Talking to daily Le Monde, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has claimed 1.5 million subs for his platform in France, adding he wanted to strengthen its library with more French content but not respecting local media release windows.
Accordingly, Netflix would thus invest 40 per cent more in 2018 than in 2017 for French films and series acquisition and production. In addition to political series Marseille from Federation Entertainment and sci-fi drama Osmosis from Capa Drama, it is set to produce two other original series in France.
“Our strategy is voluntarily to produce French content and invest into creation, so as smoothing tensions with the industry,” Hastings advised, following Netflix’s refusal to release into French theatres the two movies recently selected for the Cannes Film Festival. In doing so, the platform wasn’t respecting release windows that require a 36 months gap between theatrical release and SVoD exploitation.
“Ten months wouldn’t be a reasonable delay for us, not even ten days,” Hastings remarked. France is planning to revise its windowing, looking to reduce the delay to 10 months. He called for simultaneous movie release on all platforms, cinema screens and VoD. “The audience must decide on this,” he asserted.
Netflix says it will produce 50 movies during 2017. Following Europe’s adoption of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) in May that will oblige platforms to run at least 30 per cent of Euro content, Hastings suggested that “quotas are not the best way to protect European culture.” Netflix adds it will respect the law. Currently, the platform in France offer 46 per cent of US titles, according to a recent study from the European Audiovisual Observatory, 55 per cent of US seasons and 56 per cent of US episodes.