Giant of the subscription video platform market, Netflix had 8.3 million subscribers in France at the end of 2020, almost twice as many as a year earlier (4.5 million), according to a study carried out by the CSA (Superior council of audio-visual) and the Hadopi (High authority for the dissemination of works and the protection of rights on the internet). The shutdown of a large part of the economy, accompanied by partial unemployment and forced inactivity, caused by the covid-19 pandemic, from March 2020, considerably accelerated the growth of the American juggernaut in our country, as elsewhere. And again: this figure, according to Médiamétrie, is far from representing the real number of Netflix users, which rather flirts with… 19 million, because the same account can be used by up to four people at the same time. And this, without counting illicit viewing by sharing access codes …
At the end of 2020, nearly one in two French Internet users (46%) already had access to a VàDA service in their home.
68% of the market
If the craze for video on demand subscription services (VàDA) only developed late in France, these platforms are now, here too, a mass phenomenon since in spring 2020, nearly a French Internet users out of two (46%) already had access to a VàDA service in their home. A figure which has inevitably increased further a year later. The phenomenon now affects all age groups: while 60% of users are under 35, 31% are over 50. On average, at the end of 2020, each household had 2.1 subscriptions for an average monthly budget of 15.20 euros. And the appeal of Netflix, available in our country only since September 2014 while the platform was launched in the United States in 2007, was further confirmed during the first quarter of 2021, via the successes recorded by “La Chronique des Bridgerton ”and“ Lupine ”. Netflix now represents 68% of the market share in the sector in France and is even now… 5th television channel in France!
But this insolent domination can only be gradually reduced in France as elsewhere. So, Netflix ended the first quarter of 2021 with nearly 208 million paying subscribers worldwide (+ 14%), two million less than what the video streaming giant had promised investors. The Californian group sees Hulu or HBO Max carving out serious croupiers, not to mention Disney + which has just exceeded 100 million subscribers worldwide, thanks to its monster franchises like Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars or National Geographic. Immediate sanction: the Netflix title lost more than 10% on the stock market on the announcement of this mixed result. There are many reasons for this: a gradual beginning of market maturity, a gradual recovery in the economy making users less available and, above all, an explosion in the number of potential competitors.
Thus, at the end of 2020, 78 VàDA services were listed in France, against 52 at the end of 2015, and 63 at the end of 2017. The main competitors of Netflix in our country are Canal + (12%), Amazon Prime Video (11% ) and the recent Disney + (5%, which already has 5.5 million users, while it has only been available with us since April 2020). Let us also cite OCS and the case of the French platform Salto, which brings together the TF1, France Télévisions and M6 groups, but which for the moment only has 100,000 subscribers.
Investments in content
To maintain its leadership, Netflix is counting on the return of very popular series, such as “Sex Education”, “La Casa de Papel” or “Stranger Things” in the second half of the year, and also on the resumption of filming, thanks to vaccination campaigns against covid-19. The company has also announced plans to invest 14 billion euros in content over the year 2021, including more than 100 million euros in France where 20 new productions are in the pipeline for 2021. Not to mention the 150 to 200 million d euros that the American group should pay every year to support French cinematographic creation, indicated the Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, in December, on France Inter. This corresponds to “between 20 and 25% of its turnover” carried out on the national territory. An equivalent contribution is also claimed from Disney + or Amazon.
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