& cplSiteName &

Vivendi Still 'Hopeful' of Becoming Europe's Netflix

Iain Morris
9/8/2016
50%
50%

AMSTERDAM -- IBC -- A top executive at French media conglomerate Vivendi is downplaying reports that the company plans to create a European Netflix with Italian partner Mediaset have run into problems.

Vivendi announced plans to acquire Mediaset S.p.A. 's pay-TV business earlier this year, with the stated ambition at the time of becoming a European alternative to movie-streaming giant Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX). Reports now are suggesting that the company had a change of heart last month, deciding it wanted a smaller stake in the company than originally intended.

Press reports have indicated that a Vivendi team working on that project has stopped holding meetings and that a service will not be launched this year.

"I won't disclose what's happening in the boardroom but I'm still hopeful," said Dominique Delports, the president of Vivendi Contents, at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam this week. "It makes a lot of sense for these two great companies [Vivendi and Mediaset]."

Delport believes there is a demand for local content that is not being met by Netflix and rival platforms based in Asia and North America. "The world is not necessarily happy with just Anglo-Saxon and Asian content -- people want to listen to their artists and watch their stars," he told attendees during a Thursday-morning presentation at IBC.

"If you look at the top 20 Internet platforms, 11 are American and nine are Asian, and Europe has been completely skipped," he added. "We can say it's too late but let's try."

Despite Delport's optimism, other recent developments also cast a shadow over Vivendi's ambitions.

In Germany, the company is shutting down a subscription video on demand (or SVoD) service provided by its Watchever subsidiary, citing the difficulties of competing against powerful forces including Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Netflix in the German market.

"In Germany you have three dominant players and you need to choose your battles," said Delport. "There are hiccups but I'm still confident."

The Vivendi executive also noted that partnerships with European telcos will be absolutely critical to its efforts to challenge the US web giants, bemoaning the absence of an "Airbus for the Internet" -- in a reference to the European aircraft manufacturer and rival to US company Boeing.


Want to know more about the impact of web services on the pay-TV sector? Check out our dedicated OTT services content channel here on Light Reading.


Delport revealed that Vivendi is currently in discussions with a number of European operators about its soon-to-launch Studio+ service.

The company is pioneering a new form of mobile content in which a TV series is made up of ten ten-minute episodes. "We think there is a way for people to be entertained for ten minutes when they are commuting or between meetings," said Delport.

Vivendi has invested €35 million ($40 million) in the development of Studio+ this year and will launch the service in Latin America on October 11. It plans to extend the offering to 20 markets by mid-2017.

"It's not a short-term investment and we have to get the metrics right but we are confident," said Delport. "In a few months we'll be able to show you exactly how it works."

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
cnwedit
100%
0%
cnwedit,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/8/2016 | 2:30:52 PM
The European Netflix?
We already get a bunch of UK-based content in the states - some of my favorite shows are UK exports. 

The problem we are having is that British actors keep coming to the US and stealing parts form American actors who apparently don't know how to act. 
Featured Video
From The Founder
John Chambers is still as passionate about business and innovation as he ever was at Cisco, finds Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
June 26, 2018, Nice, France
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Telco Job Prospects Go From Bad to Worse
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2018
Larry Ellison Laughed at the Cloud, Now the Cloud Is Laughing Back
Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading, 6/20/2018
Mavenir's Billion-Dollar Blueprint
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 6/18/2018
5G Transport – Where Do We Start?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 6/21/2018
Animals with Phones
Backing Up Your Work Is Crucial Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed