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The future of the media business model: is France leading the way ?

27 November 2006 by Ch. Tronche | Filed under Economics.

With more than 1.6 millions IPTV subscribers (for 30 € / month, complete with 15+ Mb/s internet access and unlimited phone calls included), France is one of the most advance country in the world for VOD. And french ISPs are rolling out plans to offer “subscription” VOD to their customers. By your french truly…
France is a 60 millions people country with a 50% computer penetration (one house in two has a computer), and about 11 millions hi-speed internet access, mostly using ADSL technology. Due to a fierce competition betwen leading ISPs Orange, Neuf Cegetel (a company your truly works for) and Free, products have converged to a 30 € / month “triple play” (ADSL + VoIP unlimited in France and selected countries + IPTV), and are starting to develop “quadruple play” (with mobile phone, using Wi-fi technology to provide flat price mobile calls, wherever available).

ISPs provide TV services through a specialized set-top box, and have started developed additionnal services on your TV screen, the most prominent being VOD.

Now ISPs are asking for the right to provide “subscription” VOD. French movie industry is highly regulated, so ISPs have to find an agreement with movie industry. The news is that movie industry is now ready too listen (and while it isn’t crystal clear what they mean by “subscription VOD”, it’s at least clear this paves the way for flat price movie downloading).

Read more about the debate (in french).

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