Netflix boss Reed Hastings, in an interview with French news magazine L’Express, says that his streaming platform now has 6.7 million subscribers in France.
Hastings disclosed that Netflix also plans to invest €100 million in 2020 in France in local productions.
This decision follows the news earlier this week that the French government is finalising a bill to force all US online-streaming platforms active in France to invest at least 25 per cent of their French revenues to fund local productions.
Investment bank Exane/BNPP, in a note to clients, says that while this is a “small negative” for French national broadcasters, it represents good news for France’s production houses. “While Netflix is not competing for advertising share as such it does compete for audience share which implicitly puts pressure on the broadcasters. Broadcasters across Europe have resisted relatively well despite the audience loss over the last few years as higher prices were able to offset the audience declines. However, continued audience fragmentation is likely putting pressure on that trend,” says the bank.
“On the flipside,” says the bank, “the new production quotas and investment plans of Netflix are helpful for the French broadcasters’ production houses. We remain cautious on the TV sector as whole but rate ITV, TF1 and M6 ‘Outperform’. The French broadcasters particularly are set to benefit from more rationale pricing following the consolidation of the market last year.”