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Distribution / Releases / Exhibitors - France

Industry Report: Distribution, Exhibition and Streaming

French films occupy an increasingly strong position on SVoD platforms worldwide

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We look at the main teachings from a study unveiled by UniFrance analysing the presence of French cinema feature films in 2021 on 81 platforms and in 48 territories

French films occupy an increasingly strong position on SVoD platforms worldwide
Chocolat by Roschdy Zem, one of the French films more present on SVOD platforms worldwide

In a landscape where SVoD platforms are in constant evolution, with some well-established brands (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and many local operators) but also an incessant flux of newcomers (either under the banner of Hollywood studios, as is the case with Disney+, HBO Max and Peacock, or in a more restrained or local degree, as with Joyn in Germany, Looke in Brazil, or Viaplay which has now crossed Scandinavian borders), French cinema is nevertheless doing well: its presence on platforms around the world has risen from 2.4% in 2019 to 4.8% in 2021. This is the main teaching of a new study unveiled by UniFrance, which closely looks at the offerings of 81 platforms in 48 territories (with data given by Ampere Analysis). 

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This positive trend places French cinema in third place among the national cinemas represented on platforms, behind the United States and India (which respectively represent 41.8% and 8.4% of the studied platforms’ catalogues). Europe remains the first territory for French cinema, with 5.4% of French films on SVoD platforms in Western Europe and 6.3% in Central and Eastern Europe. It is worth noting in more detail that Italy is the first territory in terms of French film representation on its SVoD platforms (7.5%), ahead of Romania and Spain at 7.4%. The worldwide top 10 of countries with the biggest share of French films is made up of nine European countries: three from Western Europe (Italy, Spain and Portugal) and six from Central and Eastern Europe (Romania, the Baltic States, Russia and Turkey).

However, although it is rising, the presence of French films on SVoD platforms in Africa, in the Near and Middle East (3.9%), and in North America (2.9%) remain lower. Finally, the three lowest ranking countries are all Asian, with China (2.3% of French films), India (2.2%) and Indonesia (1.9%). However, the share of French films on SVoD platforms is on the ride in all the countries analysed except for China. 

Although the United Kingdom is only in the 13th place in the ranking of countries, three British platforms, including one which operates worldwide (MUBI), make up the top three of platforms which feature the most French films in their film catalogue: Curzon Home Cinema (28.4%), MUBI (22.3%) and the BFI Player (14.6%). 

Among global platforms, the share of French films on Amazon Prime Video is 3.9%, on Netflix 3.6%, on HBO 3.5%, and on Disney+ 0.6% (at the time of the study, Apple TV+ featured no French feature films in its catalogue).

Globally, established platforms (such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video) are strengthening their acquisition of French titles, while local platforms are less oriented towards American films and hold more space for French films, even though these platforms are less significant in terms of the number of French films they acquire. 

Beyond the great diversity of French films on the platforms, with a comedy Chocolat [+see also:
trailer
making of
film profile
]
), a film noir (A Prophet [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jacques Audiard
interview: Jacques Audiard and Tahar R…
film profile
]
) and a fantasy film (Valerian [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) among the most films most present, this UniFrance analysis also points to great growth potential for French films on SVoD platforms since, by comparison, their presence in cinemas around the world currently stands at 9.9%. In short, French films are represented twice as well in theatres than on SVoD platforms. The situation should therefore be watched closely, especially since the study highlights a great correlation between presence on local platforms (in Italy, Russia, Taiwan…) and the interest piqued by French films on the big screen. 

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(Translated from French)

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