Welcomed with a certain skepticism when it was launched in October, the Salto platform, born from the ambitions of TF1, France Télévisions and M6 to compete with Netflix, has been increasing the number of good surprises in recent weeks. First there was the acquisition of Small Axe, by Steve McQueen, miniseries put online Friday, February 26, which takes place in the West Indian community of London. Followed, Friday April 16, by the provision in preview of the tribulations of a crazy gifted person interpreted by Audrey Fleurot: HPI has since broken shelf viewership records on TF1.
The icing on the cake, Salto got his hands on the show “Friends: The Reunion”, the first reunion of the six New York friends since the sitcom stopped in 2004, posted simultaneously in the United States (on HBO Max) and in France. This “coup”, which we can say that it has definitively eroded Salto, has everything of the jackpot: Thursday, May 27, the day it went online, the show totaled 21% of overall consumption on the platform, with a 31% jump in platform traffic over the day.
Salto does not communicate on the number of its subscribers nor on the cost of acquiring the programs.
It is difficult for the moment to estimate the impact of these three operations: the platform does not communicate either on the number of its subscribers or on the cost of acquiring the programs. But make it profitable to buy a big piece like the special episode of Friends (which we only know that each actor received, according to Variety, at least $ 2.5 million – € 2 million – to participate) requires a massive increase in subscriptions.
Following the example of the American mastodons, the French takes care of the vagueness around its subscriber base, estimated at 200,000 (free trial period included) in January by The echoes. The only data granted by Thomas Follin, managing director of the platform: one in five subscriptions to a SVOD platform is now captured by Salto. This growth spurt should benefit from a ratchet effect typical of this type of service, and reinforced by the Covid-19 pandemic: once the subscription is taken, even if only for Friends, a part of the new recruits will keep it. A study carried out by Webedia for its Allociné site in May 2020 showed that only one in ten respondents thought “Unsubscribe from an SVOD service at the end of the lockdown”.
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