Television in the face of platform revolution

bNews of the abundance of data and competitors in the promoting market or missed the alternative to develop into French tv champion in the face of the wave of American platforms? The choice by Bouygues and Bertelsmann, shareholders of TF1 and M6, to desert the merger of the first two French tv teams, made public on Friday 16 September, comes at an essential second in audiovisual historical past. Whereas tv, after different financial sectors corresponding to distribution, press or cinema, are hit exhausting by the digital revolution.

Traditional so-called “linear” tv channels – the place a present is watched because it airs – are seeing competitors from on-demand viewing of applications supplied by platforms like Netflix and on-line movies like YouTube.

Read extra: The article is reserved for our subscribers Faced with requests from competitors authorities, TF1 and M6 deserted their merger

The failure of the TF1-M6 merger follows a report by the Competition Authority (ADLC) that stated the operation could be accredited provided that the future entity divests TF1 or M6 of one of the two teams’ flagship channels. An amputation that every social gathering felt would void the integration of its pursuits. Together, the two teams will occupy a super-dominant place each in France’s tv viewers (greater than 40%) and in the promoting market (71%) or in the audiovisual manufacturing market.

In assist of their request, TF1 and M6 particularly argued that their share of the promoting market ought to be assessed on a broader foundation, together with web participant promoting, which is rising, a way of calculation that will maintain their share under 50%.

Read extra: The article is reserved for our subscribers TF1 and M6 sharpen their weapons earlier than dealing with the competitors authorities

We can remorse that issues not associated to the file are counted: Emmanuel Macron, in October 2021, by deciding to vary the president of the ADLC, suspected of reluctance to merge, was in a position to give the impression that it impacts this establishment, its independence Moves it ahead for defense. The truth stays that the proposed merger will weigh closely on the variety and plurality of data and applications and provides the new group an unprecedentedly dominant place in the promoting market.

Porosity of apply

Justified in the present audiovisual panorama, the situations imposed by the competitors authorities weaken its two central gamers at a time when their audiences are collapsing – the French watch a mean of twenty minutes much less tv per day than in 5 years – and the place their enterprise mannequin is beneath risk from the platform. Claiming, as the ADLC does, that the two makes use of and the two markets stay separate, ignores each the porous nature of the apply, the intertwining of screens, and the present introduction of promoting on main American platforms. In the altering panorama, the arguments opposing the marriage of TF1 and M6 threat rapidly turning into out of date.

However, it’s exhausting to argue that the group born from the merger will be capable of compete with the American big of Netflix and its 220 million subscribers worldwide. The deliberate union couldn’t exchange the efforts revamped the years to develop digital, win over younger viewers and strategy different international gamers. Beyond the French weaknesses, the failure of the TF1-M6 journey cruelly highlights the absence of main European platforms.

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