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Lescure’s French streaming service goes live

French over-the-top service Molotov has launched publicly across the country on a freemium basis, a year after it was first unveiled.

JeanDavid Blanc & Pierre LescureThe cross-platform TV service lets users watch 33 channels, including 25 French digital terrestrial TV channels, and access 10 hours of ‘bookmarked’ content for free.

A €3.99 (US$4.41) per-month option offers 100 hours of additional bookmarks, letting users record shows and watch them back across devices, while a €9.99 per-month version includes 70 HD channels, four simultaneous streams and 100 hours of bookmarks.

“Molotov offers a radically new way to watch television. The service offers users an intuitive discovery experience and exclusive functionalities, all while respecting the traditional ecosystem and conventions of television,” said the company in a statement.

“Molotov aims to reinvent the daily pleasure of watching television.”

The service lets users watch live or catch-up content,record or bookmark content and also alerts viewers when a selected actor, director or TV personality appears on TV.

Molotov lets users search for content by programme name, channel, cast, genre or category, with new features, including a “deep social experience, smarter notifications and alerts, and rich navigation” due to be added in the coming months.

It is available on smartphone, tablet, Apple TV, connected TVs and on PC or Mac.

Molotov is the brainchild of former Canal+ boss Pierre Lescure, AlloCiné founder Jean-David Blanc and former TF1 exec Jean-Marc Denoual.

Lescure and Blanc first announced the launch of Molotov in June 2015, pitching the service as a ‘Spotify for TV’, as it will aggregate content and make it available via connected devices.

In April of this year Molotov struck a deal with Canal+ to offer the free TV services D8, D17 and iTele as well as seven Cine+ premiumchannels: Cine+ Premier, Cine+ Frisson, Cine+ Emotion, Cine+ Famiz, Cine+ Club, Cine+Classic and on-demand service Cine+ A la demande.

In February it appointed former TF1 director Jean-Pierre Paoli to help lead its international expansion efforts, with Lescure commenting at the time: “We’ve always had global ambitions for Molotov.”