Netflix Joins the Motion Picture Association of America

In addition to Netflix shaking up Oscar nominations with a record 15 for the company, news broke today that the streaming giant is in advanced talks to join the Motion Picture Association of America.

If that happens, Netflix would become the first tech company to join the Hollywood trade group that includes theatrical motion picture studios Disney, Paramount, Sony, Universal, Warner Bros  and 20th Century Fox. Confirmation of Netflix’s addition to the MPAA could come down as early as today.

The MPAA currently has six major studios as members, and it collected about $38 million in membership dues in 2017, according to its most recent filing with the IRS. But it faces the loss of one of the legacy studio members, Twentieth Century Fox, after the merger of many of its assets with Disney is completed.

“On behalf of the MPAA and its member companies, I am delighted to welcome Netflixas a partner,” MPAA chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin said in a statement.

Despite some industry assumptions, Netflix enrolling into the MPAA is no way a strategic means to gain leverage in the exhibition community in regards to shortening theatrical windows. The MPAA has typically steered away from such discussions, even when the premium-VOD debate was rearing its head a few years ago. The trade body largely leaves such conversations to the National Association of Theatre Owners.

While the tech industry has often been at odds with the MPAA on issues like copyright and trade, their sentiments could start to align as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and Apple make greater investments in content, and as major media companies The Walt Disney Co., WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal prepare to launch their own subscription streaming services.

Politico, who first reported the Netflix and MPAA talks this morning, said that over the past two years the streaming giant and Amazon advocated for anti-piracy measures alongside MPAA members and a coalition of other content creators through the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment.

Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix, said, “Joining the Motion Picture Association further exemplifies our commitment to ensuring the vibrancy of these creative industries and the many talented people who work in them all over the world.”

Netflix would be the first internet company, with its origins in Silicon Valley, to join the MPAA.

In addition, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Amazon join the MPAA down the road.

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Category: Showbiz News