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New on-demand TV and film service launches in Belgium

A new online platform offering unlimited viewing of independent films has been launched in Belgium. The service, named Uncut, costs €7.99 a month, with an initial stock of 1,000 films, increasing by seven a week as new films are released. The service will concentrate on European productions – a market of some 1,200 films a year, including 70 from Belgium and 300 from France.

But director general Maxime Lacour promised the rest of the world would get a look in, too. “We’re offering 65% European films, and 35% from the rest of the world,” he told a press conference. “That includes American, South-American, African and Asian.”

The service is a complement to Netflix rather than a competitor, he said. “We would like to co-exist with other services on offer, by offering films of quality, European as well as Belgian, which make up 15% of our range.”

Market research shows the sector offering downloads of films for watching at home to be in regression, in particular where is concerns European films of the auteur class, which was a tiny segment to begin with, services like Netflix – known as SVOD or subscription video on demand – which offer a subscription model where the viewer owns nothing – are on the rise.

Uncut aims to offer that sort of model, but in the niche market of art films, mainly European. The only trouble is: its catalogue begins only in 2009, making a whole history of French, Italian and Belgian films unavailable.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times