The project, which was originally scheduled for spring, will now launch this fall.
France Télévisions will first relaunch its own catch-up and VOD service Pluzz on May 2, with a complete new user interface. The plan is to integrate the new SVOD service, with a broad offer of French content, into the revamped portal.
Original content will be made available free of charge for seven days after broadcast.
Discussions are already underway with Banijay Zodiak, Cyber group Studios, Lagardère Studio, Makever, Media-participations, Univers Ciné, Newen Studios, Millimages, Xilam and Tétramedia.
The broadcaster hopes to attract around 800,000 paying subscribers during the first five, six years. According to France Télévisions director-general Delphine Ernotte-Cunci (pictured), the first aim is to promote French content rather than make a profit.
However, the project needs to be self-financing. The monthly subscription fee will be below’s Netflix monthly EUR9.99 subscription fee. €10 million is being set aside for the new platform.
Julian Theys, a product manager with Ampere Analysis, says France is a challenging market for SVOD and despite French regulatory measures to protect cultural identity, language and culture within the audio-visual market, being local doesn’t seem to guarantee success.
Currently, Netflix is the market leader with two million French subscribers compared to just 600,000 for rival CanalPlay.
“The end of CanalPlay’s deal with SFR led to a reduction in reach after SFR launched its own-branded SVoD service, SFR Play. Further, even a group with the size and power of Vivendi struggles to match Netflix’s clout when it comes to negotiating global content deals,” says Theys.