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France: Entertainment market will reap long-germ gains from Covid

August 5, 2020

France’s video entertainment market is expected to gain long-term benefits from the Covid-19 pandemic, with an anticipated uplift in sector revenues which is marginally higher than previous market forecasts.

That’s according to a report from Futuresource Consulting, pointing to stay-at-home requirements as a springboard for French SVoD, combined with a longer-term societal shift that will signal a return to strength for many segments of the market.

“The industry narrative in France is a now-familiar story,” says Tristan Veale, Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “Video entertainment and the Covid-19 situation is being played out in similar ways across many countries. However, France has a set of circumstances that could work in its favour. French consumer attitudes to SVoD were already taking shape, with rapid Netflix adoption over the last three years, but lockdown has encouraged those to try services who were previously reluctant. As a result, we expect SVoD to drive video spend to new levels over the next five years.”

In 2019, SVoD subscriptions increased by 71 per cent, with SVoD households taking 1.9 services on average. Futuresource expects a similar increase this year, with upward pressure being applied due to an array of market movements. This includes the Disney+ launch, Salto joining the market, Netflix in a strong growth phase, Amazon Prime building ecommerce presence and related Prime Video usage, as well as healthy uptake of Apple TV+.

Futuresource also identifies EST movies as a strong growth area this year, with a 13 per cent increase in transactions. Orange retains its market leadership position, as well as increasing its EST capability among subscribers, with around 90 per cent of installed set-top boxes now enabled for EST title purchases. Canal VoD, Apple, the Amazon launch, and Bouygues launching EST capabilities in May 2020 have all added weight to the market.

“There’s no getting away from it, there are some low points on the landscape, with box office and pay-TV compromised by the Coronavirus outbreak,” says Veale. “It’s a frustrating situation, as we expected 2020 to be a strong year for French cinemas after a return to growth of the video market in 2019. However, this is simply a short-term blip and the market will see a correction.”

“Despite the turmoil, there are multiple opportunities within video entertainment, and the industry will look back on 2020 as a catalyst for digital growth. Our forecasts show total consumer spend will increase by an average of 3 per cent per year out to 2024, achieving annual revenues of €8.4 billion by the end of the forecast period.”

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