Altice Europe’s Molotov cocktail to create French rival to Spotify  

01 February 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Altice Europe – which owns French mobile operator SFR – is to acquire Molotov, a French over-the-top (OTT) television distributor.

The aim, says Altice, is “to accelerate the development of the start-up in France and internationally” and become the Spotify of the French-speaking world.

Molotov provides a wide range of French TV channels (see image) to customers throughout the European Union via its OTT service. The app is free but programme packages start at €3.99 a month. 

The deal is not yet done, but the two companies said this week that they are in exclusive discussions to “accelerate the development of Molotov, give the French platform the means to become a major player in the OTT in France and abroad, to distribute French and international content throughout the world, [and] to offer SFR and RMC customers the best digital experience and OTT.”

Alain Weill, CEO of Altice France, said: “We are very excited to partner with JeanDavid Blanc, entrepreneur behind two major French internet successes, AlloCiné and Molotov. We will develop Molotov with him and his teams to make it a major player in digital, a true link between content and very high speed infrastructures.”

Blanc, a film producer, writer and musician as well as an entrepreneur, said: “This new stage … will allow us to become the Spotify of the TV in France and abroad.”

Weill said: “We have the ambition to be the digital operator and most innovative OTT of the market in order to offer – to our customers and all those who look at our contents – the best experience.”

Altice Europe owns the former Portugal Telecom as well as SFR but has not yet spoken of expanding Molotov into the Portuguese-speaking market. The company last year sold its wholesale voice business to Alexandre Pébereau’s start-up company, Tofane Global.