Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has made its way in different European countries encountering curiosity, skepticism and even indifference. In France, also, there was a huge cynicism among the hard core movie lovers, where the online streaming service was whipped by the politicians, belittled by the cultural leaders and also accused by potential broadcast partners who are already or are planning to offer video streaming service, reports LA Times.
Opposition from all sides
According to those opposing Netflix in France, the company will destabilize the complex system created by both the broadcasters and the government to safeguard French industry that is significant to both the identity and the economy of the country. A headline in Le Monde, on the eve of Netflix’s launch in France, read “Let the Carnage Begin.” Critics are also giving arguments that Netflix does not have a big portfolio in France.
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Dante Desarthe, co-chairman of France’s Guild of Authors, Directors and Producers said that France wants to welcome Netflix, but also want the company to abide by the rules created in the country to protect the cinema.
“To make our movies, we need a stable system of production,” Desarthe said.
France important for Netflix
Netflix, on the other hand, knows that it is a real challenge for the company to grab a significant share of the market in the country where it has spent months in alluring the potential subscribers.
According to an analyst, the company is very much dependent on the International territories for growth, and France is one of the most important markets. However, wooing local users is a challenging task for which the company promises local content. To remove the doubts in the mind of the French users regarding the cultural differences, officials have now and then announced that it will expand consumer choice and film production.
France was among the countries in Europe where Netflix planned a big launch, but it saw substantial protest in the country. According to laws in France 40% of the programming on TV and radio should be in French, and the cable TV, Canal + are major funder of such films. With the advent of Netflix, the cultural authorities and other big players are afraid that it will erode the balanced system completely in France.