German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF have formally rolled out their combined streaming service, which allows users to watch shows from both brands on one service.
The ARD & ZDF streamer provides access to an array of programming such as ARD’s Babylon Berlin and ZDF’s daily Heute-Show, with common search functionality across both broadcasters’ libraries.
The service has also now launched a combined ‘recommendation’ feature that scours programming across series, films, documentaries, culture and science from ZDF and ARD, as well as related brands such as Funk, Phoenix, Arte and 3Sat.
ARD’s chairman Kai Gniffke said: “We want people to be able to use the digital offerings of public broadcasting in Germany as easily and conveniently as possible. We offer more information, culture, entertainment and knowledge [programming] than any other streaming provider and it has never been easier ‘to experience all of this’.”
Both broadcasters added that they envisage closer cooperation with other public service partners in other European countries in the future, although details of how this may work in practice have not been revealed.
ARD and ZDF added that the streaming network will run on the same platform “with open standards, on which ARD and ZDF are working in the background.”
The duo are also working on an expanded “common login” for the service, including the possibility for users to create comprehensive watch lists from the entire pool of content.
ZDF director Norbert Himmler added that the combined streamer offering provides “an easily accessible public service cosmos that combines high-quality content and responsible use of data and technology.”