ARD and ZDF are pushing ahead with plans for a joint streaming portal.
Among other things, ARD boss Gniffke wants to invest "several hundred million euros" in this.
Munich – Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video have been the predominant portals in Germany for years when it comes to streaming films, series and documentaries.
But the public broadcasters now apparently want to compete with them.
With their own media libraries, ARD and ZDF have already been able to reach large numbers of viewers.
ZDF has already achieved impressive success with the series “Der Schwarm” and “Yesterday we were still children” in 2023.
For around a year and a half, it has now been planned to compete with existing portals with a joint streaming portal from ARD and ZDF.
ARD and ZDF are planning a streaming portal: several hundred million are to be invested
ARD chairman Kai Gniffke has now commented on the plans at a conference in Tutzing.
Among other things,
reports about it.
The director of SWR explained that they wanted to "invest several hundred million euros in the development of technology in the coming years." The first step is to set up a joint streaming platform with ZDF.
Now the question of funding arises.
The broadcasting fee, for which there was an important change in 2023, is currently 18.36 euros.
“It will cost a lot of money,” explained Gniffke.
“We will not simply get these necessary resources on top of that.
I'm not unworldly there.” Gniffke has a different plan for financing.
He would like to save additional money by more division of labour.
"Not everyone has to do everything.
But everyone only does what they do best," says the SWR director.
As an example, he named text robots that could take over simple everyday tasks in the future in order to free up capacities for journalistic activities such as complex research.
Involvement of privately funded media: "The nucleus for something bigger"
But not only content from the public service media should find a place in a common streaming portal.
Private media could also get involved.
The new streaming portal could be "the nucleus for something much bigger," explained Gniffke.
"A marketplace for all German media".
It's about creating a media infrastructure that "has the chance to break the power of the social networks and the big platform operators," he continued.
In an interview with
, however, Jürgen Kaube, co-editor of the
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
, was critical of these plans.
He sees it as unlikely to bundle content from public media and private media houses.
Above all, the different financing models are decisive for this.
Joint streaming network of ARD and ZDF: networking is already in progress
Some steps for the joint creation of ARD and ZDF in terms of streaming already exist.
As can be read on the ZDF website, this will start in the next few weeks.
Then recommendations should be given across the various media libraries - initially only for documentaries and in the field of culture.
The results of the test would then have to be evaluated and only then could the network be extended to the remaining genres such as films and series, the broadcaster said.
"Our goal is a largely unrestricted cosmos of public-law content, to which we want to invite other partners," explained ZDF director Norbert Himmler.
In the past few months, content from ARTE and Funk, among others, has been added to the media libraries of the two largest public broadcasters.
Other goals are a joint search for content on the two media libraries, as well as a joint login for the portals.
"Together with the ARD, we have created the technical prerequisites for an exchange of content without setting up new, cost-intensive structures," says Himmler.
So he seems to be more reluctant to comment on the new plans for the time being.
In contrast to his ARD colleague Gniffke, who is already throwing costs of several hundred million euros into the room.
The salaries of the directors of public service broadcasting repeatedly caused a stir.
This is how high the additional income of the directors is.
ARD and ZDF: The extent of the actual cooperation is not yet clear
How the cooperation between ARD and ZDF will develop in the next few years does not seem to have been finally clarified.
In any case, it is certain that closer cooperation, especially with digital offers, is being sought and is already being worked on.
In what form and to what extent remains to be seen.
But becoming a competitor for Netflix and Co. should be a big challenge.
Netflix and Co. are not only becoming a problem for the public broadcasters.
The cinemas are also suffering from the streaming services.