During a high-powered Media Mastermind keynote at Mipcom, Vivendi Content chairman Dominique Delport said Studio +, the groundbreaking app dedicated to mobile-native scripted series, has reached 5 million subscribers since launching 18 months ago.
On top of reaching five million subs, Studio + has also earned critical acclaim. Two Studio+ scripted original productions – “Ahi Afuera” (“Out There”), a Patagonia-set headhunt, and “Crime Time,” a Brazilian thriller based on a true story — are among the four nominees for this year’s International Emmy Awards in the newly-created Short-Form Series category.
Vivendi Content launched Studio+ in France (with Bouygues and Orange), Italy (with TIM) and Brazil (with Vivo) last year and has so far invested approximately 50 million Euros in 40 series and third-party acquisitions such as the animated series “Lastman” and “Biarritz Surf Gang,” an 1980’s-set documentary about a generation of fearless French surfers.
Delport, who created the format of mobile-first 10X10 series, told Variety that Vivendi Content was in discussions with four partners in the U.S. and Eastern Europe to launch the service there.
The exec said the service currently boasts a development slate of 15 in-house productions and an additional 15 third-party acquisitions.
“Beyond the format, what we’ve created with Studio + is a new mode of production. Our productions don’t exceed 10 months and our shootings are contained in four weeks,” said Delport, who added that Studio + also choses to work with producers who come from the digital world.
“The fact that Jeffrey Katzenberg is launching NewTV which has a concept similar to Studio + and doing it with such big ambitions and financial ressources – 2 billion from day one — makes us at Vivendi very proud,” said Delport.
Delport also shared his insight on the impact of new devices and platforms in a post-digital era with loads of data. The exec has a unique perspective on the media industry due to the fact that he spearheads strategic projects around new content, platforms and storytelling at Vivendi, in addition to his role as global managing director at Havas Group — the sixth biggest advertising and communication company which was recently acquired by Vivendi.
“We’re in a war for eyeballs and money follows eyeballs, said Delport. “For the first time this year, the digital ad spends has surpassed TV’s. Digital advertising reached $72.5 billion, versus $71 billion for TV advertising,” said Delport.
Facebook and Google account for 43% and 60% of the ad growth, respectively, said the exec.
The current race for subscribers, and in particular millennials, has prompted traditional players to forge alliances with digital companies, explained Delport, citing the joint venture between NBC and Snapchat announced at Mipcom. He also mentioned TF1 and ProSiebenSat as examples of broadcasters joining forces.
Another consequence of this mounting competition for subs is the unprecedented investment in premium content, said Delport, who pointed out Netflix had announced it would produce 80 movies in 2018, which is more than most studios.
Delport also spoke about mobile consumption. “Today, one out of five users is mobile centric… and more than 50% of videos are watched on a mobile.”
In the current environment, Delport said Vivendi Content, more than ever, aims at spurring creative synergies between the group’s subsidiaries which including Canal+, Universal Music Group, Gameloft, and online video platform Dailymotion.