Market Insight

Arte launches a live-streaming service

January 07, 2012

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Arte, the Franco-German cultural channel, has launched a 24-hour live streaming service, available to internet users in France and Germany only. It allows consumers to stream the channel’s programmes live to PC, iPad and iPhone.

Arte content has already been made available online through its catch-up VoD service Arte +7 and live via the Zatoo portal in a range of different countries.

For a channel boasting a relatively low viewing share, even in its core markets (2.1 per cent in France and 0.89 per cent in Germany), Arte has historically been quick to adopt the Internet as a new distribution mechanism. Its catch-up TV service, Arte+ 7 and paid-for video on demand service, VOD Arte, both made their debut in 2007, launching at a similar time to other French/German broadcasters such as France Televisions, which launched VOD in 2006 and RTL, which launched its own on-demand service in 2007. In a similar fashion to its peers, Arte provides customers with 7-days free access to programmes after first broadcast via Arte +7. After a 7-day period, viewers can buy access to Arte programmes through the Arte VOD portal.

Arte, as a primarily publicly-funded channel, has different commercial goals to companies such as RTL, but must nonetheless maintain its relevance to consumers to ensure its continued survival. Its small audience places the channel more in danger of marginalisation through fragmentation. Launching the catch-up offer was arguably the most important step in viewer retention, but to maintain reach and even expand the channel’s audience, the live linear channel is a useful addition – particularly with the growing uptake of connected devices. IHS Screen Digest estimates that 13.5m iOS devices will be able to access the streaming service in France at year end 2012.

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