Salto is dead and it’s a huge mess


The platform french officially closes Monday, March 27. Accused of lying about her figures, Salto has nevertheless communicated modestly throughout her short life. Against such increased competition, she had even managed to make a humble place for herself. However, she never managed to escape the ridicule.

Who will subscribe to watch Joséphine l’Ange Gardien? ” ” ATh, great, preview episodes of Love is in the Meadow! » « Great, 7 euros to watch Plus Belle la Vie! If Salto had had ears, they would have been whistling for the past three years.

The French subscription video-on-demand platform was not given the benefit of the doubt. Her name got associated with an oven before she could even prove herself. Critics can rejoice: Salto is closing its doors, it’s official. France Télévisions, TF1 and M6 announced it on February 15, 2023 in a press release. The streaming service had already been taking no new subscribers for a few days. It will now be inaccessible after Monday, March 27, 2023.

Whatever the angle of view that one adopts, the observation is bitter: Salto had difficulty in being born, difficulty in competing, difficulty in seducing. The fault, of course, with the clumsiness of its shareholders, but also with great administrative barriers, and too weak means allocated, in the face of the American behemoths.

600,000 paid subscribers and promises

Salto would have had 630,000 subscribers and paying subscribers in 2022, according to the calculations of the Informed, which is based on a turnover of 44 million euros in 2022. This is not a startling revelation: the Tribune already spoke, a few months earlier, of 900,000 subscribers in total, including ” between 10 and 20% » free accounts.

Difficult to measure up against the 10 million Netflix subscribers in France. However, in a market that is starting to be saturated with platforms (Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime in the lead), succeeding in attracting half a million French people, for different content, remains a performance. Especially when we learn that Salto’s turnover had more than doubled compared to 2021.

Salto united several important actors, even if others opposed it. // Source: Salto

Salto was not a “French Netflix”, but he quickly stopped pretending to be. If in 2018, the president of France Télévisions had presented the service as a future “ European champion who weighs(would) on the world stage », the elements of communication of Thomas Follin, CEO of Salto, were more modest: « In about ten years, Salto will not be essential in the world, but Salto will be essential for all French audiences “, he assured in 2020.

Salto’s catalog was full of surprises

TF1, M6 and France Télévisions had undertaken to invest 80 million dollars per year in Salto over 3 years; a sum already revised upwards, but insignificant when opposite, Netflix can spend 30 million dollars for an episode of Stranger Thingsor 13 million for an episode of The Crown.

Salto has never had the means to produce its own original content, where its competitors are mainly developing in this niche. It nevertheless fought to offer exclusives in France (the spin-off of Sex and the Citybig meeting of the castings of FriendsHarry Potter, the reboot of Charmed), new ones (Yellowstone, All Americans) and previews (Love is in the meadow or the other weekly programs of its 3 shareholders).

Tomorrow belongs to us on Salto // Source: Numerama
Tomorrow belongs to us on Salto // Source: Numerama

Salto thus allowed its subscribers to discover, two days before their broadcast on TV, new episodes of tomorrow belongs to us, Such a big sun, here everything begins And More beautiful life. Enough to generate, here and there, jokes that smack of classism, contemptuous of French programs deemed too low in quality to deserve to be bandits as selling points. But these programs have been able to retain users.

For his part, Thomas Follin saw this anchoring ” daily ” And ” popular as a strength.

Salto had to overcome administrative barriers

In addition to traditional red tape (which has driven mad Delphine Ernotte), Salto was restricted by the French Competition Authority – which itself had to wait months for a response from the European authority.

Prohibition of free advertising on the channels of the three shareholder groups, limitation of exclusivity, impossibility of having employees of TF1, M6 and France Télévisions work on the project… There were many constraints.

The end of Salto is concomitant with the failure of the merger between TF1 and M6, which could have taken over the streaming service between them. The hypothesis of a fragmented landscape of French SVOD is now unfolding, where each group goes there from its platform in “max” (MyTF1 Max, 6Play Max). To date, only the France Télévision group has managed to hold its own with France TV Slash, its free and modern service, with a marked editorial identity and exclusive qualitative productions.

Source: Numerama editing

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