This series looks at the paywalls employed by a variety of online content producers. The user journey, the amount of information required from the user, the payment methods offered and the ease of unsubscribing. These are all key to ensuring the success of a paywall, hence why we created this series and are analyzing the conversion funnels of these publishers.

Remember, however, that your most valuable tool to persuading a reader to take out their credit card and subscribe is your value proposition and content.

We'll cover:

Not sure what a paywall is? Want to find out about it's benefits for publishers? Check out this article.


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Today: the French streaming platform Canal+ VOD!

What's needed if a user wishes to watch a film or series on Canal+ VOD?

  • 5 clicks are needed to subscribe and go back to content
  • no scrolling is needed
  • 2 fields need to be filled out
  • 1 payment method is available (credit card).

So, step by step.

Step 1: The viewer wishes to access content available on Canal+ VOD

A user has to subscribe to be able to watch a movie or series. They therefore need to click on 'discover our offers?'.

Canal+ VOD Paywall

Step 2: Choosing an offer

There are two main options for the viewer:

First option: TV+ Digital which includes a one or two year commitment period. Several offers within TV+ Digital are available:

  • “Canal+ and pack+ of Canal+” offer (24,90€ per month instead of 34,90€ with no commitment)
  • “Canal+ and cinema pack +” offer (36,90€ per month instead of 49,90€ with no commitment)
  • “Canal+ and family pack+” offer (29,90€ per month instead of 34,90€ without commitment)
  • “Canal+ and sports pack+” offer (34,90€ per month instead of 49,90€ without commitment)
  • “PANORAMA” offer (19,99€ per month)
  • “Intégrale +” offer (89,99€ per month instead of 99,90€)

Second option: Digital-only and with no commitment. The viewer can choose between the following:

  • “Canal+ and pack+ of canal+” offer (24,90€ per month instead of 34,90€ without commitment)
  • “Canal+ and movie series pack +” offer (36,90€ per month instead of 49,90€ with no commitment)
  • “Canal+ and family pack+” offer (29,90€ per month instead of  34,90€ with no commitment)
  • “Canal+and sports pack+” offer (34,90€ per month instead of 49,90€ with no commitment)
  • “Canal+ series” offer (from 6,99€ per month)

We opted for the 100% digital offer “Canal+ séries”.

The very large number of offers displayed is obviously good for giving users a wide range of options but it may negatively affect the user experience and be a hindrance.

Canal+ VOD Subscription Offers

Step 3: Account set-up

The “Canal+ series” offer is divided into three options according to how many viewers use the account and thus the number of screens on which the streaming platform will be simultaneously available:

  • One screen for 6,99€ per month;
  • Two screens for 9,99€ per month;
  • Four screens for 11,99€ per month.

We opted for a single screen. Again, all these decision-making is quite hard for the reader and may be too difficult, pushing them away from subscribing rather than facilitating it.

Canal+ VOD Subscription Journey

Step 4: Creation of an account

The viewer has to create an account. Only two fields are required for this process:

  • Email address
  • Password creation
Canal+ VOD Subscription Journey

Step 5: Payment form

The viewer can now pay for their offer. A single payment method is available: credit card.

Contrary to many cases previously studied, the choice of the offers and the payment form are not displayed on the same page.

Canal+ VOD Subscription Journey

Step 6: Subscription confirmation and access to content

A confirmation email is sent to the user stating that their subscription has been validated and outlining the chosen offer.

The user only needs to click on “access to MyCanal” to watch content.

Contrary to the examples previously studied, where users could read a part of the article before being blocked by a paywall, the viewer doesn't have the possibility to watch part of a series before being blocked by paywall. They are blocked before they can even see the value proposition.

The Canal+ VOD subscription journey is an interesting one. It's a lot longer than a lot of the previously studied content producers and there are significantly more subscription offers. This means lots of decision making for the user, but, given the fact that it's a one-time process, they are more likely to endure it and not be put off.

Canal+ VOD Subscription
Canal+ VOD Subscription Journey

That’s it, the user is now subscribed to Canal+ VOD and can watch movies and series!

To sum it up, here are the steps to watch content on Canal+ VOD:

  • 5 clicks are needed to subscribe and browse content
  • no scrolling is needed
  • 2 fields need to be filled out
  • 1 payment method is available (credit card)

What about mobile devices?

The same subscription journey, same number of clicks and same options.

On mobile, it is nonetheless far more complicated to understand the specificity of each offer due to how many options there are and the fact that a mobile screen is a lot smaller.

Canal+ VOD Subscription on Mobile