France Telecom launches VOD with Welles

The French version of Hulu meets Netflix, a new video on demand service branded Welles, will be launched in the fourth quarter by France Telecom-Orange subsidiary Orange Vallee.  Orange Vallee CEO Jean-Louis Constanza, confirmed
that the new service would support advertising-supported streaming of popular, older TV shows, docus and movies in addition to a premium pay-per-play content stream from a library of 500,000 items. The free service will also host user generated content and soccer-networking facilities.

Describing the service Constanza said that the model was closer to Netflix than Hulu and was in competitor locally with DailyMotion, the French version of YouTube.

Established a year ago, Orange Vallée has been pitched as Orange’s start-up styled arm, focusing on  attacking new growth markets.

According to its website mantra it sees it’s competitors as internet companies, from global giants to start-ups, not carriers.   

”Our customers are not just geeks and trendsetters. Our customers now have 4 screens and 4 content gateways: PCs, mobile phones, TVs and mobile screens. The intention is to launch each project on one of these screens, then extend it to the other 3,” the company states.

Orange Vallee claims that Welles is one of a dozen projects in progress which are slated to launch during 2009. The target markets are local and global with new services leveraging off the R&D and resources of parent Orange.