all-out strategies to dominate an inflated market

vsera change for the streaming giants. They continued to grow in popularity in the 2010s, led by Netflix. This increase accelerated with the pandemic and its long months of confinement until the transition in 2021: for the first time, the number of French households subscribing to at least one platform exceeded half of the population.

The number of French households that subscribe to at least one platform has exceeded half of the population

The offers have multiplied…

vsera change for the streaming giants. They continued to grow in popularity in the 2010s, led by Netflix. This increase accelerated with the pandemic and its long months of confinement until the transition in 2021: for the first time, the number of French households subscribing to at least one platform exceeded half of the population.

The number of French households that subscribe to at least one platform has exceeded half of the population

The offers have multiplied: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Apple+, myCanal, OCS, Salto… The race for subscribers is tougher than ever. The content war, with exclusive productions, has been declared.

The challenge for these companies is no longer just to win customers, but also to retain their loyal followers: Video on demand enthusiasts can easily unsubscribe. According to a study by the Antenne company, revealed this summer by the “Wall Street Journal”, 19% of platform subscribers have canceled at least three subscriptions over the past two years.

1 Netflix, the disrupted pioneer

For the first time, after years of dizzying growth, the company Reed Hastings lost just over a million subscribers in the first half of 2022. A warning about the forerunner of streaming, which, however, with 223 million followers worldwide (more than 10 million in France) remains leading. Accident or relentless smoothing? The group has again this summer won two million subscribers and made two strategic changes. On the one hand, by launching, from this November, in twelve countries including France, a cheaper subscription (€5.99 per month against €8.99 to €17.99 for the other three packages), but with advertising four to five minutes per hour. On the other hand, by reformulating the sharing of passwords: from 2023 access to an account for a person outside the home will be charged, we are talking about three euros per month.

Eager to move upmarket, Netflix had excelled pre-Covid by recruiting experienced filmmakers from all walks of life, it was said, without regard to cost (Scorsese, Fincher, Campion, Cuarón, Sorrentino, etc.). Lavish period a priori over: the platform wants to remain a significant studio (four of its productions, including “Blonde”, were shown at the Venice Film Festival in September), but “rationalize” its investments.

2 Disney+’s rapid breakthrough

Arriving late on the streaming market, in 2019 (2020 in France), the multinational Disney benefits from such a catalog and such a planetary strike force (it owns Pixar, Marvel, 21st Century Fox…) that it quickly caught up: already 152 million subscribers worldwide.

Disney is also adapting its business model. The service has announced a price increase this winter, initially in the US, and the introduction of a cheaper package of advertising.

3 The millions of Amazon Prime

Prices are also rising at Amazon. Since September, the subscription in France has gone from €49 to €69.90 per year. “The VOD giants follow a classic pattern in economics: they lower prices to build an audience, and once they believe they have a massive and solid base, they raise the amounts,” notes a specialist in the digital economy.

Compared to Netflix, Disney or Apple, Amazon Prime Video suffered from being considered a simple supplement in the offer of the e-commerce giant. In recent years, the company has spared no investment to expand its catalog and assert itself in the production of content. Taking over MGM, diversifying into sports (a difference from its competitors) and programs (like “LOL”) and putting “event” fiction into orbit, especially last September “The Rings of Power”, an inspired saga of ” The Rings Lord” universe. Budget: one billion dollars for five seasons.

4 Soon Paramount and Universal

Clash of the Titans at the start of last school year. Facing “Rings of Power”, HBO Max has uploaded “House of the Dragon”. 20 million dollar budget per section. However, HBO Max has given up launching in France: the content can be seen on OCS.

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