According to NPA Conseil and Médiamétrie’s “AVOD Market Report” survey, which is dedicated to the organization of the market in France, the local offer has become “premium,” integrating mainly regionalized content, channels more suited to French audiences and published by leading rights holders, while awaiting the upcoming arrival of key DTT players (Altice, France Télévisions, ARTE).
For FAST platforms operating on the French market (Pluto TV, Samsung TV Plus, Rakuten TV and Molotov Channels), qualitative reinforcement took precedence over the quantitative approach during the spring, and the line-ups were significantly renewed (nearly 30% in six months, for example, for Samsung TV Plus). The move towards premiumization was reflected in the rise in the range of channels broadcast in French and specifically designed for French audiences (almost 90% today for the leaders Pluto TV and Samsung TV Plus), as well as in the arrival of new key players in the French audiovisual landscape, such as Newen or Satisfaction.
Taking into account the 77 different publishers for the 292 FAST channels broadcast in French, 18 of these alone account for 80% of the offer. The report mentions producers such as Endemol/Banijay, Bo Travail, Newen, Satisfaction or Xilam; publishers like Euronews, L’Equipe, Secom or Trace TV; and specialist aggregators such as Zylo and Fast Media. Mediawan is currently the leading provider of the FAST channel offering in France, with 15 channels built around programme brands belonging to the Group ("Baywatch," "Captain Sharif," "Les filles d’à côté," "Toute une histoire," etc.), whether it publishes them directly (a third party) or whether it has sold the rights to Samsung TV Plus or Pluto TV.
On the other hand, some “pioneers” whose offer no longer corresponds today to the standards sought, are losing their place on the platforms, such as Alchimie, which will cease its FAST channel aggregator activities by the end of October. Over the course of one season (June 2023 vs September 2022), awareness of AVOD and FAST gained 13 points among all those aged 15 and over, with a peak of 69% among 35/49 year olds, and use (watching programmes at least once in the past month) almost doubled (x2.5 for 25/34 year olds). AVOD and FAST are benefiting in particular from the ever-increasing number of smart TVs (54% of French households had one at the end of the first half of the year).
But continuing to develop support requires integrating the offers of internet service providers, especially in France, given the influence they have there. In Europe, several key operators (Deutsche Telekom, Virgin Media, Vodafone and Orange in Spain) have undertaken this integration. According to information collected in the “AVOD Market Report” survey, at least one of the French leaders (Bouygues Telecom, Free, Orange or SFR) should follow suit before the end of 2023.
For 2022, NPA Conseil estimates the turnover generated by all AVOD services and FAST channels in France at €15 million, which is three times more than in 2021 (€5 million), and approximately 5% of all instream TV (€296.7 million according to the SRI e-Pub Observatory). Based on a stable market share, revenues for the first half of 2023 are estimated to be around €8 - 8.5 million.
As established by the business plan simulations carried out in the survey, the revenue prospects are limited for a publisher operating only one channel, and on one platform, and such publishers may have difficulty balancing the costs associated with the activity (programming, design, self-promotion, play out production, advertising management distribution cost) which can represent 40% of the invoiced amounts. “Achieving growth rates above 20% for the entire market, as seen in the most dynamic markets (United States, United Kingdom, Germany), will require platforms to strengthen their sales teams (seldom more than three or four people so far) in order to improve fill rates, but also to go beyond the contextual and/or socio-demographic targeting that takes precedence today, in order to better defend the value of CPM. This did not increase significantly in early 2023 and is still around €15 on average,” the report concluded.