Netflix is undeniably the king of the moment when it comes to On Demand video. With around 120 million worldwide subscribers, Netflix is by far and away the most popular streaming service on the planet. With this popularity comes power, and the streaming giant has been flexing its considerable financial muscle in every territory it is in, buying content and snapping up streaming market share with considerable gusto.
Unlike territories like the UK and US though, parts of Europe are not sitting back and allowing Netflix to cut a swathe through their markets. Both in France and in Germany, regionally based broadcasters have discussed banding together to offer serious competition to the all-conquering king of streaming. In Germany, where Netflix is one of the two biggest players in the On Demand market (alongside Amazon) Discovery and ProSiebenSat.1 are joining forces to offer an integrated streaming platform that will incorporate ProSiebenSat.1’s 7TV and Maxdome services, Eurosport Player and a range of other content. The new platform is expected to launch in the first half of 2019.
Meanwhile, in France, Orange and Altice France/SFR are close to a deal to merge their premium series and movie offerings into a platform that can better take on Netflix, which, at around 2 million subscribers, is France’s heavyweight streaming service. This comes after Netflix announced in the summer of 2017 that they intended to increase the amount of localised content on the service – an obvious threat to French content owners and broadcasters.
In both Germany and France, this new assault on Netflix demonstrates that legacy service providers appear to have realised two things – that they have probably overlooked the importance of streaming services for too long, and that it is the quality and breadth of content and service that is going to keep audiences engaged with them – not service loyalty. The importance of having a digital platform that enables direct reach to consumers in 2018 is just as important for tier 1 brands as it is for the mid market, because services like Netflix will attract audiences based on the power of its brand and its content. Unless viewers have something compelling pulling them in the opposite direction. That’s the only way challenge the king on his throne.Contact Airbeem