The SVOD market: leader VS challenger...who will stand out?


Nowadays, in France, digital devices are increasingly present in homes: each home has an average of 6 to 7 screens. On the web, video has become so important and occupies a place in the navigation of Internet users: every day, 23.7 million people surf on TV, video and SVOD sites and applications.

In 2019, 17.3 million of French people watched at least one program on a SVOD platform. The Netflix platform remains at the top of the list with 4 out of 5 SVOD users having used it in the last 12 months. It has become the 5th "television channel" in France in terms of audience. It is therefore interesting to note that SVOD has an increasingly important place in households, thanks to the ergonomics of the platforms as well as the quality and quantity of the content offered.

In addition, SVODists subscribe on average to 1.3 platforms*. Indeed, the flexibility of subscription (1st month free) and the multiple subscription offers, lead users to subscribe to different accounts. Although several combinations exist, Netflix is still often cited: respectively 61% and 58% of Canal+ Series and Amazon Prime Video subscribers also watch content on Netflix.

SVOD: a visibly lasting phenomenon in France

8.4 out of 10: this is the rating that SVODists give to their video platforms*. Moreover, most of them wish to continue their subscription and some even consider subscribing to a second SVOD service.

As for non-subscribers, nearly 3 million Internet users are considering subscribing to this type of service soon. One out of three Internet users will be closely following the release of at least one of the new platforms, with Disney+ in the lead.

Newcomers such as Apple TV+ and the upcoming arrival on the market of Salto, Peacock... are likely to change the current balance. In front of new entrants, existing platforms are opting for new strategies; for example, Netflix is now focusing on series whose first season was highly watched.

D.A.W.N.: the new age of streaming

The US streaming market has been totally shake up by the entry of Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max (the streamer of WarnerMedia) and Peacock (the streamer of NBC Universal), which is currently owned by the giants Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

The launches of these new players, some of which began at the end of 2019, define the dawn of a new age: Netflix is now facing new entrants with stated ambitions, each spending billions on content to attract subscribers. But not everyone will survive...

Disney + had announced key details about it in April 2019, such as its range of content and pricing. Apple TV+, meanwhile, revealed in March 2019 that it would launch its own SVOD platform in the fall. Peacock and HBO Max are expected to be launched in the US in April and May 2020, respectively.

Disney+: what you need to know about Mickey's streaming service

Let French fans get ready, Disney+ will be available from March 24, 2020 in France and in several European countries. That's one week before its initial release date, but still more than six months after its release on November 12 in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands... We will therefore still have to be a little more patient to be able to take advantage of the available catalogue and especially of the platform's original productions (Star Wars: The Mandalorian...).

Evidence of Disney+'s success on the other side of the Atlantic continues to accumulate: the application was downloaded 31 million times in the last quarter of 2019 and dominates all others in just half a quarter of activity.

Disney+ thus takes first place ahead of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. Indeed, according to the overall assessment of the platform, it even seems to have passed its American competitors with 76% satisfaction (see Variety).

Moreover, initial estimates of the number of subscribers in Europe are very good. The new SVOD service would already have more than 20 million customers at Uncle Sam. Disney+ announces a flying start and much faster than that of its competitor Netflix at the time.

Disney+: why does it appeal so much?

The multinational company already has millions of fans, thanks to:

  • Its many exclusive contents

7500 TV episodes et 500 movies at the launch: Marvel superheroes, original Star Wars series, Pixar cartoons, the entire Simpson series… Enough to make it the most awaited video service in France today.

  • Attractive monthly and yearly options

Two options are offered: the first at €6.99 per month or the other at €69.99 per year, a saving of two months of monthly subscription. It will also be possible to create up to 7 different profiles, for use on up to 4 simultaneous screens, and to download content unlimited on 10 different devices.

  • A dynamic interface « on trend Netflix »

The way the content is organized in scrolling lines is reminiscent of the Netflix interface: fluid and easy to use for a better user experience.

  • But also (and above all) because this new SVOD service will awaken our child’s soul with its cult cartoons to (re)see!

What does Disney+ look like?

The SVOD Disney+ service offers a rather familiar interface. At the top of it is a carousel with a selection of Disney's greatest hits (here, The Mandalorian). Below, the content is categorized into 5 distinct mini channels: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, are displayed. On the home page, the rows of icons are grouped by genre and allow you to refine the content according to your requests (here, you can see the categories "recommended for you" and "resume viewing").

On the left side of the interface, you can also discover a drop-down menu where you can make searches, have a list of "contents to watch" ...

In France, Disney+ will be available on OTT, that is on most mobile phones and connected screens (game consoles, multimedia players, etc.), but also via Internet boxes thanks to a new partnership with Canal+ announced on December 14, 2019.

On the official Disney+ website, you can see some of the series, movies and shows that will be exclusively on the SVOD platform.

By the end of 2020, the Disney+ service will have a new tool at its disposal (in 4K and HDR) to rethink the distribution of its films. And in the long term, only its most profitable titles will be released in cinemas, while the other feature films will fill its online catalogue and obviously attract new subscribers.

Why is this going to change everything?

Because Disney is recognized as the reference in the entertainment market. The group generated $54 billion in turnover in 2018 in merchandising alone and has already exceeded $10 billion in box office revenues in 2019. Disney has enough to invest in depth to offer many original creations, while building on its assets (Marvel, Star Wars and so on).

It can offer a significantly cheaper offer than all its current competitors. It can play the synergy, since it already has another major market platform (Hulu), efficient production studios, a major national channel (ABC), the largest American sports channel (ESPN), etc. In other words: an offer that is almost impossible to compete with.

So that's why the SVOD newcomer is so scary to the VOD giants, especially the big Netflix. On top of that, the films and series that will fill Mickey's catalogue will also empty the catalogue of his rivals like Netflix. Indeed, the latter is largely made up of licensed content, "rented" from historic Hollywood studios.

What future?

Ultimately, the subscription video-on-demand market is growing rapidly and the entry of Disney+ into it is likely to be decisive for the streaming sector, but also for the entertainment industry in general. The chessboard of SVOD platforms could be further disrupted in the coming weeks. The first quarter of 2020 will therefore see the arrival of major competitors for the historical platforms. Will they really turn everything upside down? To find out, let's stay connected...

*Source: Médiamétrie