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Netflix: soaring revenues, low taxes and small investment in diversity

Netflix has announced plans for an investment of almost €400,000 to support diverse new talents in the U.K., after earning an estimated 1 billion euros (£940 million) from British subscribers in 2019 and paying just £3.2 million in U.K. corporation taxes that year.

The Netflix investment will support 30 year-long scholarships for students at Femi Oguns’ London drama school, Identity School of Acting, as well as double the number of young people involved with youth-led media organisation Million Youth Media. It will also help the Mama Youth initiative to train more young people for broadcast and media roles.

The grant comes as part of the $5million fund that Netflix set up last year and also follows its more recent UK Documentary Talent Fund.

“Great stories help build empathy, connecting us to people and places we’d otherwise never know about or understand. But great stories are not enough if they only come through one lens, reflect one experience or embody one type of journey through life. At Netflix we believe in stories from everywhere for everyone and we are determined to help realise that ambition fully”, commented Anne Mensah, VP of UK Original series for Netflix.

“I believe the UK industry is changing. And although this change is slow, the wealth of young diverse British voices fighting their way to the top of the industry fills me with hope and excitement” continued Mensah. She added that Netflix was committed to doing more to supporting the current generation of British talent, as well as developing a more inclusive pipeline of upcoming creatives.

The announcement comes just days after Netflix revealed the results of its first-ever global inclusion report.

Netflix capped off a year of impressive streaming growth by adding 8.5 million net new paying subscribers during the fourth quarter. This means that the streaming giant now has a total of 204 million paying subscribers worldwide — net growth of 37 million new subscribers for the full year, up from 28 million net additions in 2019.

Netflix reaped an estimated £940 million ($1.3 billion) from British subscribers in 2019, but the streaming giant paid just £3.2 million in U.K. corporation taxes that year and it is the latest example of how national tax regimes are failing to capture the massive revenues made by U.S. technology giants in their borders.

According to recent filings from the three companies that Netflix NFLX, -2.53% has registered with Companies House — the U.K. corporate registrar — the streaming giant reported £13 million in pretax profits and £120 million in U.K. revenue in 2019.

Of that, €86 million ($105 million) in revenue was made by one of those companies for operating as the marketing and support services arm of its European subsidiary in the Netherlands, while the EMEA region subscriptions account for more than the 25% of the total subscriptions revenues, according to

Despite that, Netflix has not announced yet any similar plans for supporting talents in European markets.

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