Amazon & Netflix will fight it out for the French Market in 2013


This week, during a meeting with the Competition Authority, Canal+ President Bertrand Meheu fought off claims that his company had exclusivity on the VoD and SvoD market by suggesting that Netflix would be launching early in 2013. The investigation into the monopoly comes from the fact that, in addition to Canal+ offering the only VoD & SVoD service in France, it has also negotiated exclusive rights to launch Amazon’s Lovefilm in France in March 2013, according to JDN.
We wrote about Netflix’s lack of activity in France, and it seems that the issue has still not been resolved – namely, that the video lifecycle in the US does not line up with the video lifecycle in France. In order to encourage French consumers to watch more films in the theater, on TV, etc., the video lifecycle – that is, the limitations on when a film may be shown on TV, on VoD, on SVoD, etc. – are much longer than in the US.
While Canal+ will be providing Amazon with all of its French content, and will thus likely adhere to the life-cycle restrictions, Netflix may need to have something special up its sleeve in order to manage the life-cycle changes, which will likely wreak havoc on their infrastructure. According to BFM[fr], American films are not required to wait the 3 year French minimum to be shown on VoD, because they have not signed the agreement in France; however, French films (which most of the French market will likely want to watch) will only be available on VoD 3 years after they have come out – let’s see, that means that I can watch Where The Wild Things Are, Inglorious Basterds, and Up — yippee.