Amazon Promotes France Channel in America
The Picaro, by Caroline Salle, p. 28
The most French of international video streaming platforms is about to get a big boost. Starting this Wednesday, France Channel Distributed overseas by Giant Amazon First of all VideoWith services like Paramount+, HBO Max and Discovery+. Thanks to this deal, the service, which brings together “the largest collection of French programs in America,” according to its founder Julien Verley, will be available to the approximately 146 million Americans who subscribe to Amazon Prime. The new service is available for $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year. France Channel, unknown in France, “aims to promote French culture and creativity internationally,” says its founder. Launched in 2017, the British streaming service went live in February this year BBC And iTV It had 3 million subscribers worldwide, most of them in North America. Over a period of three years, Britbox Its international subscriber base has increased by 300%. There is still a long way to go, admits Julian Wehrle, who is aiming for “a few hundred thousand subscribers in the next two or three years” initially and very modestly. But the former Canal+ Group executive of ten years and former director of France Televisions’ commercial subsidiaries believes France has a card to play on the other side of the Atlantic. He points out that 5 million Americans visit France each year, 2.1 million speak French at home, and 1.5 million learn French as a second language. So we address Francophiles and Francophones and people learning French, and in general, all Americans who want to discover the best of your France”. In the beginning, in 2019, the creation of the France Channel, which was still in its infancy, was based on a simple observation: (0 A study by Stanford University at the time, Positioned France as a world leader in terms of cultural influence. There was no initiative for a platform dedicated to French creation and the French language, while the English streaming service Britbox began to be filled with subscribers in the United States,” recalls Julien Verley. Initially, the service had little visibility. In September 2021, it launched on the Internet. Launched live. It is difficult to emerge in these conditions. Entering the Amazon ecosystem provides a powerful advertising tool.
Invest in the appeal of a French brand
This partnership will greatly enhance the vision and growth of France Channel“, believes its founder. American families connect to Amazon several times a day. The site, which aims to exploit the appeal of the French brand, brings together more than 4,500 titles of movies, series, cartoons, documentaries, magazines and more. It is about 2,000 hours of programming. Many French like Effect of contracts with manufacturers Gaumont, StudioCanal, Pathé, Newen (TF1), Mediawan, France Télévisions Distribution, Arte, Morgane Production, Cyber Group Studios, MIC2, Le Pacte… “Almost 70% of our projects are not shown to the American public,” says Julian Verley. American consumers have access to similar series Demain nous apparient and TandemFor movies like Ops 117, Marius and Jeanette and Buffet Freud and for collections of documentaries such as Secrets d’Histoire, Esappés Belles, and Le Village Préfère des Françaises. Programs are subtitled in English and sometimes in French, and France 24’s live channels are accessible in both French and English. Besides Amazon, France Channel is also available on Roku. Discussions with Comcast are ongoing. France Channel is currently owned by ten shareholders, including Julien Verly, Bertrand Mehet – former head of Canal Group – NetGem, animation producer Cyber Group Studios and American fund Pasadena Private Equity. The company was born with an initial investment of several hundred thousand euros. If the deal with Amazon can increase subscriptions, “we can raise more funds in the next six to ten months,” says Julian Verley. At this point, it will be a question of raising “several million euros, to accelerate our growth very significantly”.
(Continued Le Figaro)
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