Joyn, the streaming service run jointly by Discovery and German media giant ProSiebenSat.1, will roll out internationally in addition to launching a premium tier domestically later this year.
At Mipcom in Cannes, ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Max Conze was asked whether the service, which offers on-demand content and linear channel feeds, would launch beyond Germany. “We definitely will,” he said during a Mipcom keynote address. “But we’re focused on one step at a time.”
He added that there was a lot of interest from outside of Germany: “I wouldn’t want to say when, where, or how, but will Joyn [launch in] more than Germany? I am 100% certain yes.”
The AVOD platform has more than 4 million monthly active users, Conze said. There will be 12 originals next year on the service, including “Dignity,” a historically based drama that was screened for buyers in Cannes on Monday. “It’s a great platform for original content; we can be more daring, take more risks,” Conze said. “We’re looking for things that are a little bit more edgy. A lot of our stars are keen to do things specifically for Joyn.”
About 300 people now work on the Joyn team, and the partner companies have sunk about €150 million ($165 million) into the service.
Speaking about the introduction of the paid-for option alongside the AVOD, Conze likened the model to that of Spotify. He said that in an era of paid-for streaming, ad-supported services should not be underestimated. “Last time I looked, Google is rather profitable, Facebook is rather profitable, and both are advertising models,” he said. “And most of the streaming offerings coming into the market are doing what I would call subsistence pricing.”
The strategic review of ProSieben’s production and distribution arm. Red Arrow Studios International, which could result in a sale or a merger, was also broached.
Conze reiterated the need for more German content as it doubles down on programming efforts on home turf. But he also cited Red Arrow’s recent decent financial performance, which means a sale will not come cheap with multiple suitors taking a look. “I will say there is huge interest and so I think if anything happens it will be very expensive and very competitive,” he said. Conze added that by Christmas “we will have a pretty clear answer on where this train is going.”