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U.S. Series Drove Up France’s SVOD Market by 60.2% in First Nine Months of 2018

France’s SVOD market skyrocketed to an estimated €271 million ($307.9 million) during the first nine months of 2018, a 60.2% year-on-year increase thanks in large part to U.S. series.

The figures were unveiled in a recent report compiled by the CNC, France’s National Film Board.

Overall, the VOD market (combining pay-VOD and subscription-based VOD) is expected to have generated €453 million ($514.9 million) over the same period, a 38% year-on increase, the report said.

TV series represent 58% of SVOD consumption, while movies represent 27%. While U.S. titles make up about half of the offerings on SVOD services in France, their market share reaches 66%. American series such as Netflix’s “Stranger Things” represent nearly 70% of the demand. By contrast, French titles make up 26% of the offerings and 16% of the demand.

Netflix boasts by far the largest number of titles on offer, with 3,478 as of September, a 20% year-on-year increase, according to the CNC report. That’s followed by Canal Plus Group’s service, Canalplay, with 1,519 titles. Amazon Prime Video, which launched in January 2017, comes in third with 1,323 titles.

Canal Plus recently announced its plans to fold Canalplay, whose subscription base plummeted from 800,000 to 200,000 in two years because of fierce competition from Netflix and strict rules imposed on Canal Plus by France’s anti-trust board. Meanwhile, SFR Play, the service owned by Patrick Drahi’s financially struggling telecom group Altice, saw its offer shrink by 77% to 404 titles. The other local service, FilmoTV, boasts 686 titles.

With more than 3.5 million subscribers in France, Netflix ranks as the leading SVOD service in France and will soon be opening a fully staffed office in Paris. Both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are facing a new quota approved in October by the European Parliament requiring 30% of their content to be sourced from within Europe.

Amazon Prime Video bowed its first French original series, “Deutsch-Les-Landes,” on Nov. 30. Netflix released its second French original series, the romantic comedy “Plan Coeur,” on Dec. 5.

While Netflix and Amazon currently monopolize France’s SVOD landscape, local TV networks France Televisions, TF1 and M6 have joined forces to create a one-stop service, Salto.

In contrast with its booming SVOD market, France’s pay-VOD sales went down by 20.9% to €69.9 million ($79.4 million) during the first nine months of 2018. Sales for U.S. movies, which represent more than half of the offer, dropped by about 19% to €39.54 million ($44.7 million) over the same period.

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