Has Netflix cracked France as it opens Paris offices?

Screen | 1/24/2020 | British Film Commission
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The great and the good of France’s cultural institutions and film and TV production scene turned out for the official opening of Netflix’s new French offices in central Paris in the presence of the US platform’s founder and CEO Reed Hastings on January 17.

“The only people missing were Frémaux, the Seydoux and Saada,” said one attendee, marvelling at the high-profile crowd.

Cannes - Film - Festival - Chief - Thierry

He was referring to Cannes Film Festival chief Thierry Frémaux, as well as Nicolas Seydoux and Jérome Seydoux, the influential chiefs of Gaumont and Pathé, who are both passionate advocates of the big screen experience, and Maxim Saada, CEO of the Canal Plus Group. The latter has seen its subscription base fall amid the rise of the global streaming players.

Frémaux reportedly attended a more select Netflix dinner the previous evening.

Presence - Figures - Culture - Minister - Franck

The presence of figures such as French culture minister Franck Riester, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and National Cinema Centre (CNC) chief Dominique Boutonnat as well as film and TV professionals such as Gaumont vice CEO Christophe Riandee and producers Alain Goldman and Marc Missonnier, however, bore testimony to how far the platform has come in gaining acceptance in France since it first launched there in 2014.

“It hasn’t always been easy between Netflix and France,” Riester said in a speech at the inaugural cocktail. “At first, there were reservations, suspicions and mistakes on both sides… but in the end, we’ve both understood we can’t really live one without the other. Today marks a new chapter in our relationship.”

Mutually beneficial

France is now a major market for Netflix, where it has some 6.7m subscribers. With subscriptions running from the basic monthly tariff of $8.8 (€7.99) to the multiscreen option of $17.70 (€15.99), annual French turnover runs at somewhere between $700m to $1.2bn.

Part - Netflix - Financier - France

For its part, Netflix is an increasingly important financier for France’s...
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