Netflix signs 100,000 subscriptions in France

After a rocky launch in France on September 15, Netflix appears to be making headway in the territory, where it initially received one of its most hostile receptions to date.

According to a report in French newspaper Le Figaro, the streaming giant’s new French service has enticed some 100,000 subscribers since it went live two weeks ago.

Putting this into perspective, the article pointed out that main French rival CanalPlay, the SVOD service of pay-TV group Canal Plus, has been signing new accounts at a rate of some 15,000 per month since its creation in November 2011. It currently has some 520,000 subscribers.

Part of Netflix’s immediate popularity in France may be down to the fact that the first month is free. After that subscriptions are priced at between €7.99 ($10) to €11.99 ($15) per month.

In another piece of positive French news, France’s biggest telecom group Orange announced it had signed a deal with Netflix to carry its service on its set-top boxes from November.

Set-top deals are the key to accessing French audiences because this is the way two-thirds of French households watch TV.

Prior to Orange, the only other carrier to sign with Netflix was minority player Bouygues Telecom. Rivals Free, SFR and Numericable have resisted signing a deal thus far.

The deal with Orange, which has some 10 million set-top box subscribers, is expected to boost Netflix performance in France considerably.