Analyst: French say ‘non’ to Netflix

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Netflix has yet to conquer the hearts and minds of the French, according to research from media analyst firm Ampere Analysis. Despite a global march to SVoD viewing on services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, France solidly bucks the trend with the lowest uptake of SVoD among countries surveyed. This is despite having one of the highest uptakes of paid television. Data from Ampere’s latest survey shows that French homes are the least likely among 14 countries surveyed to take SVoD overall and the least likely to take SVoD with a companion pay offer.

On-going research by Ampere Analysis has shown that, in Europe and the US, homes are increasingly likely to supplement their viewing by combining SVoD with a pay-TV service from a cable, satellite or IPTV provider or to take SVoD without a pay-TV service at all, but the French still prefer traditional pay-TV services and are not paying to also add SVoD services like Netflix.

Ampere Analysis polled 28,000 people across 14 markets to evaluate their TV consumption habits. The research reveals the French market’s unique character.

France: The Facts

  • Despite having one of the highest rates of pay-TV uptake among countries surveyed, French pay-TV homes are the least likely to also take an SVoD subscription to complement their pay-TV service. Of the homes taking pay-TV or SVoD, only 32 per cent in France take both, the lowest rate among countries surveyed.
  • French Internet users are more than twice as likely to prefer pay-TV over SVoD. Overall, 31 per cent have an SVoD service compared to 76 per cent who take a traditional pay-TV offer.
  • By comparison, in the US 72 per cent have SVoD and 71 per cent have pay-TV, and in the UK 67 per cent have pay-TV and 58 per cent subscribe to SVoD.
  • While the US and most of Europe is heading rapidly towards SVoD being an essential add-on to pay-TV, France continues to resist.
  • In both the US and UK, pay-TV in combination with an SVoD service is now the most common way to take paid television, with fewer homes having pay-TV without SVoD in these countries.

Ampere Analysis also found that where SVoD is taken, it is more likely to be as part of a content stack. Only 3.1 per cent of French households are SVoD only, compared to 14.3 per cent in the US and 14.4 per cent in the UK.

In terms of prospects for change, Ampere Analysis notes that 61 per cent of 18 to 24-year olds in France have an SVoD subscription, suggesting that at 61 per cent, 18 to 24-year olds are much more likely to have SVoD – the comparative figure for the total Internet audience is 31 per cent. This compares favourably to countries such as Spain, where 67 per cent of 18 to 24- year olds have SVoD compared to 51 per cent among the general population. It remains lower than other major markets such as the UK (81 per cent vs. 58 per cent), Germany (78 per cent vs. 51 per cent) and the US (86 per cent vs. 72 per cent)

  • Enthusiasm for SVoD is France is clearly driven by younger consumers who make up almost two thirds of France’s SVoD subscribers
  • One third (32.6 per cent) of Netflix’s audience in France is aged 18 to 24, with 28 per cent of the audience falling in the 25-34 age bracket.

According to Richard Broughton, Director at Ampere Analysis, a combination of factors has allowed French broadcasting groups to defend against the rise of subscription video-on-demand: Stricter local regulation demanding higher quotas of French and European content from on-demand service providers, extensive roll-out of advanced connected set-top boxes by French TV operators, and consumer demand for French language content (as opposed to the English-language content favoured by international VoD service providers) have all acted to favour incumbent local players.


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