CANNES– Keeping up with innovations on multiple fronts, Vivendi Content, the European conglom’s newly-launched division presided by Dominique Delport, is launching Studio Plus, a groundbreaking production label dedicated to international premium series for mobile screens.
Studio Plus was unveiled at MipTV on Tuesday during a press conference hosted by Delport and Studio Plus’s chairman Manuel Alduy and CEO Gilles Galud.
Studio Plus is launching in France with 25 short-format, high-end original scripted series of 10 episodes each carried out by top-notch rising creatives, talent and producers, Delport told Variety.
Each week, a new series will be available on the service (via smartphones, tablets and a mobile app), with an interval of just a few months between seasons. The first batch of Studio Plus’ series were made in five different languages across 18 different countries. As much as 60 more series are in development.
Studio Plus will roll out in some 20 countries in Europe and Latin America by year-end in partnership with major telecom players in each territory. It will soon launch in Eastern Europe and Latin America — starting with Argentina and Brazil, said Alduy.
Delport said negotiations were ongoing and declined to give specific details on rates as each telco company will determine the terms of its offer either via bundling or subscriptions.
Gallud noted Studio Plus cherry-picked 60 projects out of 750 projects submitted.
Among the production companies working with Studio Plus: Save Ferris, Iconoclast, Tetramedia, Red Production, Breaker Films, Overlook Films and Borsalino.
“We’re aiming to tap into the booming consumption of short formats by the mobile generation and address the scarcity of quality mobile-ready scripted content for the millennials,” said Delport. Studio Plus will be working with young talent coming from different fields, from the film, series and advertising worlds. The banner will also develop synergies with Vivendi’s subsidiaries, notably Canal Plus, Studiocanal and Universal Music Group.
The goal, said Delport, is to create series with strong local character that can attract a worldwide audience.
Studio Plus’ first slate includes Caroline Proust’s drama series “Amnesia,” David Bell’s action-packed series “Brutal,” “Urban Jungle,” “Joy” as well as the thrillers “Kill Skills” and “Madame Hollywood” with Dre Davis (Pretty Little Liars).
The idea is to create content for mobile consumption only. Some series could eventually be adapted into spinoffs or sequels for Canal Plus Group’ linear channels but that’s not our primary goal, explained Delport.
Since comedy already dominates short format content on social networks, Studio Plus will be exploring different genres, such as fantasy, romance, thrillers, horror and action series which will have high production values, with shooting locations ranging from Morocco, Thailand and Latin American.
Studio Plus will also be making international acquisitions, most of which will be exclusive.
The app, developed by Canal Plus and Watchever teams, allows users to browse through seasons for a flexible consumption.
Delport said Studio Plus represented a large investment for Vivendi but he anticipates a large demand for native premium mobile content in the coming years.
Africa is not yet part of Studio Plus’ strategy. “We’re targeting more mature markets where consumers are accustomed to pay for content.”
Studio Plus will launch in other continents in 2017.