Netflix has chosen to test its first linear channel in France,media reported. The Channel, which is only available to subscribers, will broadcast French, international and US films and TV shows owned by its streaming service. Unlike streaming services, however, the channel is only accessible through a web browser, and the streaming service can be found on set-top boxes through distribution agreements with French telecoms groups such as Orange, Canal Plus and SFR.
The move marks Netflix’s first foray into live, scheduled programming. A Netflix source said the service had previously tested the Shuffle Play option and recommended some shows to some international users, though not in real time. The difference this time is that the test was conducted in one country, not a user sample.
Netflix says on its website that it chose to test its first linear channel in France because of the country’s traditional TV consumption habits.
During the blockade, Netflix subscriptions surged worldwide. This new linear feature may also appeal to older people, who make up a large part of the French family.
Netflix said the test channel was trial-run on November 5 and will launch a wider range of services in France in early December. SVOD is believed to have about 9m users in France, the streaming giant’s main market in Europe.
In January, the streaming company opened an office in France and pledged to increase investment in French content.