AN IMMERSIVE TELEVISUAL EXPERIENCE
On 11 June 2019, MYTF1 launched the new version of its platform with its new graphics, new features and enhanced content. The launch forms a major new pillar of the TF1 group’s digital transformation and reinvents the TV viewing experience on all screens. This strategic overhaul creates a service that is fully focused on video content for the viewer.
By Céline De Buttet
The mission of the TF1 group is to entertain and inform as many people as possible. But in a world of hyper-supply, where multiple platforms are vying for viewers’ attention, competition is fierce. Players like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are already redrawing the landscape, and the French media sector is set to become even more crowded in 2020, when other US giants (Apple, Disney, Warner and NBC) plan to launch their own streaming platforms. In this ultra-competitive climate, the TF1 group can draw on its unique and strong model based on a rich and complementary stable of TV channel brands and the fresh momentum given to its digital platforms by the MYTF1 revamp.
A NEW ERA OF CONSUMPTION
Since 2016, TF1 has been strengthening its core television business. Having consolidated its position in content with the acquisition of content producer Newen and in digital with the creation of its digital arm Unify, TF1 has now adopted a direct-to-consumer strategy. “The TF1 group is building a personalised media strategy”, explains Christine Bellin, TF1’s VP of Strategy, development, transformation, digital & innovation.
While Newen creates high-quality content for the French viewing public, Unify brings together powerful digital communities like aufeminin, Marmiton or Doctissimo to offer new digital services to advertisers. The TF1 group is ramping up its digital roll-out with an offer thatis available on the TV boxes of all ISPs via IPTV (internet TV) and on smartphones, tablets and computers via OTT (a service that bypasses the ISP), creating two ways to consume video content. With its free MYTF1 platform and soon Salto1, the TF1 group will be able to offer an increasingly personalised viewing universe, made possible by harvesting customer viewing data. This data enables us to link the different activities together. We get better knowledge of the consumer, can offer more personalised experiences, improve customer satisfaction and offer new advertising solutions for brands. “In this new adventure, we are adapting the best practices of all digital players”, says Christine Bellin. “We use short, two-week cycles from the initial idea to roll-out; user tests to confirm choices; small multi-disciplinary teams focused on meeting objectives and customer feedback.” This flexibility is essential to the success of the overhaul, which is built around three pillars: technological transformation, an enhanced content offer and an improved advertising experience.
In this new adventure, we are adapting the best practices of all digital players.”
Director of Strategy, Development, Transformation, Innovation and Digital at TF1
REINVENTING THE TV VIEWING EXPERIENCE
“Through the use of ‘stories’, video is exploding, both on French and US platforms and on social networks like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, says Xavier Gandon, Director of programmes at TF1. We needed to catch up with the sector’s leading players and the standards, in particular the technical standards, that viewers have become accustomed to.” With its new identity and style guide and a simplified logo, the new version of MYTF1 now offers a more immersive and user-friendly viewing experience. Its Content Management System has undergone a complete overhaul. “The new site is very modern and designed to be easily scalable. We are making constant improvements, says Nicolas Lemaître, Director of MYTF1. Each Wednesday, we add new features to the platform. Although not all these changes are visible, MYTF1 is nonetheless in perpetual movement.” There is a two-fold improvement in video quality for the viewer, a video player that is 33% bigger, a 30% increase in loading speeds, personalised recommendations, a‘continue watching’ feature and the option to view content in the original language with subtitles. The offer has also been enhanced with exclusive and distinctive premium content. TF1 can draw on its expertise, a high-quality and popular content catalogue and an investment of €990 million a year for its five unencrypted channels3. In addition to over 5,000 hours of catch-up content, MYTF1 offers 2,500 hours of varied and exclusive additional content: original productions, and acquisitions targeted at five themes (mangas, soaps, French drama, US series and reality TV). This Avod (Advertisement video on demand) offer includes complete series like Sous le soleil and Melrose Place, new series like Blacklist Redemption, original reality TV shows, including some, like Eva dans son mood, that are financed by TF1 for a digital-only release on MYTF1, old and new mangas (Olive and Tom, Nicki Larson, Naruto), and soap operas (The three sides of Ana). The aim is to launch something new each week, backed up by promotion on the group’s channels. Another good example of how TV and digital platforms can complement each other is the French drama Le Bazar de la Charité (see Le Minorange n°93).
Co-financed by TF1 and Netflix, it aired first on TF1 in November, then went out on MYTF1 before finally appearing on Netflix. The last brick in this wall is advertising. To make the viewing experience more fluid, our teams decided to get rid of intrusive adverts like banners and pop-ups. Advertising is now broadcast in pre-roll4 format in the player. Although not a new feature, user authentication before accessing certain MyTF1 content means that advertising can be targeted and therefore monetised. This authentication can also be used to customize suggestions made to the viewer. “This oneyear project was a major step forward for us, underlines Xavier Gandon. We are very happy with the results, both qualitative and quantitative. It gives us an edge over our rivals.” The new range of products rounds out the TF1 group’s linear viewing offer by adding a comprehensive digital experience. Christine Bellin again: “We’re proud of MYTF1 and the Salto project, which reflect both the way in which the TF1 group has revolutionized to adapt to shifting viewing habits, and the acceleration of our digital transformation.”
MyTF1: Key Figures
visit MYTF1 every month
consumption ahead of France Télévisions and M6 at the end of December 2019
more than 1 Billion
Videos viewed per year
euros per year
investment for the five free-to-air channels