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Video games yes, Netflix and electronic books perhaps: this is what we know about the Government’s cultural bonus in relation to digital products

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, announced yesterday The launch of a cultural voucher for young people worth 400 euros that all Spaniards who turn 18 in 2022 will be able to request from next year. The chief executive gave few more details about it, and it only specified that it can be used for “the purchase of books or for the consumption of any artistic and scenic activity like theater, cinema or music ”.

But what about digital culture? The only sure thing we know in this section is that the purchase of video games will be included in the cultural voucher, as confirmed by the Minister of Culture, Miquel Iceta, in Cadena Ser, although he did not delve into more details. The rest is a great unknown.

Regarding streaming audiovisual content platforms, such as Netflix or Filmin, the Government spokesperson and Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, has reported that its inclusion in the voucher is being studied during the press conference after the extraordinary Council of Ministers held today, in which the 2022 General State Budget bill was approved. However, he stressed that this section will not be clarified until the Royal Decree that regulates the bond is developed.

They have not said anything about other virtual products and shows, such as e-books or digital concerts. From the Ministry of Culture they have explained to Xataka that it is still too early to offer more details, and that now the work of “delimiting the catalog of cultural services and products that can be financed with the voucher” begins.

When asked if the purchase of books mentioned yesterday by the president included the digital version of these, that is, eBooks, from Culture respond that they understand yes, but they cannot assure it until the initiative is developed.

In the press conference after the Council of Ministers, Montero pointed out that the bond will prioritize some cultural sectors over others, and stressed that it will serve to help areas highly affected by the pandemic such as theater or live music. In this way, if the Government has decided to include video games, it would be difficult to justify excluding other digital products such as audiovisual content platforms on demand for streaming, electronic books or virtual concerts.

The way in which the cultural voucher will be delivered for young people to use is also unknown. In other countries where there are initiatives similar to this, such as Italy or France, the check is used through a mobile application in which, with each purchase, the amount of the transaction is discounted.

What is known is that this check will cost the public coffers about 200 million euros, and that it will benefit just over 450,000 Spaniards, that is, all those who turn 18 in 2022, according to information shared by government. It can only be requested once, and the 400 euros will have to be used in different cultural sectors.

The cultural bonus is, therefore, only a barely outlined project, of which many details remain to be defined that will be outlined as the Royal Decree that regulates it is drafted, so more digital products and services could still be included related to culture.