Discovery and German TV giant ProSiebenSat.1 are pushing further into OTT, expanding their joint streaming service and targeting 10 million users within two years. They have also asked Germany’s other commercial and public broadcasters to join them in rolling out the free and paid-for local service – with exclusive TV content, movies and sport – that can challenge Netflix and other international streaming giants.
Traditional broadcasters and media companies are increasingly looking at ways to work together to fend off competition from the FAANGs. In this instance, Discovery and ProSieben will extend their previous joint efforts on the 7TV platform. Using ProSieben’s pre-existing 7TV brand, they launched a new free service together last year, with channels and content from both partners.
The expanded offering will be rebranded and launch in the first half of 2019. It will feature the Eurosport Player streaming service and content from ProSieben’s Maxdome on-demand offering, which has a lineup of U.S. series and Hollywood movies.
Discovery’s international chief J.B. Perrette, who was part of the Hulu launch team in the U.S., said the deep additional layer of local content on top of the U.S. and international fare will differentiate the streaming service from those of the FAANGs.
The new service will have free and SVOD options. “There will be a great ad-supported front porch, as well as great ad-supported premium entertainment with Maxdome and premium sports with Eurosport,” he told Variety.
He added that the best model for building streaming services of scale is one where strong local players work together. “You need aggregation, having a bunch of local players doing their own thing [limits] potential and is confusing for the consumer,” Perrette said.
“All of us want to watch the entertainment we love whenever, wherever and on any device – so I am really excited that ProSiebenSat.1 and Discovery are joining forces to create the No. 1 German streaming platform,” said Max Conze, ProSieben’s recently-installed CEO. “Our aim is 10 million users in the first two years and we are putting very significant resources and investment with urgency into this effort.”
Conze said he was inviting RTL and pubcasters ARD and ZDF to join the effort “so we can have one German champion.”
Discovery CEO David Zaslav said: “Together with ProSiebenSat.1, we are building a world-class streaming service to nourish super-fans in one of our most important international markets while also creating a new model for the future for viewers to enjoy their favorite content.”
The effort to expand 7TV needs regulatory approval. The joint venture team in place is led by Alexandar Vassilev, former Google and YouTube executive. Perrette will represent Discovery on the board, which will be headed by Conze.