Back flip for the streaming platform that dreamed of being a French rival to Netflix. While it was no longer possible to subscribe to the service for a few days, France Télévisions, M6 and TF1, the three groups involved in the project, decided to officially record the dissolution of the platform. It therefore only took a little over two years for the heavyweights of the French audiovisual industry to throw in the towel on an ultra-competitive market.
Salto was launched with great fanfare in October 2020, but it seemed difficult for the platform to establish itself in a market occupied by behemoths like Netflix and Disney+. And for good reason, while the latter invest billions of dollars each year to expand their catalog of programs, the three shareholders of Salto had decided to devote only 135 million euros to it. An amount that seemed very small to make the difference.
An aborted marriage between TF1 and M6 which brought Salto to the breaking point
Nevertheless, Salto had succeeded in reaching an age group traditionally remote from conventional television, with respectable viewing times. The platform had also unearthed some great exclusives, like the series Yellowstone And small axisor the events Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts And Friends: Reunion. The service thus stops with “nearly a million subscribers”, according to its three shareholders. A correct performance, but which remains light years away from Netflix, which has more than 230 million subscribers worldwide.
Failing to play in the same court as its American competitors, Salto was mainly torpedoed by the failure of the marriage between TF1 and M6, which precipitated its fall. It was indeed an imperative for France Télévisions to be able to resell its shares. “This project stopped, the shareholders of Salto judged that the conditions were not met for the continuation of Salto in its current shareholding, because of the complex and constrained governance of this alliance and the refusal of the majority of the operators supplying Internet access to distribute the platform like American platforms”estimated France Télévisions, M6 and TF1 in a joint press release.
Before this unfortunate outcome, there remained the possibility of a sale. Canal+ was also initially interested, but the encrypted channel finally set its sights on OCS. The liquidation option was therefore chosen. It was only a matter of time after an extraordinary central social and economic committee (CSE) at France Télévisions, which was held on January 20. During this, the “cessation of activities” and the “dissolution of the Salto company” appeared on the agenda. The agony of “Netflix à la française” therefore ended this Wednesday, February 15. The schedule for stopping the platform and subscriptions should be specified in the coming weeks.
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