Now French Broadcasters are Skipping Netflix et al to Earn The Streaming €€€ Themselves

By Tom Pritchard on at

A few years ago streaming was a pretty small industry, and only a few companies had bothered to set up a library of content people could pay to access. These days it's a whole different story, with almost every broadcaster trying to muscle in on the territory carved out by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. The latest development comes from France, where broadcasters have just struck a deal to pull their content from existing services in favour of their own.

Plans for this service were announced last summer, with broadcasters France Télévisions, M6, and TF1 announced a French language-focused service called Salto. The service is still in the works, but the idea is to develop something that functions similarly to the international streaming services. The only difference is that it's for French people who want to watch French programming in French.

The point of this service is to take back some control from US-based streaming platforms, and help French broadcasters better recoup the investment they made producing this content in the first place. The downside was that there are rules about how programmes can be rebroadcast via on-demand services, and they needed to get local producers to agree to everything. Now they have, giving them the option to offer their programming on their own free and paid streaming platforms.

The agreement gives broadcasters better rights over their content, and effectively blocking producers from selling it onto third parties. France Télévisions between 12 and 24 months of exclusivity for 66 per cent of fictional content it helped finance and 55 per cent of documentaries. Obviously some give was needed as well, and the broadcasters involved in Salto have agreed to increase the amount of content purchased from independent producers - rising from 75 per cent to 82.5 per cent.

Naturally this is bad news for Netflix et al, who have to have source at least 30 per cent of their content from local sources within the EU. If they can't get their hands on as much French content as they used to then that task is going to be a lot more difficult. But who knows, maybe they'll actually pump more money into making original French shows.

Given how the local channels here have been working on their own ways to try and compete with Netflix, I wouldn't be surprised if the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and possibly even Channel 5 have taken note of what's been happening in France. Maybe they'll finally get their act together and launch that combined streaming service that was rumoured last year. [Le Figaro via Venture Beat]