Salto would have around 700,000 subscribers

Posted on Jan 13, 2022 2:54 PMUpdated Jan 13, 2022, 3:25 PM

These are the first official figures unveiled for Salto, the SVoD platform of TF1, M6 and France Télévisions, since its launch almost a year and a half ago. “The platform is young, it is progressing […]. It is not for me to give figures, but we must be around 700,000 subscribers “, said Wednesday Delphine Ernotte, president of France Televisions on France Inter, adding:” I believe in this project, Salto has a to come up “.

She did not say whether it was the only paying subscribers (6.99 euros per month) or the accumulation of paid and free subscribers for a month (since everyone can try the platform for free without commitment). When questioned, the management of Salto did not want to provide any details either … Thomas Follin, its managing director, is content to say that he “is progressing at a sustained pace” and that he is “well in his plan (d ‘business)’.

According to estimates by NPA Conseil, based on a declarative survey that does not distinguish paying subscribers from those who benefit from a free month or from shared accounts, the service would have a penetration rate of 2.4% at end of September. Or a little over 700,000 people.

Lean performance

Only element, Salto had reached between 350,000 and 400,000 paying subscribers during the summer, according to our information. Be that as it may, there is nothing exceptional about accumulating 700,000 subscribers today, even more so if this figure combines free and paid ones. By comparison, Netflix had reached 750,000 subscribers less than a year after arriving in France in 2014, according to estimates at the time. This, even though the uses in terms of streaming were much less widespread.

However, the group did not have the same barriers as those imposed by the Competition Authority in Salto, including the fact that promotion of the service is limited on the media outlets of its three shareholders.

The absence of the SVoD platform from the French boxes, which reign supreme in French television consumption, undoubtedly also explains this poor performance. Only a distribution agreement was signed with Bouygues Telecom, whose parent company happens to be the reference shareholder of TF1 …

Towards an exit from France Télévisions

It’s a fact, Salto is struggling to win, despite some nice editorial moves such as the broadcast of the special program dedicated to the twenty years of the film saga “Harry Potter”, during the holidays. Or the series “Germinal” at the beginning of September, its first big co-production, the collection of 24 “James Bonds”, which generated peaks in consumption and also the new chapter of the famous series “Sex and the City”, “And just like that ”, broadcast 24 hours before the United States.

In the coming months, it will be interesting to see how the service evolves. After the announcement of the TF1 / M6 merger project – which is still awaiting the green light from the Competition Authority – the president of France Télévisions announced that her group was intended to exit from the capital.

“The merger project is a game-changer since we would become a minority; and TF1-M6 wish to redirect this asset to better integrate it into their digital strategy. I understand that and will not object to it. On the other hand, we will be very vigilant about the possible exit conditions of France Télévisions ”, confided Delphine Ernotte to“ Echos ”in December. The public broadcasting group did not budget this year for investment in Salto, while the platform had weighed 31 million in last year’s budget.

TF1 and M6 would like to integrate SVOD more into their overall strategy by offering several offers: free replay, pay, SVOD, while the new group wants to focus on streaming. If the shareholder structure is changed, however, it will be necessary to go back to the Competition Authority …

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