only made up 5% of the total 29,000 movies on offer by VoD providers in 2019, the Federal Statistical Office calculates. The majority comprised productions from the United States (47%) and Europe (29%).

US movies were clearly the most popular, making up 81% of all VoD purchases, 79% of films watched on subscription services and 70% of digital film rentals.

In an effort to boost the Swiss film makers, parliament looks set to force the likes of Netflix and Disney+ to donate 4% of their profits to the local industry in future.

This could add CHF18 million ($19.6 million) in extra funds to the Swiss film industry coffers, on top of some CHF150 million in federal and cantonal funding.

If the law comes into force, VoD platforms would also be obliged to offer at least 30% European films to Swiss customers. It remains to be seen if such measures would boost the number of Swiss movies produced and stimulate consumer demand.

In 2019, only a third of Swiss films offered on VoD platforms were shown in Swiss cinemas, according to the Federal Statistical Office.

This may be because US movies are even more popular on the big screen than as video offerings.

In 2019, US films made up 27% of all movies shown in cinemas yet accounted for 67% of admissions. By comparison, just 7% of people went to the cinema to watch a Swiss movie despite home grown productions making up 15% of the general offering.

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