Kinepolis will soon be showing movies from streaming services like Netflix on the big screen in Belgium. On Thursday, CEO Eddie Duquen said that the Belgian cinema chain has reached agreements on this in almost all the countries in which it is active, explaining the half-year results to Kinepolis.
Kinepolis has been talking to streaming platforms for some time about showcasing their products and at the beginning of this year it was announced that the group had already reached agreements with Netflix for Luxembourg and Spain. “We now have agreements for all countries, with the exception of France, with parties like Netflix,” Duquen said. It is not yet clear when the first Netflix movie will appear in Belgian cinemas.
Collaboration is rather cool, because streaming platforms can be seen as competition that undermines traditional movie viewing in the cinema. But Duquenne sees it as a way to offer more products at lower costs.
“Throughout history we have always paid a very high price for studios,” the CEO emphasized. In turn, cinema chains also had a long exclusivity period, now shorter under the pressure of “video on demand”, while prices remain high, according to cinemas. “It goes without saying that if you lose privacy, you will start talking about what price you will pay. We made an agreement with Netflix. I wouldn’t say how much we pay, but we pay a lot less than we do,” Ducoin said. “We know we probably won’t get the same volumes with those movies as we do with blockbusters, but that’s fine for us.”
According to Duquenne, there is already an audience for streaming content in cinemas, because the “experience” aspect is becoming increasingly important. “Due to the live streaming platforms, the customer pays more attention to the experience and is also willing to pay more for it,” she said. “We have to make sure we can add more to that.” For example, Kinepolis is experimenting with more luxurious seating and wants to program more movies that are close to the interests of the local audience.
In addition, cinema can also serve as a quality mark, Duquen says. “There is so much content out there that we have to build a good reputation if we do something, it’s good,” he said. “This will not replace the blockbuster films, but it will complement them.”
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