Studio+, a subscription video on demand (SVoD) service from Vivendi specifically designed for mobile consumption launched in France, November 2016. The service offers purposely commissioned, exclusive content tailored specifically for vertically held mobile device viewing. Vivendi has reportedly set aside a production budget of €35 million per year for the venture.
Though France is the first European country where the service has launched, Studio+ is already available in a number of Latin American countries, launching earlier in 2016. The service is intended to be made available in a total of 20 different territories by the end of 2017. In France the subscription is priced at €4.99 ($5.18) per month.
Studio+ is intended to address the perceived shift in viewing behaviour of younger demographics by capturing the rise of mobile video among millennials. The service offers a number of exclusive TV series, each split into a set of 5 to 10 minute long episodes. This format was deemed to be convenient for commuters watching content on their smartphones, as shorter form video is widely observed to account for larger absolute volume of total mobile video views.
Mobile devices also appeal to content holders as a potentially profitable source of content distribution. As most content is consumed via secure apps accessing illegal content on mobile devices is more difficult, prohibitively so for most consumers. Consumers are long accustomed to paying for entertainment on their mobile device, made convenient via any given platform’s respective app store. Vivendi is now seeking to challenge existing attitudes towards watching video on mobile devices, and, through the launch of Studio+, wants to compete for a share of the time that is currently spent on mobile games as well as music subscription services. The service will not be directly competing with other subscription video services per se, but more likely extend addressable market by reaching new consumer groups.
The service is to offer content in six languages: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, English and Russian; enabling the service to address consumers over a considerable geographic spread of international territories. Studio+ offers only originally produced content, and therefore content rights will not prohibit it from seeking global expansion in the future.
Further to the present development Vivendi has made significant investments in mobile platform entertainment in recent months. In 2016 the company acquired mobile game developer Gameloft; and also built up its existing stake in Ubisoft, a gaming company with a strong presence in the mobile industry. Should the newly launched video service fail to evolve into a profitable venture, it will still contribute to the strategy by Vivendi of diversifying into mobile entertainment market.