Video on demand (or VOD for short) is a video content service available via the internet or non-cable networks. The increasing access to a high-speed internet connection in French households has led to growing interest in the market for VoD platforms. In less than ten years, the value of the entire video-on-demand market has more than quadrupled in France and surpassed the billion euro mark in 2016.
Video on demand has gained ground in recent years and should reach more than 28 million users in France by 2025. Subscription-video-on-demand (or SVoD) platforms are the most popular type of video-on-demand services. A monthly or annual paid subscription is required to access the available video offered by the platforms. With more than six million users in France in 2020, Netflix was by far the most used SVoD platform in France. The VOD market is extremely competitive and dominated by U.S. giants such as Netflix, Amazon or the new Disney service, leaving little room for French competitors.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the several lockdowns implemented in France, people spent more time at home and inevitably in front of their television set, which is by far the preferred device among consumers to watch VoD content, ahead of laptops or other mobile devices. Many French viewers took this opportunity to subscribe to a new VoD platform in order to occupy themselves. Disney+ in particular, which launched in France in April, has recorded an increase in new accounts created over that period.
Despite the multiplication of free offers, illegal consumption of cultural goods is still very present in France, and video content is far from being spared. High account prices or numerous platforms available may be an explanation. Illegal consumption takes on several forms, such as using another user's access codes or internet connection, using a VPN or downloading content directly via Torrent links.
The simultaneous release of movies in theaters and VoD, such as the live action version of Mulan released in 2020, proves that the industry is quick to adapt to changing circumstances.