To counter Netflix, French channels have formed a new alliance and will create a common online video platform, called Salto, less than 5 euros per month.
France Télévisions, TF1 and M6 counter-attacked Friday against the US giants Netflix and Amazon, announcing an unprecedented alliance in online video with the creation of a common platform, called Salto.
Les Groupes France Télévisions, M6 et TF1 unissent leurs forces pour bâtir ensemble une plateforme OTT française : SALTO. pic.twitter.com/8GbaByEaEP
— Salto (@SaltoOfficiel) June 15, 2018
“With Salto, the groups France Televisions, M6 and TF1 intend to propose an ambitious response to the new expectations of the public,” announced the three companies in a statement.
On Thursday, sources familiar with the case had indicated that the boards of directors of the three groups had anointed this unpublished alliance.
The French groups argue that this online platform, which will operate on subscription and without commitment, will offer “an unequaled variety” of programs.
5 euros per month
This so-called OTT platform (that is to say, accessible via the internet, on a computer, tablets or smartphones, or on some TVs, just like Netflix or Prime Video from Amazon), “will allow you to find all the best television programs ( direct and catch-up), but also to discover new programs “, according to the new allies.
On their own, TF1 and France Télévisions account for 75% of audiovisual creation in France. And the three partners are open to other channels joining them.
The launch date and rates have not been specified, but according to a source close to the record, this new service should display a basic subscription of less than 5 euros per month.
Salto “will offer several subscription plans to take into account the needs of each”, and “will articulate in the best way with existing free platforms: MYTF1, 6Play and France.tv”, ensure its founders, who will create a company equally for this project.
The president of France Télévisions, Delphine Ernotte, had relaunched in November the idea of a platform common to the public and private channels and pleaded for the emergence of a “French team of the audiovisual”, able to “become a European champion who weighs on the world stage “.
Such alliances have already been formed in the United States (Hulu) and the United Kingdom (Freeview).
A merger project had failed in the past, especially in 2015, but M6 and TF1 had been open in recent months. To give itself the time to reach an agreement, France Télévisions had frozen in March its own pay video platform project, expected in the spring.
Monday, the Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen had encouraged public broadcasting to “build alliances with private channels to allow the emergence of a digital champion of the dissemination of French programs.”
Counter the 3.5 million Netflix subscribers
This is an unprecedented step for these groups with different statuses (two private and one public), and who fight each other daily to capture the viewers.
With this sacred union, Delphine Ernotte and his counterparts Gilles Pélisson (TF1) and Nicolas de Tavernost (M6) take the bull by the horns, facing the fierce competition of Netflix and Amazon, the American giants of online video.
There is danger in the house: Netflix, present for only four years in France, now count 3.5 million subscribers, according to Libération, more than OCS, the pay bouquet of Orange.
At the rate at which it grows (100,000 customers per month according to the daily), the ogre Netflix seems able to impose sooner or later as the number 1 pay TV in France, ahead of Canal + and its 4.9 million subscribers. Vivendi’s subsidiary is struggling to boost its recruitment, and has just lost the rights to Ligue 1 football from 2020.
By joining forces, TF1, M6 and France TV will also be able to pool their technological investments, and try to design an intuitive and fluid interface for Salto, while for the moment, MyTF1, 6Play and France.tv are pale on this plane. against Netflix.