Salto chief executive Thomas Follin said that despite a series of negative stories, the French streaming service was doing well.
The joint venture between commercial broadcasters TF1 and M6 and public broadcaster M6 has faced accusations of low subscriber numbers, the possible withdrawal of France Télévisions and concerns over the proposed merger of TF1 and M6.
“We are in a booming, very competitive environment, dominated by multi-subscription. However, in our first year, we made a real breakthrough,” Follin told Digital. “We have managed to climb to third place in terms of growth in 2021. It’s not me saying it, it’s the NPA Conseil/Harris Interactive OTT barometer. We are behind Amazon and Disney and ahead of Netflix, Apple TV+, etc.
Follin told the publication that Salto had managed to establish itself as the French platform alongside international services, adding that Salto had become the highest rated SVOD app on Apple’s App Store and received the award of the best entertainment app on google play.
Follin would not comment directly on the number of Salto subscribers, placed between 500,000 by M6 CEO Nicolas de Tavernost and 700,000 by Delphine Ernotte, his counterpart at France Télévisions. “What I can tell you is that we are on the right track with the trajectory we set for ourselves, with an average of nearly 30 hours of viewing per subscriber per month. This performance is exceptional since I reminds that we don’t have a bundle strategy and it took us a long time to get to the different carriers such as Samsung, LG and other TVs.
Access to pay-TV platforms had been difficult, but he dismissed the 9% estimate for platform penetration. “Today, there is no reason for operators to deprive their customers of access to Salto, even if they have opened it up to all international platforms. As for the 8.4% market share, this comes from a study by the CNC which compares cabbage and carrots, with transactional, VoD and SVoD. The way it has been used in the media is absurd.