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Coronavirus crisis provides boost for French SVOD take-up

The coronavirus crisis is giving a significant boost to take up of SVOD services in France, according to a study by anti-piracy watchdog the Haute Autorité pour la diffusion des œuvres et la protection des droits sur internet (Hadopi).

The latest study by the regulatory outfit showed that 46% of French internet users reported subscribing to a SVOD service during the lockdown in the country, compared with 36% last year.

The number of pay TV subscribers has declined however, with only 21% reporting subscribing to a service compared with 23% last year.

The study also showed that French internet users were more inclined to use legal sources to view content, with 63% saying the consumed content exclusively from legal sources, against 56% in 2019. Some 28% said they were more inclined to consume TV series legally than before the crisis, against 2% who said they were more likely than before the access illicit sources of series, figures that compared favourably with those for films and music.

Of those consuming illegal content, 48% used streaming sites, compared with 23% who accessed content via direct download, 21% who used social networks and 14% who used peer-to-peer networks. .

French viewers are increasingly watching entertainment content online, according to a separate report by audience research outfit Médiamétrie.

According to the latest edition of the Entertainment Report based on the Glance survey, which monitors viewing across 11 countries, online viewing of primetime entertainment programmes across the UK and France increased last year. In France, three times as many entertainment programme viewers watched online than for other genres.

Some 41% of French people watched entertainment programming on their smartphone, up 3% on 2018. This compared with 40% who viewed on a computer. The figures were boosted by smartphone viewing of entertainment channel W9’s output, with 55% of its online audience viewing content on a smartphone.

Some 30% of online viewers of France 3, the public channel that will soon be replaced by a range of local and regional services, viewing content on a tablet.

Smartphones are more popular in France than in the UK, where 42% watched content on home computers compared with 29% who viewed on a smartphone and 28% who watched on a tablet, according to the study.