French media company Vivendi will shut down its German subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service Watchever on December 31, 2016.
The decision, first reported by French newspaper Les Echos, was confirmed to Broadband TV News by sources familiar with the matter. The reason was the “heavy competition” in the German market, according to the sources. The 17 employees in Berlin have already been informed.
The French development team comprising around 100 people in Paris and Marseille will not be affected, though. Benefitting from the platform and technology created for Watchever, the staff will set up new on-demand and mobile services in the music and series area that will launch in the next months in Europe and Latin America, according to the sources.
A Vivendi spokesperson declined to comment on the information.
Watchever which launched in January 2013 didn’t manage to succeed against the strong competition. In a recent survey by Goldmedia on video-on-demand usage in Germany, Watchever occupied one of the last slots. The leaders were Amazon and Netflix followed by maxdome, Google Play and iTunes.
In June 2014, Les Echos reported that Vivendi mandated US bank Merrill Lynch to find a buyer for Watchever – without success.
A major problem were the high losses: In 2013, Watchever made a loss of €66 million with a turnover of just €12 million, according to the newspaper.