Federation Entertainment shareholder Serge Hayat is on the board of directors of European literary streamer Rocambole (EXCLUSIVE)

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French media entrepreneur Serge Hayat, shareholder of Federation Entertainment and Echo Studio, has embarked on Rocambole, a European literary streaming subscription platform offering original serial novels.

The service, whose app layout resembles that of Netflix, launched in June 2020 and already features more than 200 titles of different genres, written by a pool of more than 30 authors, mostly young. , who work in writers’ rooms.

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To date, Rocambole has 120,000 subscribers, and the number of users has increased by 20% every month since March 2020, specifies Julien Simon, from the publishing sector and co-founder of Rocambole with François Delporte, Camille Pichon and Boris Duda. Before joining Hayat as the late founder, Rocambole raised 350,000 euros ($ 403,670) from the banking institution BPI France and several business angels, and will proceed with another round of funding during the first half of 2022. .

“The numbers took off during the lockdown and they have continued to grow steadily, proving that we are tapping into real demand,” Simon said, adding that the service primarily targets millennials. So far, the readership is biased towards women. Rocambole offers a freemium model at a price of 50 euros per year, also allowing users who participate in the game presented on the application and engage in activities on social networks, to benefit from free access. “It’s a model that has worked well on manga and video games,” Simon said.

Rocambole owns the intellectual property of all of these serial novels ranging from romance to crime, period, sci-fi, sports, cooking, non-fiction, social themes and more. viral. Rocambole has assembled a dedicated team that studies topical issues and forecasting trends to come up with relevant concepts in a timely manner. For example, when the Netflix miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit” went viral, Rocambole was able to release a chess-themed show almost immediately and garnered big numbers, Simon said. And when “Lupine” came out, Rocambole published a serialized adaptation of a novel written by “Arsène Lupine” author Maurice Leblanc.

“I had thought for a while that the creation of IP had become crucial, and I was immediately drawn to Rocambole’s disruptive approach which corresponds to the way people read content these days, mainly outside from home and on public transport, ”Hayat, who has invested – directly or indirectly – more than 200 million euros in 500 films, including“ Intouchables ”,“ Heartbreaker ”as well as series like“ En Therapie “.

“Each literary series is a collaborative effort between several writers and editors who develop the narrative threads and characters, so everything is extremely well thought out, crisp and concise: the episode takes three to five minutes to read and ends with a cliffhanger. . Hayat explained.

The executive said at a time when demand for scripted content is skyrocketing, Rocambole’s large library of original IPs is a gold mine for producers, broadcasters or streamers.

Rocambole can also be used by producers to promote selected films. For example with “Bye Bye Morons”, Albert Dupontel’s César film with Virginie Efira, Rocambole created serialized content with testimonials on the making of the film, in partnership with Dupontel, producer Catherine Bozorgan and Gaumont. The non-fictitious content offer also includes testimonials from Jean de La Rochebrochard, successful start-up investor who founded Kima Ventures, Christophe Pinna, the karate champion; MP Mickaël Nogal, and Cécile Reinaud, founder of the Séraphine brand.

The service also recruited several well-known authors, including Jacques Expert who specializes in crime, detective novels, and wrote for Rocambole “Five minutes before dying, they were still alive; Sophie Jomain (“Noss Head Stars”) who adapted “Beauty and the Beast” for the platform; Elisabeth Reynaud, who portrays inspiring women; and Vincent Hauuy, specialist in French thrillers, and author of “Canadian Werewolf” for Rocambole.

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