A closer look at subscription-based VoD in France
by Fabien Lemercier
- In spite of piracy, the French SVoD market made noticeable headway in 2015, driven chiefly by Netflix and CanalPlay
As French film-industry professionals resume discussions (which have been held up for years) today about a possible development of the distribution windows (the spacing out of the distribution of works across the various formats, starting from the theatrical release: currently, this is four months later for pay-per-view VoD and DVD, ten months for pay-TV channels, 22 months for co-producing free-TV channels or 30 months if they simply bought the movie, and lastly, 36 months for subscription-based VoD), the CNC has published an enlightening overview of the state of the French subscription-based VoD (SVoD) market.
According to data compiled by GfK and NPA Consulting & Research, the 2015 SVoD market was estimated to be worth €82.5 million, up by 182.3% compared to 2014. Nevertheless, we can put this growth into perspective if we compare the French figures to the German ones, for example, where SVoD accounted for €228 million last year (and where the piracy that is so rife in France is penalised by an effective and dissuasive system of fines). It is also interesting to note that the SVoD share in the total for VoD (pay per view + subscription) in France stood at 26% in 2015.
Driven by Netflix, CanalPlay and the recent arrival of Zive, the French market boosted the number of titles available on SVoD to 6,965 in 2015 (including 4,432 films, 500 television series, 521 series for youngsters and so on). CanalPlay and Netflix are far and away the two platforms that offer the broadest range of programmes: 2,703 for the former and 2,315 for the latter. Incidentally, it would seem that Netflix has become the number-one SVoD platform in France, as 25.8% of viewers who watched at least one programme on VoD last year apparently did so via their Netflix subscription, as against 18.5% who did so via CanalPlay.
Out of the 3,130 available films that got a French theatrical release, 1,279 were French movies, 1,280 US films, 428 non-French European titles and 143 from the rest of the world. However, 65.8% of the available films are more than ten years old.
We should also highlight the improved availability of films. In 2015, 1,765 works (56.9%) were accessible on one single platform, 529 on two, 472 on three, and 364 on four or more.
Eight of the ten platforms studied in the review have films on offer, the leading three being Netflix (1,199 films, 53.7% of which US titles), CanalPlay (1,174) and Filmo TV (1,005).
9.2% of the French web surfers surveyed said they had consumed a programme via SVoD at least once in 2015, and 26.7% of VoD consumers (either pay per view or subscription-based) watched at least one programme via an SVoD service last year (compared to 18.9% in 2014 and 18.6% in 2013).
(Translated from French)