You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

France’s TF1 and Italy’s Mediaset Join Collective Digital Platform Studio71

ROME – Studio71, the multichannel network controlled by German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1, has forged partnerships with French TV network TF1 Group and Italy’s Mediaset, which have become minority shareholders in the company, forming a European alliance in the advertising-video-on-demand sector.

TF1 has taken a 6.1% stake in Studio71, while Mediaset has taken an initial 5.5% chunk for a combined investment of 53 million euros ($56 million). ProSiebenSat retains about 70% of Studio71 shares, according to a statement.

The deal values Studio71 at roughly 400 million euros ($425 million).

The entry of these two top European generalist broadcasters will see Studio71 expand by setting up local operations in France and Italy. As part of the agreement Studio71 will acquire a strategic minority interest in premium multichannel network Finder Studios, which is controlled by TF1 Group. Under the Mediaset partnership, Mediaset’s Publitalia80 unit will become the exclusive sales agent for Studio71 advertising in Italy.

Each new Studio71 platform will feature content from TF1 and Mediaset’s top-rated TV shows as well as content from Studio71’s top creators.

The stated business model for the expansion will seek to replicate the success of Studio71 in Germany, which is based on the winning mix of ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s  TV hits like Germany’s version of “The Voice,” combined with top online content from leading local creators, such Gronkh, who is Germany’s No. 1 gamer.

Studio71, which is based in Los Angeles with offices in New York, Berlin, Toronto and London, has some 1,200 channels and generates around 6 billion monthly views on YouTube alone, according to the company.

The network will now use proceeds from the deal “to fund additional premium content and IP as well as further territory expansion,” the statement said.

“The partnership with TF1 Group and Mediaset gives us access to key European markets where the online video market is just now picking up momentum and promising significant potential,” noted Christof Wahl, member of the executive board, digital, and COO of ProSiebenSat.1 Group.

“By taking a stake in Studio71, the TF1 group is positioning itself in the global digital ecosystem alongside two of Europe’s leading media groups,” said Olivier Abecassis, VP of innovation and digital at TF1 Group. “And by becoming the operator of Studio71 France, we are bolstering our presence in multiplatform premium online video, and our status as a key partner for emerging web creatives,” he added.

In November, Studio71 signed a licensing deal with Chinese digital content aggregator ByteDance, under which Studio71’s content will be subtitled in Chinese and carried on ByteDance’s Top Buzz platform.

This pan-European alliance of prominent generalist broadcasters in the AVOD sphere has particular significance for Mediaset, coming after the recent collapse of a partnership deal between Mediaset and French media conglomerate Vivendi. That partnership had been touted as the start of a potential pan-European SVOD giant. TF1 is owned by conglomerate Bouygues SA, a rival of Vivendi.

For Mediaset, the AVOD alliance with Studio71 marks a departure from the classic business model of offering scripted content for a monthly fee, as practiced by its loss-making Mediaset Premium pay-TV operation, and is the first move made by the broadcaster’s newly launched digital unit.

“We join a digital global partner like Studio71 — with a deep broadcaster DNA — in order to build a leading player in the Italian market for the editorial management and monetization of digital talents, to maximize the distribution of Mediaset TV contents on Internet, and to boost synergies between TV and web,” said Pierpaolo Cervi, Mediaset’s chief digital officer.

Prominent European broadcasters have a competitive edge in the advertising VOD arena in terms of creating entertainment content, generating value from new talents, and also collecting advertising, a Mediaset statement noted.

Studio71 was formed by the merger of Collective Digital Studio (founded by Reza Izad, Michael Green, Dan Weinstein and Gary Binkow), and ProSieben’s Studio71 (founded by Sebastian Weil and Ronald Horstman). It is currently the world’s fourth-largest multichannel network, according to the company.

The company has deals with Facebook, Comcast’s Watchable, Verizon’s Go90, Liberty Global, YouTube Red, ZDF, Canal Plus, and Live.me, among others. It also has a deal in place with Paramount’s Worldwide Television Licensing & Distribution and Acquisitions division for films from the studio’s digital influencers.

Studio71’s roster of creators includes Lilly Singh (a.k.a ||Superwoman||), Rhett & Link, Rachel Levin, Shay Mitchell, Matthew Santoro, Epic Meal Time, Roman Atwood, Family Fun Pack, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

More Digital

  • Mueller Report Books Editions Top Amazon's

    Mueller Report Print Editions Shoot to Top of Best-Seller Lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

    Robert Mueller is now a best-selling author. Book publishers’ forthcoming editions of the special counsel’s report zoomed to the top of the Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s lists of book best-sellers Friday. That comes a day after the report was publicly released, culminating the nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election [...]

  • Marques Brownlee - Retro Tech

    YouTube Orders Marques Brownlee 'Retro Tech' Original Series

    YouTube has turned to one of its homegrown stars — technology vlogger Marques Brownlee, aka “MKBHD” — for its newest original series. The video platform has greenlit series “Retro Tech” featuring Brownlee, in which he’ll unbox and review vintage technology products that have defined pop culture. The show, slated to debut in December 2019, follows [...]

  • Netflix Tests Random Episode Button in

    Netflix Starts Testing Random Episode Button

    Netflix is testing a button to play random episodes of select TV shows, the company confirmed Friday morning. “We are testing the ability for members to play a random episode from different TV series on the Android mobile app,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety. “These tests typically vary in length of time and by region, [...]

  • Netflix Our Planet Sophie Darlington

    Netflix's 'Our Planet' Roars to Life With Work by Top Wildlife Cinematographers

    In terms of scope, production time and — very likely — budget, Netflix’s “Our Planet” is one of the most ambitious projects from the streaming service to date. Narrated by David Attenborough and made available worldwide on April 5, the goal of the eight-part series is to capture diverse habitats across the globe and highlight [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music’s Free Tier Is More Advertising Play Than Spotify Killer, Analysts Say

    When news began to spread last week that Amazon Music’s long-anticipated free streaming tier was imminent, headlines emerged about its threat to Spotify and Apple Music, with some stories saying that Spotify’s stock price dropped in response to the news. But not only was today’s launch of the free tier basically a soft one — [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Why Airbnb Produced Documentary 'Gay Chorus Deep South,' Its First-Ever Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    The latest player to hit the film-festival circuit may be a bit unexpected: Airbnb, the travel-accommodations booking marketplace, developed, financed and produced documentary film “Gay Chorus Deep South,” set to premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on April 29. It’s the company’s very first feature film. Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, “Gay Chorus Deep [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content