Cdiscount.com, a major e-commerce company in France, has launched a standalone online subscription service Cstream. The service offers its customers access to three separate on-demand libraries:
- Cstream Video library is composed of 300 movies titles and 1000 programmes for children; 50 movie titles are renewed monthly.
- Cstream Music library includes access to music catalogue numbering millions of titles, with a personalised recommendation algorithm.
- Ctream Books library offers access to 50,000 books, as well as 30 magazines and newspapers, including nationwide publications.
The service is priced at €9.99 ($11.14) per month with no commitment, providing access to all three libraries that are served via three separate outlets – using separate web pages and mobile apps for each library respectively. These outlets can be accessed either via a browser or via dedicated mobile applications (PC, Mac, iOS and Android included). Additionally, video library can be accessed via certain TV sets. Users can also download content to their devices for offline consumption.
Cdiscount is one of the leading e-commerce companies in France. Its online store is amongst the top 20 most popular websites in the country, receiving exceptional number of unique daily visitors. Invitation to use Cstream, the subscription offer from Cdiscount, is now permenantly displayed on the homepage of the internet shopping portal as part of visiting customers’ interface, and is also currently being advertised centrally on the homepage. This promotion is the natural advantage received from being part of a well-established parent, and guarantees instant exposure to potential customers. Cstream makes an emphasis on being a highly efficient value for money proposition, a note that should strike the positive chord amongst consumers shopping at the e-commerce portal.
Cstream content proposition draws a parallel with Amazon Prime ecosystem, especially in the light of both companies being e-commerce giants. However, Cstream is positioned as a standalone product that is in no way linked with the online shopping business of its parent company. Its revenue stream will therefore be entirely separate from retail side of business of Cdiscount. Amazon Prime, on the other hand, is bundled together as a single package, and primarily serves to aid its retail business as the end purpose. Amazon Prime has not yet launched in France, but the industry is expecting the company to make the entrance into the market before the end of 2016, at which point the two products will be in acute competition with one another.
The video content library, at 300 movie titles with additional kids’ offer, falls short of competing subscription services CanalPlay or Netflix, whose libraries number thousands of titles. Cstream’s offer goes beyond that of video, so consumers will likely withhold making direct price comparison from mentioned competition. This is also the rationale behind splitting the service into three separate outlets, where each different member of a household may find appeal in each different media, thus conveniently making use of the breadth of the offer. The music library includes millions of titles in its collection, an offer that surpasses in pure quantity that of Amazon Prime in UK, which states to have only over a million titles.
Nevertheless, IHS Markit expects video to be the main driver behind subscription to the service. IHS Markit estimates SVoD sector in France to grow by 36% to €269.5 million over the year by the end of 2016, to account 66% of total online video spend in the country. IHS Markit believes Cstream’s offer is sufficiently attractive to take advantage of the growth in this market. However, the extent of its popularity remains to be seen.