Thema’s SVOD getting up to 9 000 African programmes watched per day


Balancing Act’s Sylvain Béletre interviewed François Thiellet (President of Thema) and Marianne Bédé (VP Business Development & Marketing of Thema) on 8th February 2012.

Thema’s African SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand) service «Films d'Afrique»  is the first of its kind.  It is getting up to 9 000 African programmes watched per day by its subscribers, confirmed Marianne Bédé.

This pay-for VoD service was launched in France where Thema distributed it via telecoms operators. It has been available via Numericable (since 21 June 2010) and Free (in Nov. 2009), two French multi-play operators and more distributors should adopt the service.

Priced at 4.99 Euros/month for unlimited content, it allows watching videos from a library of about 100 programmes – so close to about 0.05 Euros par programme per household - at any time. Programmes are refreshed each month with 30 hours of new titles including films, documentaries, TV series and concerts.

“The platform’s traffic has exploded” confirmed Marianne Bédé: “we now have a few thousands of subscribers in France watching around 280,000 videos per month. We got a new peak yesterday with 8,000 videos viewed in 1 day. We usually get between 6,500 and 9,000 videos watched per day.”

“Over the last quarter, the ‘top 10’ most watched content includes popular TV series and music artists and bands 100% African. Popular TV series and filmed theatre pieces* examples include "Panic au village" (Guinea), ‘le feu dans la maison’ (Guinea), ‘Class A’ (Ivory coast), "Maudit cacara", "Les Guignols d’Abidjan" and many from Burkina Faso and a few more from Mauritania.‘ Other pieces include « Askanu Laobe ou Lamb-Ji » and the Guinean star ‘Moussa Koffoe’ in « Magbane ou Tassire ».

“Concerts from high profile music artists/bands mainly from francophone Africa also get high traffic. Overall, we get high audience for audiovisual content from Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon, etc”.
“We invested a lot in sourcing the right content and the system was technically quite hard to implement. The system takes quite a lot of Internet bandwidth but it has proved popular. We pay a revenue share back to rights owners.” concluded Marianne Bédé.“

Thema could soon export the concept outside of France.