January 25, 2022

Future media timeline promises to be a revolution for Netflix, Disney + and Amazon Prime Video

A new media timeline is being prepared. It would allow Canal + to broadcast films even faster after their theatrical release. Ditto for SVOD giants like Netflix, Disney + and Amazon Prime Video. They would only have to wait a little over a year, instead of three years now.

Movies that release much faster on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Disney + after being screened in theaters? This is the perspective that is emerging in France. In its December 2 edition, the newspaper Les Echos reports several substantial advances concerning the chronology of the media. Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services could do well and be much better off than they are today.

For those who are not very familiar with the chronology of media, this is a mechanism that structures the distribution of films after their theatrical release. One after the other, the operating modes follow one another (DVD and Blu-Ray release, pay television, free television, video on demand by subscription, etc.) and this over several months. There may be subtleties: for example, a film with few admissions may be released faster. A chain that finances cinema may have a better seat.

The latest revision of the media timeline has been in effect since the end of 2018 and is valid for three years. In other words, it is high time to come back to it, since 2022 is fast approaching. The problem is that it is very difficult to find an agreement that suits everyone, and this while the practices of the public change, in particular because of SVOD: everyone tries to have a good place. , as exclusive as possible, because there are considerable financial stakes.

Canal + would broadcast 6 months after the theater, SVOD 15 months after

In this context, an agreement seems to emerge with several windows of exploitation which will obviously evolve from 2022. Canal +, which can now broadcast a film eight months after its theatrical release (or six months if it is less than 100,000 admissions), should benefit from a new, closer niche. The updated media chronology provides, according to Les Echos, a window opening as early as six months. In addition, there is a nine-month exclusivity period.

On the side of the giants of the SVOD, the new window which is put forward provides for a possible diffusion barely fifteen months after the theatrical release (that is to say just after the period of exclusivity of Canal +). This is significantly shorter than the current regime, which provides for three types of windows depending on the degree of investment of paid streaming platforms in film financing (17, 30 or 36 months). In fact, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney + were placed quite far.

This very advantageous repositioning of the streaming giants in the media chronology is not just a flower given to trendy services. It is also because European legislation has been adjusted with the arrival of the AVMS (audiovisual media services) directive which provides that these platforms participate in the financing of French and European creation. The newspaper mentions a favorable sign for French cinema of 50 to 80 million euros per year.

Against cinema funding, the position of the SVOD giants in the media chronology should be greatly improved. // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

As subscription video-on-demand services begin to pay euros into the seventh art, it is no longer possible to throw them away so far down the media timeline. For a while, consideration was given to allowing SVOD sites to broadcast the films barely twelve months after their theatrical release, but this lead was not taken up. This scenario, says the daily, was above all a lever to put pressure in the context of negotiations with Canal +.

While there are only a few weeks left to find a deal, one question remains: what about free channels? Channels like TF1, France Télévisions and M6 have access to a window of 22 or 30 months, depending on the case. They could end up after SVOD streaming or, at best, streaming the movies at the same time as Netflix, Disney +, or Amazon Prime Video. However, these also contribute to the financing of the cinema.

To overcome the problem, and avoid a sling of television channels, perhaps the merger file between TF1 and M6 will be weighed. Clearly, the process could “go better” if the two private channels mute their criticisms or accept a broadcasting window that is certainly improved, but not necessarily better than that of the giants of SVOD. As for France Télévisions, being an offshoot of the public service, it could be accommodating.

These issues, crucial for the financing of French cinema, but also for the success of certain large television channels (starting with Canal +, whose cinema component is one of the great strengths, along with sport), will in any case public affairs. For him, whatever the battles that are fought between French or American actors: he will be able to access films on television and in SVOD a priori much faster. No need to wait three years anymore. Or to rely on piracy.

Which SVOD service is right for you?

Photo credit of the one:
Numerama assembly

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