French VoD/SVoD platform Salto – a joint venture between TF1, M6 and France Télévisions – has begun its first test phase, a few months before its planned commercial launch later this year.
“We’re in the starting blocks, the test phase has started on Wednesday” managing director Thomas Folin told AFP. Initially scheduled for Q1 of 2020, Salto’s launch has since been postponed twice amid the Covid-19 crisis, and is now set for an autumn launch.
The first technical trials will focus on the user experience.
“Trials will take place during the summer but haven’t been open to a consumer panel yet. Because shooting and post-production have been stopped and foreign shows dubbing suspended, we weren’t ready to offer the expected full range of contents as of June 3rd. A hundred consumers representative of the French audience are being recruited,” Folin added, adding the 15,000 hours Salto is set to offer haven’t been reached yet but says the library will be completed for the launch period.
Salto will be priced between €5 and 10 per month.
The platform, which intends to stand out by offering a home for French and European creations specifically for French audiences, will aggregate live TV channels, replay and on-demand content across all genres with the objective to line-up 20,000 hours in the mid-term.
It plans to invest around €250 million over three years, which seems a modest amount compared to leading SVoD platforms, but the service doesn’t percieve itself as a direct competitor to the likes of Netflix or Disney+.