Pratical roundtable about VoD and SVoD environment

Hosted by journalist Emmanuelle Spadacenta, Chief Editor of CinémaTeaser, the roundtable "Analysis of the economic and legal VOD environment and the room dedicated to classic films" took place in four stages.

First one on stage, Benoît Danard, Head of statistics studies and prospective at the CNC. Armed with a particularly clear powerpoint, he gave some information on the current state of VoD and, more particularly of SVoD, around three specific axes: its value and its evolution, the offer and what is consumed on it. It showed that VoD is a growing sector, having increased by more than 30% in one year, from 2017 to 2018, especially for the SVoD which saw its market double. If the rental is down slightly, subscription platforms are experiencing a real boom. They now represent 4% of French individuals aged 4 and over in daily consumption, i.e. 2.3 million people for 3.8 million programs.

The rental SVoD has an offer of approximately 15,000 films, of which 31.8% are French films and 42.5% are American films. Cinema accounted for 116 million euros in income in 2017. For its part, the SVoD offers only 2,790 feature films (2017's figures), a majority from the United States (50.1%) against 33.3% French. Amazon is the champion platform of the 7th art with 62.8% of films against 48.7% for Netflix or 39.8% for SFR Play. On the other hand, on the heritage side, French platforms like CanalPlay or SFR Play far outweigh their American rivals. Still, Netflix largely dominates the SVoD market, Amazon also showing a strong growth. A domination especially due to strong media plans.

Then, Benoît Danard gave his place to Hubert Tilliet, Head of Legal Affairs and Audiovisual Contracts at the SACD and Sabrina Joutard, Vice managing Catalog of Pathé. Both speakers noted how complicated relationships can be, particularly with US platforms, regarding legal issues. The collective management of the rights, based on a percentage taken on the platform's incomes not being in the culture of Netflix and Amazon, not to name them, the negotiations prove sometimes to be lengthy and strained: "
It is a chore", summarizes Sabrina Joutard. There is a lot of pedagogical work to be done with them. Overall, for the VoD, a 1999 agreement between SACD and the producers, provides that 1.75% of the sale or rental price of each film is taken to be redistributed. For SVoD, the principle is the same as for television channels, a percentage X being perceived on the income of the platforms and redistributed evenly thereafter. More specifically on the case of the heritage films, if the French platforms like FilmoTV or Orange display a true enthusiasm, the American platforms are still little interested. And the amounts invested, often flats, are quite low.

Nicolas Martin-Teillard and Marion Lingot, both lawyers working at Fiducial Legal by Lamy, took over to focus on the legal and financial environment of the SVoD. For them, two major problems stand out: the piracy and the opacity, sometimes, of the channel of rights. For the first, they say that the most effective weapon still remains is the emergency interim proceedings, both fast and adapted to these issues that may result in penalties for identical brand reproduction or in forcing Google to dereference criminal sites and internet service providers to prevent access to these sites. For the second, the hope lies in the BlockChain, a technology of storage and transmission of information perfectly transparent, secure, and operating without a central control body, to clarify and automate the channel of rights.

Finally, Adrien Desanges, 
Co-Founder and Managing Director of Benshi Studio and Markus Duffner, Managing director of TVOD Spamflix, came to share their experiences. Whether for the platform dedicated to a child audience or the other one devoted to strange filmographies, the problems are similar in complying with the rights of each country, it is necessary to negotiate film by film, country by country. But if according to Benshi, highly supported by institutional supports, heritage represents a large part of the catalog, this is sometimes more complex for Spamflix, which is very independent, where rights holders are a little afraid to embark on structures still small. In both cases, the real issues are, at the same time, the technology and the existence of the brand.


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