French startup Molotov provides a TV streaming service in France that replaces the traditional set-top box. You can access live TV, subscribe to premium channels, watch content after it airs and record content in the cloud. Today, the company is launching a different service, its own ad-supported on-demand streaming service — or AVOD service for short.
Mango features a thousand movies, TV shows, documentaries and shows for kids. The company has partnered with copyright holders that want to find a new distribution channel for their content. Partners include Kabillion, Zylo, ACI, FIP, ZED, Ampersand, Sonar, ITV, Mediawan, Trade Media & Dynamic and Crome Films. Molotov is also currently negotiating deals with Sony Pictures, Endemol, Lionsgate and Wild Bunch.
“Today, there’s no legal and free cinema offering [in France],” co-founder and CEO Jean-David Blanc told me.
The result is a library of content that you can watch whenever you want from the Molotov app. Mango content is accessible from a dedicated hub. You can also find content when you browse categories or search for something in the app.
You’ll find some obscure movies, but also some well-known names, such as “Sex Therapy” with Marc Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow, “Suspicion” with Morgan Freeman and Monica Bellucci, and “The Perfect Weapon” with Steven Seagal and Bruce Lee.
When it comes to advertisement, the company has put together its own commercial team. They want to sign deals with traditional TV advertisers as well as content creators. The idea is that you’ll get a movie trailer (or a teaser for a new Netflix show for instance) before your movie. After that, you’ll get a few ad breaks in the middle of your movie with ads for various products.
When Molotov doesn’t have enough inventory of in-house ads, the company has partnered with third-party ad network FreeWheel. Ads will be personalized based on your profile and the ads you’ve seen already. They are directly inserted in the server-side stream, which means that it’ll work on all platforms that currently support Molotov, from mobile apps to connected TVs.
If Mango works well in France, Molotov plans to expand its AVOD service to other European countries in the near future. And it makes a ton of sense to start with such a service as TV distribution deals are incredibly tedious.
With 13 million users, Molotov already has a comfortable audience to get started with Mango. Arguably, it could quickly become the most successful ad-supported streaming service in France.