×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Vivendi to Shut Down Studio+, Its Mobile Series App

Vivendi is preparing to shut down Studio+, its app dedicated to mobile-native scripted series, barely two years after its launch in 2016.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed to Variety that the Studio+ app is about to be axed. But he said production of short-format digital series, suitable for viewing on mobile phones, would continue under Vivendi’s Studiocanal banner and be distributed through Canal Plus Group’s pay OTT service, Mycanal, and its video-sharing platform, Dailymotion.

Canal Plus Group will honor its existing deals with telco companies, including Telefonica in Latin America and Orange and Bouygues in France, by delivering Studio+ mobile series already in production. These deals with telco groups, which allowed Studio+ to claim up to 5 million subscribers, will end in late 2018-2019, according to an industry source.

Studio+ was also rolled out in the U.S. last November in Apple’s App Store, which offered one month’s free trial, followed by a monthly subscription for $3.99. The U.S. debut was packaged with the premiere of original drama series “All You Need Is Me” (pictured), starring Toby Sebastian (“Game of Thrones”) as a struggling L.A. talent manager.

On Monday, Studio+ was no longer available in the Apple’s U.S. App Store but was still available in France. Also Monday, Vivendi was expected to publish its results for the first half of the year.

The looming shutdown of Studio+ comes shortly after the departure of its creator, Dominique Delport, the longtime exec at Havas and Vivendi, who joined Vice Media in April. Under Delport, Studio+ delivered well-regarded scripted originals such as “Ahi Afuera” (“Out There”), a Patagonia-set headhunt, and “Crime Time,” a Brazilian thriller based on a true story, both of which were nominated for International Emmy Awards last year. The dramas adhered to the 10×10 format: 10 episodes consisting of 10 minutes each, regarded as optimal for mobile viewing.

Since its launch, Studio+ has invested more than €30 million ($35 million), an industry source said, but it failed to recoup that investment with a subscription price which started at €4.99 and ended at €2.99. The disappointing performance could be due to the fact that millennials, the target demographic, were not ready to pay for a standalone offer that only included mobile series. BlackPills, a rival app which has been free up until now, boasts 2.5 million users, but that could change once it introduces its pay offer.

Another explanation behind Studio+’s downfall is that telco companies outside China may not have developed the skills to promote mobile-native content, the industry source said, noting that even Jeffrey Katzenberg raised $1 billion instead of his initial goal of $2 billion for NewTV, which has a concept similar to Studio+. Verizon Wireless has just folded its mobile video service Go90 after spending roughly $1.2 billion on it.

More TV

  • Joel Kinnaman Mireille Enos Esme Creed

    Amazon's 'Hanna,' New Season of 'False Flag' Lead Strong Berlinale Series Lineup

    Amazon Prime Video’s upcoming high-concept thriller “Hanna” will debut at the 2019 Berlinale Series, with its stars – Esme Creed-Miles, Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos – expected in Berlin for its premiere. Netflix also features in the lineup and will debut “Quicksand,” its first Swedish original. A roster of seven shows also includes big-ticket Sky [...]

  • China’s ‘Boonie Bears’ Reach Korea With

    China’s ‘Boonie Bears’ Reach Korea With Animated Series and Movie

    Two seasons of the hit Chinese animation series “Boonie Bears” have been licensed for release in South Korea. The deal was struck by animation studio Fantawild with content distributor Media to Media. The broker has acquired IPTV and VoD rights to “Boonie Bears: Four Seasons,” and “Sunsational Summer and Snow Daze,” a total of 104 [...]

  • Mike Royce24th Annual Critics' Choice Awards,

    CBS Orders Comedy Pilot 'Story of Us' From 'One Day at a Time' Co-Creator Mike Royce

    CBS has ordered a pilot for the comedy “The Story of Us” from writer and executive producer Mike Royce. The hybrid comedy tells the story of how an unlikely couple becomes a family through interviews and vignettes spanning 10 years. In addition to Royce, Nick Stoller and Conor Welch will serve as executive producers. Sony [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Bob Costas Olympics Mike Tirico

    Bob Costas Officially Out at NBC After Nearly 40 Years

    Bob Costas has formally parted ways with NBC after nearly 40 years as a sportscaster for the Peacock. Costas and NBC have been negotiating an exit agreement for months. Word surfaced last summer that he was preparing to end his tenure with the network. Costas confirmed the news in an interview with the New York [...]

  • Happy

    TV Roundup: Syfy Drops First Trailer for Season 2 of 'Happy!'

    In today’s TV News Roundup, Syfy drops the first trailer for the second season of “Happy!” and Imagine Kids & Family sets a partnership with Four M Studios.  FIRST LOOKS Syfy has dropped the first trailer for season two of “Happy!” starring Christopher Meloni and Patton Oswalt. The new season premieres Wednesday, March 27 at 10/9c [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content