HollyStar: “We have been offering a range of films and series for streaming on all devices since 2010.”

HollyStar is the Swiss leader when it comes to streaming. Its CEO, Eric Grignon, will talk about the transformation of the company’s business model at “Exporter demain!,” an event that will bring together exporters from French-speaking Switzerland on September 28 at EPFL. Interview.

Eric Grignon, director of HollyStar
Eric Grignon, director of HollyStar

Eric Grignon, what role do exports play in your strategy?

We already distribute in France through our former business model of DVDs, and we expect to begin distribution activities in Austria and Luxembourg during coming months using our new business model of streaming.

Can you explain your business model in just a few words?

The rental of films and TV series to consumers directly (B2C service) and via distributors such as telecommunications companies and cable television operators (B2B service). The former business model from the years 2003 to 2011 was based on the rental of DVDs and Blu-rays by post. Our new business model, launched in 2012, relies on VOD streaming.

What kind of customer requirements does your company meet?

HollyStar offers a range of films and TV series on DVD and Blu-ray available for rental. Since 2010, it has provided a streaming service for all devices, like Netflix.

How do you adjust your business model to customer requirements?

Technology is changing, and new terminals with Internet connections are becoming available to consumers every year (iPad, iPhone, games consoles, etc.). It is our task to adapt to new technologies and to the habits of consumers in order to be able to continue to sell and rent our films and TV series.

What role does your Swiss location play for you as a company?

Our business is based in Neuchâtel. We manage all of our services from there, including R&D, marketing, and sales.

Switzerland has once again established itself at the very top with respect to the most innovative countries. How do you promote innovation?

Innovation is at the heart of our work, since the media world is subject to huge technological upheaval. We have been investing in streaming technologies with our engineers in Switzerland for years.

What has been the impact of the digital transformation on your industry, considering, for example, one-stop shops for TV and music, as well as the offers from Amazon?

For us, the digital transformation is not an additional distribution channel, but a question of survival. Streaming will completely replace DVDs, just as DVDs replaced video cassettes. We have been forced to adapt in order to respond to a new method of consumption. Only clear-headed analysis with respect to the technological choices of tomorrow will allow us to prosper in the media world.

What key issues will your company be focusing on in 2018?

Our firm has just been acquired by a new shareholder, the Anglo-American media group Sky, which is eager to launch new products on the Swiss market. New products can thus be expected from the end of 2017, obviously linked to films and TV series, but also sports, which will contribute to very strong growth for the company in 2018.

Further information about HollyStar

“Exporter demain!” at EPFL in Lausanne on September 28, 2017

Meet Eric Grignon during the discussion “HollyStar, from DVD to VOD: a company that has been forced to reinvent itself in the digital era.” Innovative business models will be central to the discussions scheduled for “Exporter demain! 2017.” Don’t miss this major annual meeting with French-Swiss exporters! Find out more and register

See our dossier on new business models: articles, studies and videos.

About Eric Grignon, CEO of HollyStar

CEO of the Swiss streaming platform HollyStar since 2013, Eric Grignon is both an entrepreneur as well as an expert in video streaming for more than 10 years. Eric Grignon holds a Master of Science degree in networks and an MBA in strategy. He is passionate about the media transformation in Switzerland and has used his expertise to contribute to the launch of several VOD streaming platforms in Europe, such as Blockbuster, Egmont in Scandinavia, and HollyStar in Switzerland. Eric Grignon began his engineering career at telecommunications giant Nokia during the boom in mobile networks between 1995 and 2000. He then collaborated on the development of Orange Switzerland for nearly 10 years, working on marketing and strategy, before joining HollyStar in 2009 with the goals of transforming the company into the Swiss leader in VOD streaming and moving away from DVD rental as the main business. HollyStar has belonged to the Sky media group since April 2017.

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