Ampere: It’s Still a YouTube/Netflix Video World

Google-owned YouTube and Netflix remain the top sources for online video and subscription VOD, according to new data from Ampere Analysis.

The London-based research firm found that 63% of survey respondents streamed a video on YouTube in the past month, followed by 39% doing the same on Netflix and 27% on Facebook.

The survey is based on 41,000 online respondents across 20 markets conducted in the first quarter (ended March 31).

Ampere found YouTube ranked the No. 1 source for online video consumption in every region worldwide except the United Kingdom (BBC iPlayer) and China (iQiYi).

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Indeed, more than 60% of respondents in France and Japan watched YouTube, while less than 50% of respondents in the U.K. did so.

As expected, SVOD consumption is highest in the United States – birthplace to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

Notably, American tech platform – Facebook – continues to lose video views – down 5% to 23% of respondents since the third quarter of 2016. YouTube fell 4% to 66%, while Netflix increased 15% to 37% of respondents.

“YouTube’s global dominance in this space is evident in its monthly usage,” Minal Modha, consumer research lead at Ampere, said in a statement. “The differences in viewing between the U.S. and Europe in relation to catch-up and SVOD services is interesting because it shows that SVOD providers will have to work harder in Europe to grow their [market] share as they take on traditional TV channels’ catch-up services. This could be through their catalogue, price-points or communications strategy.”

 

Netflix Spain Raises Prices

Netflix is continuing to roll out price hikes across Western Europe with Spain reportedly the latest country to see a €2 monthly increase to €12.99 ($14.80) from €10.99 ($12.52).

Netflix previously raised prices in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Netflix Spain also upped the fee for Ultra-HD on up to four devices to €15.99 ($18.22) from €13.99 ($15.94). The basic plan remains unchanged at €7.99 ($9.11) per month.

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Netflix in January raised by $2 its most-popular plan in the U.S. to $12.99 from $10.99. The basic $7.99 non-HD plan increased to $8.99, while the premium plan allowing four simultaneous 4K streams increase to $15.99 per month from $13.99.

French Broadcasters Up Content Production to Combat Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

After a slow start, Netflix France has topped five million subscribers despite alienating exhibitors ignoring local theatrical windows for original movies.

To combat Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and over-the-top video distribution in general, French broadcasters are increasing their investment in local original productions.

Last year, the country’s top broadcasters — France Télévisions, Canal+, TF1, M6 and Orange — spent €5.4 billion ($6.1 billion) on content, with over 40% of that spending dedicated to original programming, according to new data from Ampere Analysis.

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At the end of May, 106 new local shows were in development or production, while Netflix is currently producing 15 new TV shows for the French market.

“French consumers are adopting digital TV subscriptions quickly, and the local broadcasters know they must respond fast if they are to protect their revenues in a changing media landscape,” analyst Léa Cunat said in a statement.

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While increased competition from OTT services has French broadcasters on the defensive, proactively engaging in content production in the face of waning advertising revenue and budget cuts has some operators rethinking their business models.

As a result, licensing third-party content has given way to original productions. This strategy offers two significant benefits, according to Ampere: monetizable IP portfolios and a diversified revenue stream.

Pay TV group Canal+ launched a new SVOD service in March – Canal+ Séries – dedicated to a younger audience, supported by shows such as “Mouche,” a reboot of the BBC’s “Fleabag”.

TF1 just announced plans to further enhance its TVOD platform, MyTF1, with new advertising inventory and new exclusive content.

France Télévisions is focusing on international partnerships with other broadcasting groups to help support its local content investments.

Orange created a new division – Orange Content – merging pay-TV operations with the film division to produce original episodic programming. Literary adaptation The Name of the Rose was the first  original show to air, broadcast in March.

Ampere says SVOD represented only 3% of France’s €14 billion ($15.8 billion) audiovisual market in 2018.

France’s OTT market lags a number of its peers – including Scandinavia, the U.K. and the U.S. – but digital subscriptions are growing rapidly.

To tap into this growth broadcasters France Télévisions, TF1 and M6 announced the creation of Salto, a new SVOD platform set to launch later this year.

Offered alongside their free channels, Salto will provide TV shows and exclusive content with an emphasis on French and European productions.

Through this new service, the broadcasters aim to generate revenue from subscriptions and maintain control over content rights following their initial broadcast window.

For instance, France Télévisions has said it will cease licensing the French digital rights of “Call My Agent!” to Netflix and has signed an exclusivity time period on digital rights for the shows it co-produces or commissions.

“With increasing competition from international behemoths Netflix and Prime Video, there’s no shortage of tactics and strategies being employed to stay in the game,” Cunat said. “It’s a fascinating market to watch as it transforms.” 

Indeed, French broadcasters are looking abroad to grow key markets, including Africa where Canal+ has more than 4 million subscribers across 25 countries. This market has a rapidly expanding middle class with growing disposable income, which makes it particularly appealing.

Once again, the broadcasters have taken different approaches to international expansion.

Canal+’s production arm StudioCanal launched a new TV production unit in February 2018, dedicated to creating premium original content for an international audience.

Canal+ also produces content dedicated to its foreign local markets: “Invisibles” was released in October 2018, the broadcaster’s first African original series, a market the broadcaster has earmarked for growth.

The pay-TV operator also collaborates at an international level and has worked on the U.S. remake of its original “Calls” with Apple TV+ and “Safe” with Netflix via a U.K.-based subsidiary.

TF1 is increasing its investment in European creation via Newen, a global production company it acquired in 2015. It has also bought stakes in European production houses in Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark. Shows created by these companies include “Versailles,” “Ares” and “The Bridge”.

France Télévisions partnered with Italian broadcaster RAI and German broadcaster ZDF to fund and produce TV series for domestic and international audiences. Projects announced thus far include “Leonardo” and “Around the World in Eighty Days”.

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New Streaming Video Platform to Target Francophiles Outside Europe

A new streaming video platform aimed at Francophiles living outside France and Western Europe is under development by Julien Verley, director of business development at France Televisions, a state-owned TV broadcaster.

Dubbed “France+,” the SVOD channel/app aims to replicate the success of BritBox, the over-the-top video platform launched in the United States in 2017 by the BBC and ITV.

Verley, who is scheduled to leave Frances Televisions June 30 to work on the project, said the service would offer upwards of 3,000 hours of programming at launch featuring movies, dramas, documentaries, animation and TV shows.

Content would be dubbed in English, Spanish and Chinese Mandarin.

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Verley says France+ aims to capitalizeon the “art et douceur de vivre” of French arts, culture, creativity, society, heritage, history and education.

Julien Verley

“I’m confident this project … will expose French audiovisual creation, [a] scarcity [on] the large U.S. global platforms [i.e. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video], as well as the unprecedented opening of Anglo Saxons markets to international programs dubbed in English,” Verely said in a statement.

 The platform, which is seeking funding and would rely on third-party content libraries, is currently in partnership talks with Group Canal+, Group France Televisions and Group TF1, according to Verley.

“The quality, the diversity and depth of French and European programming represent an undervalued and underexploited [treasure-trove],” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

French Daily SVOD Use Increases 61%

Following a sluggish start, consumer adoption of subscription streaming video – notably Netflix – continues to grow in France.

New data from Médiamétrie found daily use of SVOD services increased 61% in 2018 from 2017 – including adding 2.1 million subscribers across various services.

In December, the top three movies streamed included Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle and Extinction. Top TV series included season one of “The Protector,” “Suits” (season eight) and season one of “You”.

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“Today, nearly nine in 10 French people know at least one SVOD service,” Marine Boulanger, director of cinéma and entertainment at Médiamétrie, said in a statement. “This strong response is due to a multitude of factors such as word of mouth, multiplication of platforms and strong communication around original or exclusive content.”

Médiamétrie found the average SVOD user in France is around 34 years old, single or a young parent and more tech savvy than the average citizen. S/he typically owns a video game console or related streaming video device or smart TV.

Nearly 60% of survey respondents used a SVOD service in the past 12 months, with 50% of millennials using a streaming video service in 2018.

Indeed, 96% of SVOD users streaming content daily, and 15% plan to subscribe to a second service. More the 2.4 million French are considering subscribing to a SVOD service in the next six months from word-of-mouth recommendation.

At the same time, 58% of French SVOD subscribers also watch television live or on-demand daily, while 75% use multiple screens, including a laptop computer, smartphone or tablet. The laptop is used by 55% of French SVOD users; 73% among millennials.

‘Très Bien’: Netflix Dominates French VOD Consumption

After a sluggish start, Netflix France has finally established solid footing since launching in the country five years ago.

The subscription streaming video pioneer, which once faced strong criticism from state-subsidized local media and allegations the service would destroy France’s “cultural exception” — especially at the box office, started strong in 2019, capturing more than 52% of all video-on-demand consumption in January, according to Harris Interactive and CNC.

Netflix surpassed Canal Plus (4.76 million subs) with 5 million subscribers, which prompted the French pay-TV operator to launch a new service – Canal+ Séries– focusing on TV shows, including programming from Showtime, FX and others.

On-demand digital programming continues to grow in popularity among the French, with 18% of users watching delayed content, up 2.5% from January 2018.

Nearly 12% consumed transactional VOD content, down 1.6% from 2018, while digital sales of movies and TV shows increased 6.1%.

In January this year, 52.6% of people watching on-demand programming opted for Netflix – up more than 8% compared to January 2018. By comparison, 19.7% consumers chose MyTF1 VOD and 19.5% on Orange.

Amazon Prime Video generated 15.3%, with Google Play and Apple iTunes at 8.2% and 7.5%, respectively.

Indeed, Netflix France ended January with 2.6 times more users than MyTF1 VOD. Not surprisingly, nine Netflix series ranked among the Top 10 programs viewed.

 

French Packaged Media Sales Fall 16%

Sales of movies and TV shows on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in France declined 16.4% in 2018 — up from a drop of 9.8% in 2017, according to data from research firm GfK.

DVD sales dropped nearly 18% to €323 million ($367 million), with Blu-ray falling 12% to €125 million ($142 million). BD market share increased 1.3% to nearly 28%.

In a market that has seen Netflix attract 5 million paid subscribers, GfK data revealed a 11% decline in disc unit sales, including 11 million Blu-ray and 53 million DVDs.

Notably, combined disc sales topped theatrical revenue by 55% with €478 million versus €288 million for theatrical.

 

 

 

Netflix Tops 5 Million Subs in France

After fits and starts, Netflix has reportedly exceeded 5 million subscribers in France — five years after launching service largely to indifferent consumers, according to publication Les Echos.

 The publication cited comments from Netflix co-founder/CEO Reed Hastings, who was in Paris recently to announce the opening of a company office staffed by 20 employees.

The benchmark is impressive considering Netflix reported 3.5 million subs last September. Since then, the SVOD pioneer has pledge to double local content production. It has also attempted to bridge a divide with the French movie industry, notably the Cannes Film Festival regarding theatrical windows.

 The publication said French media pay-TV/SVOD platform Canal+ still exceeds Netflix in average monthly revenue per subscriber (€40) compared to €12 for Netflix.

French households now spend 1% – 2% of their TV viewing with Netflix, compared to 10% in the United States. About 1.7 million people in France watch Netflix and other video-on-demand services daily (including 60-70% Netflix) in prime time, according to an NPA Conseil study.

Les Echos said Canal+plans to launch a less expensive SVOD service with localized content to up competition with Netflix. In addition the service has the ability to license American TV shows such as “Billions” and “The Affair,” as Showtime does not distribute internationally.

“Even though it has reached the 5 million subscriber mark in France, Netflix probably still has a real growth reserve,” wrote Les Echos.

French Broadcaster Canal+ Gets Shorter Theatrical Window

The French theatrical window is famously long and a matter of law. Changing it simply isn’t an option – unless you’re Canal+, a major financial backer of independent cinema in France.

The Canal+ Group recently announced a new agreement with French regulators that enables its pay-TV service to broadcast theatrical releases from six months after their box office debut.

Typically, French broadcasters must wait at least 10 months. But with declining pay-TV subs in the face of increased competition from over-the-top video platforms, the status quo is changing.

In exchange for the shorter window, Canal+ renewed a commitment to spend more than $200 million annually funding local French film productions through 2023.

The deal also allows Studiocanal, the company’s TV and theatrical unit, for the first time to produce four in-house productions per year—rather than just funding third-party content.

Meanwhile, subscription streaming video services such as Netflix can wait up to three years before gaining access to French theatrical titles – a primary reason why the SVOD pioneer remains engaged in a protracted dispute with the Cannes Film Festival and French exhibitors regarding streaming its original movies concurrent with box office.

While the impasse between Netflix and French exhibitors continues to generate headlines, government officials recognize changing market conditions.

The streaming service, along with Amazon Prime Video and other over-the-top video services, can now stream theatrical titles 15 months after their box office debut, provided they fund local productions – something Netflix and Amazon are doing.

In September, Netflix announced it was producing 14 original series in France in an effort to reach the 30% local content mandate. Netflix reportedly ended the third quarter with about 3.5 million French subscribers.

In February, Amazon announced its first French/German series co-production, a comedy titled, “Deutsch-Les Landes.”

“This is just the beginning for us, as we will keep on bringing the best of French and international TV, including new French Originals, to our customers here,” Jay Marine, VP of Amazon Video EU, said at the time.

 

Netflix Releases Theatrical Slate, Making Nice in France

Netflix has released a fall theatrical slate that continues to thumb its nose at the traditional box office window.

The streaming video behemoth is reportedly launching 22 July, a reality drama about the 2011 terrorist attack in Norway that killed 77 people, including mostly school children, on Oct. 10 in about 100 theaters worldwide. The debut coincides with the film’s streaming access globally.

Oscar-nominated director Tamara Jenkins’ Private Life heads to theaters and streaming Oct. 5. The critically-acclaimed film will be released in 21 theaters in the U.K., Toronto, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Denver, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

The film, starring Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn, had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and will next be seen at the New York Film Festival.

Separately, Netflix is attempting to smooth over its complicated relationship theater with France’s cinematic infrastructure.

The service is producing three original French series, while acquiring four French movies and documentaries. It’s also re-opening a French office in Paris while reportedly agreeing to pay a 2% tax on local SVOD revenue.

Netflix has been at odds with France’s cinema industry regarding the release of Cannes Film Festival selections on streaming concurrent with theatrical. French law mandates minimum four-month box office window – a time frame that can be reduced by one month if a film sells less than 200 tickets (!) in its first month of release.

“We are delighted to announce today three new French series — a witty comedy about friends, family and weed; a psychological horror series; and a modern, coming of age vampire tale in Paris,” Erik Barmack, VP of international originals at Netflix, said in a statement.

Titles include “Family Business,” a half-hour comedy about a young man who recruits his best friends to help save his family’s business, by transforming their butcher shop into France’s first coffee shop.

In “Marianne,” an acerbic young novelist discovers the terrifying characters she writes in her bestselling series of horror novels, might also be living in the real world.

And an untitled series adapted from the book, “Vampires,” by Thierry Jonquet, features a young rebellious teenage girl becoming a vampire as her overly protective mother engages in a race to find a cure.

Documentaries include “Banlieusards,” about Noumouké, 15 years old, the youngest of three brothers from a sensitive suburb of Paris who must choose which of his two brothers’ footsteps he wants to follow.

In “La Grande Classe,” two best friends from a small town decide to return to their hometown for a high school reunion with a secret agenda: take revenge on their former bullies and come to terms with their teenage crush.

To give voice to ordinary heroes – or extraordinary humans — “Solidarite” follows the destinies of five men and women who are symbols of resilience and bearer of hope in humanity.

Initiated through a crowdfunded campaign, “Paris est une Fete” is a real-time French love story filmed over three years on the streets of Paris, without any permits, amidst the crowds in a city scarred by terror attacks and social upheavals.

“Each project involves such talented French storytellers and producers that we are thrilled to be working on what promises to be very exciting times to come,” said Barmack.