July 1, 2022

Streaming. Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Disney will put their hands in their pockets for French creation

You liked Lupin, The fool’s ball or other French series and films on streaming platforms? You will be served …

As we explained to you last spring, the European SMAD directive (for on-demand audiovisual media services) obliges streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV + to offer 30% of European programs to their customers. subscribers and invest in local productions.

This Thursday, as revealed by our colleagues from Figaro, the CSA (Superior Audiovisual Council), in charge of the SMAD file for France, reached an agreement with Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV + to fix their investments in French production.

250 to 300 million euros per year

Concretely, 20% of the turnover achieved by these streaming services in France will have to go to French production. This will represent a windfall of 250 to 300 million euros per year. According to Le Monde, Netflix (10 million subscribers) alone will pay nearly 200 million euros per year. “We are pleased with the signing of this agreement, which is part of the constructive and contributory approach which has always been ours”, reacted the company established in France since the end of 2014.

The tricky calculation for Amazon Prime

In this case, both Le Monde and Le Figaro agree to explain that the calculation of the share of Amazon Prime Video was the most complicated to achieve. The platform (7 million subscribers) is in fact integrated within Amazon Prime, which includes free delivery, music, digital books, video games, etc.

The American giant initially offered 10 million euros per year. After tough negotiations with the CSA, and a threat of a higher amount based on Amazon Prime’s overall turnover, Prime Video will pay 40 million euros per year. At least.

Launched in France in November 2019 and April 2020 respectively, AppleTV + and Disney + have for the moment much more modest contributions.

And in the coming days, the CSA will sign new agreements with other streaming platforms: Google, OCS, Canal + Séries; but also VOD (video on demand) services from Canal + and Amazon Prime Video. Still a few tens of millions of euros extra for French production.

Where will the money go?

According to the French decree implementing the SMAD directive, published in June 2021, 20% of this new windfall will be devoted to cinema. The remaining 80% goes to the financing of series, documentaries or cartoons. The American platforms would have liked a part devoted to flow programs (game shows, reality TV, etc.), but this was refused by the CSA.

“This is the culmination of a long-term process, which has mobilized the entire creative chain, from authors to producers, public authorities at the highest level and the CSA”, welcomes its president. , Roch-Olivier Maistre.

Countdown to media timeline

This is the last point to negotiate, but probably the most difficult to resolve: the famous media chronology, or the agreement which governs the distribution of a film from its release in the cinema until its availability on streaming platforms. . Currently, the latter must wait 36 ​​months to broadcast a film.

But seven days earlier, the Canal + group, historic financier of the 7th art, and representatives of French cinema announced Thursday that they had managed to agree on the hot topic of the media chronology. It provides for an investment of more than 600 million euros for the next three years in French and European cinema on the part of Canal +. In exchange, Canal + could broadcast the films just six months after their theatrical release, exclusively for a minimum of nine months.

An agreement that would manage to keep the streaming platforms for a 15-month broadcast … including for films now funded by them. A delay that does not suit, especially Netflix, which requires 12 months. The platforms could consider that the agreement between Canal + and the French cinema is anti-competitive. Or play the watch: on February 10, 2022, the current media timeline expires and Netflix (or another platform) will then be able to broadcast a film at twelve months, compared to thirty-six months today. Unless the government decides to write a decree itself, even if it means not satisfying anyone …

T. L.