Paris-based media co Vivendi will be shutting down its German SVOD service Watchever as streaming competition heats up in Europe.
Vivendi had no comment about the closure; however, a source familiar with the company confirmed the Watchever site will go dark Dec. 31.
Some elements of the Watchever platform are expected to be retained amid the pending changes. Notably, the service is expected to continue with its plans for Studio+, a mobile-focused streaming service offering original digital shorts. Vivendi originally made public its plans for Studio+ in April, confirming a slate of 25 original series (each between five and 10 minutes) spanning comedy, drama and other genres, with more than 60 additional projects in the production queue.
At the time, Vivendi confirmed the plan was to launch the Studio+ service across international territories in 2017.
Watchever will also continue to house a music video section. The music category was initially launched in 2014 on Watchever, giving subscribers to the digital service access to hundreds of live concerts by popular German and international artists. The feature was included in Watchever’s monthly fee, listed as 8,99 Euros (or $10 U.S.). There were no details at press time on how or how much users will be charged to access a stand-alone music channel.
The restructuring of Watchever comes amid rapid changes in the European SVOD market, which, according to a 2015 study by the European Audiovisual Observatory, has grown in value $45 million in 2011 to $925 million in 2014. Germany is among the hottest markets, with streaming giants Netflix and Amazon Video both moving into the country in the past two years.
Statistica values the German SVOD market at $273 million in 2016. With a projected annual growth of nearly 15%, revenues are expected to reach $473 million by 2020.
Watchever was first launched by Vivendi in 2013 and, reportedly, has struggled to make a profit.