9. April 2024

TIVEE – Largest Aggregator Platform for FAST Channels in Cable Networks

Cologne/Hamburg, April 9, 2024, TeraVolt - A QVEST Company, in collaboration with Deutsche Netz Marketing GmbH (DNMG), has developed the first FAST Channel HbbTV App called "TIVEE", which is freely accessible via HbbTV-enabled devices through the German cable network.

From now on, viewers can discover and use TIVEE on their own channel in the cable networks of DNMG network operators. TIVEE brings together a variety of ad-supported internet-based FAST Channels, sorted into different categories and accessible on a single channel.

What is a FAST Channel?

"FAST" stands for "Free-Ad-Supported Streaming TV", meaning viewers can access a wide variety of channels from different genres through ad-supported TV streaming for free. Viewers can already anticipate the content based on the channel name.

How does the HbbTV app TIVEE work?

The app automatically opens on the TIVEE channel of participating cable network operators when the TV is connected to the internet. Viewers navigate through the app menu with category and channel bars using the color and arrow keys on the remote control and choose which FAST Channel they want to watch. Saving favorite channels is also possible. TIVEE is freely available for customers of participating cable network operators and does not need to be separately installed. The app is accessible for HbbTV-enabled devices (ETSI V 1.5.1) from approximately the year 2018 onwards.

What is HbbTV?

HbbTV stands for "Hybrid broadcast broadband Television", allowing traditional linear TV to be supplemented with interactive internet services. The technology is based on open standards, and the interactivity of HbbTV is enabled through the broadband internet backchannel, allowing viewers to experience an enhanced and personalized TV experience.

What does the HbbTV app TIVEE offer to users?

TIVEE provides immediate access to a vast selection of FAST Channels from various categories upon launch. Movie enthusiasts can find channels like "NetzKino" featuring comedies, romances, action movies, thrillers, and horror films under the "Movies & Series" category, or "Grjngo," which showcases Westerns from all decades. The channel "Moconomy" in the "Documentary" category exclusively showcases economic documentaries, and under "Entertainment," channels like the gaming channel "Rocket Beans TV" are located. Other categories include "Music," "Sports," "Nature & Travel," "Food & Drink," and "Car & Technology". Thus, the app caters to every taste, with TIVEE's offerings set to expand further with more channels and features.

DNMG is a pioneer with the TIVEE platform, as it offers, for the first time, the integration of various internet-based channels on a single channel in the cable network for specific network operators' customers, thus bridging the "Old World" of cable networks with the "New World" of internet-based television.

"With TeraVolt's valuable expertise in HbbTV and streaming, we've made TIVEE a reality in just 3 months," says Damian Lohmann, Head of TIVEE at DNMG. "TeraVolt accompanied the entire development process from conception through UX/UI design and complete programming to the deployment of our HbbTV app TIVEE."

About DNMG

DNMG is the largest marketing organization for medium-sized and urban operators of cable television and Fttx networks in the German-speaking region, with over 200 members. DNMG collaborates with its partners to develop new business models and efficiently ensures project and contract implementation as the central interface between broadcasters and network operators, serving as a central point of contact for both broadcasters and cable network operators.

About TeraVolt

TeraVolt GmbH is a solution provider for digital media products and consulting based in Hamburg, with a team of around 50 experts in product, strategy, and technology. The company specializes in collaborating with international clients to develop outstanding new TV experiences and product showcases and to produce the best OTT solutions for them - from the initial idea to innovative products in operational use.

31. January 2024

TV Buddy – Increasing Viewer Loyalty and Fan Interaction with Conversational AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping how sports leagues and TV broadcasters connect with their fans and viewers. It not only enhances fan interaction but also helps organizers and broadcasters understand the needs of their audience, build strong relationships, and boost revenue. Here's an insight into what Conversational AI can already achieve for both fans and providers, along with a glimpse into its future capabilities.

Proactively Responding to Changing Viewer Behavior

Many viewers now use their smartphones to access context-specific information while watching TV – whether it's definitions of terms, biographical details about TV guests, or goal scores of individual players. The second screen has become a valuable touchpoint for broadcasters and TV platforms with their users. Unfortunately, this contact point is still underutilized, with viewers' attention drifting to time-consuming website texts. Conversational AI facilitates faster, more compressed, and personalized knowledge transfer, addressing this issue effectively.

TV Buddy – Your Own AI as a Crowd-Puller

Developed by TeraVolt, TV Buddy introduces a new dimension to fan dialogue. Utilizing Conversational AI through a messenger interface, it becomes an all-knowing companion, answering individual questions about live events and participants instantly, without diverting attention to external sources. It keeps the focus where it belongs: on the platform.

Imagine the Olympics in 2024, with over 10,000 athletes from 130+ nations competing in 32 sports and 306 competitions. How can viewers keep track and get answers to their specific questions without missing anything?
"What are the rules for the three-position shooting event?"
"Which Olympic disciplines were discontinued and why?"
"In which Olympic discipline is my country most successful?"
While live commentators can't address every viewer's interest, TV Buddy can. It learns about each user through simultaneous data analysis, tailoring responses and suggestions to individual preferences.

Personalized Sports Experience for Everyone – How TV Buddy Works

TV Buddy accommodates different knowledge levels, regardless of whether it is an answer that a ten-year-old daughter should understand or one that should not bore a grumpy sports nerd under any circumstances. Even voice messages are possible, with TV Buddy responding in kind – if desired, even in the voice of a favorite commentator or athlete through voice cloning. The TV Buddy is multilingual, allowing responses from Harry Kane in Spanish, Arabic, or 50 other languages – no problem!

TV Buddy can adopt various biographical traits and characteristics, allowing fans to choose a conversation partner, be it the hardcore fan, strategist and analyst, or a female football expert with knowledge of players' spouses, ages, children, and the latest gossip.

All these features make TV Buddy an innovative blend of a knowledge database and entertainment, guaranteeing a growing friendship between the learning AI and users by making sports events a personalized experience.

No Hallucination: TV Buddy's AI Always Provides Accurate Answers

A common risk with AI models like ChatGPT is their occasional inability to distinguish between facts and fake news. They may even "hallucinate" to provide an answer rather than admitting ignorance. TV Buddy eliminates this risk, with the provider deciding the parameters and sources feeding the feature.

Benefits for Fans

  • Personalized exchange and immediate answers to individual questions about live events and participants
  • Summaries with key information for those who missed the beginning or watch on-demand
  • Continuous updates on scores or results of concurrent games
  • Reminder function and highlight notifications
  • Increased interaction for a deeper immersion into the event
  • Streamlined and time-saving ticket purchases
  • Offers of relevant merchandise items with direct shopping functionality
  • Easier access to the event for sporadic viewers or sports newcomers

Benefits for Sports Leagues and TV Broadcasters

  • Unrestricted attention for their own event
  • Extended duration of viewer engagement beyond the event
  • Personal, mutual communication with fans
  • Increased fan engagement
  • Digital bridge to Generation Z
  • Valuable insights into fan preferences
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction through unique added value
  • Increased fan/customer loyalty and connection
  • No propagation of fake news – the provider filters and controls TV Buddy's responses
  • Monetization: Increased ticket and merchandise sales, integration of advertisements
  • No dependency on existing systems

TV Buddy as a Secure Investment in the Digital Future of Sports

In the world of professional sports and entertainment, staying ahead of the competition is crucial for success. With the current possibilities of AI, now is the perfect time to enter the business of personalized broadcasts.

TV Buddy is built on a dynamic AI framework, ensuring future-proofing. It serves as a foundational platform, allowing the flexible addition of new technologies and the retirement of outdated ones: Speech to Text, translation, Text to Speech, generative voice modulation, synthetic personalities, and whatever else may become possible soon. Through simple technical mix-and-match, and without high development costs, TV Buddy stays at the forefront by incorporating the latest AI tools.

In the near future, TV Buddy will become a living character

From a text and audio chat partner, TV Buddy will soon evolve into an animated live reporter. Fans will then even be able to see the AI-generated character come to life in an in-screen video based on their individual wishes, lip-syncing the answers in the voice and language of the user’s choice.

8. December 2023

How much is OTT TV in Germany? TeraVolt’s OTT market analysis update for 2023

Hamburg, 8. December 2023 – As the season of the German Soccer League unfolds, and Christmas holidays are just around the corner, TeraVolt GmbH, a leading solution provider for digital media products and consulting, sheds light on the evolving and increasingly expensive world of streaming.

To avoid missing out, payment is necessary: Users often encounter paywalls within a streaming platform prompting them to subscribe to additional services in order to access all desired content. This complexity drives up overall costs for consumers. Since mid-2022, the expenses for accessing all major sports and entertainment offerings have surged by nearly 25 %. The following graph illustrates that an "All-In" package, priced at € 257.68, now costs roughly € 50 more per month. (Download: Infographic, Data Table)

streaming-costs-in-germany-2023

This trend is set to continue, as further price hikes have been announced or are anticipated, especially for those seeking ad-free, high-quality viewing experiences in sports, films, and series.

Bundles have emerged as a savvy solution to combat these rising costs. Providers like Telekom, Sky, Vodafone, waipu, and O2 offer bundles that can potentially save consumers several hundred euros per year. This strategy effectively counters the trend of rising subscription fees for premium products, as many providers now introduce advertising-supported packages as more affordable entry-level options. The market is thus increasingly bifurcating into cost-effective, ad-supported, and more expensive premium tiers.

The challenge for consumers in this transforming TV industry is getting more and more complicated. How to navigate through this expanding forest of options?

"In the new TV reality, viewers are challenged to balance complexity, cost and content. The industry must adapt to offer more streamlined and cost-effective ways for consumers to access the diverse range of content they desire. Ad-based product tiers are an important part of the solution here", says Tobias Künkel, CEO of TeraVolt. "In this era of streaming abundance, TV platforms have a more important role than ever. As viewers grapple with a dozen of choices they provide aggregation, curation, and guidance", concludes Künkel.

About the methodology:

TeraVolt's analysis for 2023 includes established services like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, Sky, and DAZN, as well as RTL+, Joyn, MagentaTV, YouTube Premium, DYN, Paramount+, Discovery+, and the Rundfunkbeitrag.

For further questions please contact:

Tobias Künkel
CEO TeraVolt – A QVEST Company
https://www.linkedin.com/in/tobiaskuenkel/
contact@teravolt.tv

About TeraVolt:

TeraVolt GmbH is an owner-managed solution provider for digital media products and consulting in Hamburg. We specialize in developing outstanding new TV experiences and product lighthouses with our clients. We offer our clients individual solutions, from market-specific consulting and the conception of electrifying product visions to the technical implementation and operation of their TV offerings. Our focus is on effective and measurable success.

For more information visit www.teravolt.tv.


Read more about the German Streaming (OTT) landscape:

The German Broadcasting Fee (Rundfunkbeitrag)
Basic Pay TV
Prime Video
AppleTV+
DAZN
discovery+
Disney+
Joyn+
MagentaSport
MagentaTV
Netflix
Paramount+
RTL+
Sky WOW
YouTube Premium
OTT Bundles


The German Broadcasting Fee (Rundfunkbeitrag):
The Subscription that is not an Option.

Understanding the “Rundfunkbeitrag”

The Rundfunkbeitrag, still widely referred to as the GEZ fee, is a pivotal component in the German broadcasting landscape. This mandatory fee is the cornerstone of funding for public broadcasters across Germany, including the nine state broadcasting corporations under ARD, ZDF (Second German Television), and Deutschlandradio. The essence of these broadcasts lies in their commitment to education, information, counseling, entertainment, and a strong emphasis on cultural content.

Why It Matters

Public broadcasting in Germany is renowned for its high-quality news, feature programs, and diverse reports. It's a beacon of topical reporting, setting a benchmark in the industry. Entertainment is not left behind, with beloved shows like "Tatort" capturing the hearts of audiences nationwide.

The Cost Factor

Every household in Germany contributes to this system with a legally mandated fee of 18.36 euros per month. This flat rate ensures the continued provision of diverse and independent media content, a pillar of democratic society. The fee will remain stable in 2024, in 2025 a slight increase by 0,58 euros is in discussion.


Basic Pay TV: From Pioneers to Relics

What is Basic Pay TV?

Tracing its roots back to the mid-nineties, the world of subscription TV has evolved significantly, yet Basic Pay TV packages continue to be a staple in many German households. Offered by cable, satellite, and IPTV providers, these packages serve as an essential add-on for those seeking a wider variety of viewing options.

While many content providers are shifting towards direct-to-consumer (D2C) offerings, Basic Pay TV still holds a unique position by offering a curated selection of diverse channels. This shift has influenced the nature of exclusive content, making these packages more about variety and less about singular exclusive highlights.

Content Highlights

The channel packages include 25 to 50 additional channels of various genres. Many content providers are increasingly pulling content from pay TV channels to market them in their own D2C offerings. As a result, exclusive highlights are becoming rarer in basic pay packages.

But still, Pay TV offers a varied selection of content for diverse tastes. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy major events like the Olympics, football from Serie A and Ligue 1, and the competitive matches of the ATP tour. For drama lovers, series such as 'Bosch', set in the heart of Los Angeles, 'Yellowstone' with its portrayal of family dynamics, and 'Chicago Fire', showcasing the lives of firefighters, provide engaging narratives. The suspenseful 'Person of Interest' and the war-themed film 'Fury' round out the offerings, making Pay TV a comprehensive source of entertainment.

Pricing

The accessibility of Basic Pay TV remains one of its key attractions, with packages typically ranging from 10.00 to 20.00 euros per month. This pricing ensures a balance between variety and value, making it a viable option for a wide range of viewers.


Amazon Prime Video's Ad Intrusion: The Cost of 'Free' Content

What is it?

Amazon Prime Video differentiates itself from other streaming platforms by offering its content as part of the broader Amazon Prime membership benefits. This approach allows subscribers to enjoy a vast selection of exclusive series, movies, and sports content, all under one subscription.

Highlights

Prime Video's catalog is particularly rich in variety, spanning from the intergalactic adventures of "Star Trek: Picard" to the historical exploits of "Vikings". For sports fans, it provides live excitement with coverage of the Champions League, delivering the pinnacle of European football. Reality and competition show enthusiasts can indulge in "LOL: Last One Laughing" and "The Grand Tour" for high-octane laughs and automotive thrills. Adding to this robust collection are the epic narratives of "The Rings of Power", promising to be a visual spectacle, and the action-packed sequences of "Jack Ryan".

How much does it cost?

After a moderate increase in 2022, the current subscription cost for Amazon Prime, which includes Prime Video, is 8.99 euros per month or 89.90 euros annually.

Starting in 2024, Prime Video in Germany is expected to feature minimal advertising to fund more content and service enhancements. Ads will appear as short spots around programs, but Prime fees will stay the same until 2024. An ad-free version will also become available, with its price to be determined. A similar service in the USA may see a price rise of about 3 US dollars.


AppleTV+'s Exclusive Lane: Biting into the Core of Original Streaming

What is it?

AppleTV+ distinguishes itself as Apple's exclusive streaming platform, specializing in a curated collection of original content known for its high quality since 2019. Its library, though more selective than rivals', boasts critically acclaimed and exclusive titles.

Highlights

The service shines with its original offerings, including the compelling journalism drama "The Morning Show," the alternate history space race series "For All Mankind," and the dark fantasy "Monarch - Legacy of Monsters." Sports enthusiasts can also look forward to Major League Soccer (MLS) coverage, bringing the best of American soccer to fans worldwide.

How much does it cost?

In October 2023, Apple doubled the monthly fee for AppleTV+ from 4.99 euros to 9.99 euros per month.


DAZN's Pricing Dilemma: Scoring Goals or Own Goals?

What is it?

DAZN has emerged as a vital hub for sports fans since its inception in 2016, gaining a robust portfolio of broadcasting rights across a myriad of sports. It's a service that proudly offers over 8000 live events each year, including games and tournaments from around the globe.

Highlights

The platform is particularly revered by football aficionados for providing access to elite soccer competitions like the UEFA Champions League and Bundesliga. Moreover, it caters to fans of major American sports, featuring extensive coverage from the NBA, NFL, and MLB. This diversity makes DAZN a crucial service for sports enthusiasts who appreciate a wide range of sports disciplines.

How much does it cost?

Despite the rich content, DAZN's pricing has been a point of contention. After maintaining lower subscription fees for years, in 2023, DAZN raised its monthly fee to 44.99 euros for its “Unlimited” top product. Committing full 12 months lowers the price to 29,99 euros.

This steep increase was met with dissatisfaction from a portion of its user base, who expressed their discontent over the sharp rise. The price adjustment reflects DAZN's expanded offerings and its status as a comprehensive sports streaming service, yet it also highlights the challenges of balancing content acquisition costs with subscriber expectations.


discovery+: Unearthing Hidden Gems over-the-top

What is it?

Discovery+ has carved out a niche as a preeminent streaming service in the realm of non-fiction, securing its place as the international frontrunner for documentary enthusiasts. Its library, rich in reality TV, documentaries, and a variety of factual programming, caters to a broad audience interested in real-world stories and educational content.

Highlights

The platform offers an array of high-quality documentaries that span the spectrum from true crime to historical inquiries. Noteworthy are its current flagship series that include in-depth examinations of complex figures and events that have shaped the contemporary cultural landscape. Audiences are captivated by stories like the intricate "Prince Andrew and the Epstein Scandal" and the dramatic narrative of "Lady Gucci: The Black Widow," which delves into the notorious murder of fashion mogul Maurizio Gucci. "Queen of Meth," featuring Lori Arnold's tumultuous history, adds to the service's compelling true-crime offerings.

For sports fans, Discovery+ has expanded its content to include live coverage of some of the most prestigious events in the sports calendar. Subscribers can follow the intense competition of the Tour de France, the grandeur of the US Open, the prestige of the Grand Slams, and the international camaraderie and competition of the Olympics.

How much does it cost?

As for the cost, Discovery+ remains an affordable option for documentary and sports enthusiasts alike. The service is available with advertising at a monthly fee of 3.99 euros, providing an accessible entry point for viewers. Those preferring an uninterrupted viewing experience can opt for the ad-free version at 5.99 euros per month, offering an immersive and engaging viewing experience without distractions.


Disney+'s Price Leap: Magical Worlds at Steeper Costs

What is it?

Disney+ has rapidly become a titan in the streaming universe since its 2019 debut, amassing over 137 million subscribers globally. Its expansive catalog celebrates a wide array of beloved franchises and studios, including Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and classics like "The Lion King" and "Mulan." It's a treasure trove for fans of all ages, with an ever-growing library of content from the fantastical worlds of Pixar to the iconic characters of Star Wars, the superheroic sagas of Marvel, and the timeless charm of "The Simpsons."

Highlights

The service prides itself on a rich variety of content highlights, ensuring there's something to capture the imagination of every subscriber. Whether it's the intergalactic adventures of "The Mandalorian," the investigative depths of "Dopesick," or the mischievous charm of "Loki," Disney+ offers an unrivaled streaming experience.

The range of highlights is broad at Disney+: Not only series like "Ashoka," "Dopesick" or "Loki," but also classics like "The Lion King," "Mulan" or "Beauty and the Beast" enjoy great popularity.

What does it cost?

Acknowledging the breadth of its entertainment portfolio, Disney+ increased its top subscription fee to 11.99 euros monthly from November 2023 by introducing the “Premium” tier.

The “Standard” tier is available of 8,99 euros and an ad-supported subscription can be booked for 4,99 euros per month.


Dyn: A New Player in German Sports Streaming

 What is it?

Dyn, a new streaming service in Germany, started broadcasting in August 2023. Led by former DFL CEO Christian Seifert and media house Axel Springer, Dyn, pronounced like "Dein" (meaning "Your" in German), offers a diverse range of live sports content. It stands out for not focusing on football, traditionally a dominant sport in German broadcasting, and instead offers a variety of other sports.

Content Highlights

Dyn's sports lineup includes live games from several German sports leagues, with an emphasis on sports like basketball, handball, volleyball, and table tennis. The service covers:
·      Major handball competitions such as the LIQUI MOLY Handball Bundesliga, Women’s Handball Bundesliga, and EHF Champions League.
·      Basketball coverage including the EasyCredit Basketball Bundesliga and the Basketball Champions League.
·      Volleyball and Table Tennis Bundesliga matches.
·      Additional coverage of Hockey Bundesliga.
Dyn also collaborates with public broadcasters like ARD and ZDF for limited live game coverage and game summaries.

How much does it cost?

Dyn's pricing model is structured to offer flexibility and affordability. A monthly subscription option is available at €14.50, annual subscriptions are a little lower. This pricing places Dyn in a competitive position compared to other streaming services in Germany like DAZN, Sky, and WOW, offering a more budget-friendly alternative for diverse sports content.


Joyn+: Streamlined Viewing Meets Wallet-Friendly EntertainmentWhat is it?

Joyn+ serves as a contender in the streaming market with a unique 'freemium' model. Following ProSiebenSat.1 Group's acquisition of all Joyn shares from Warner Bros. Discovery in December 2022, the service has solidified its position, offering a blend of homegrown German programming and international series to a wide audience.

Highlights

Subscribers to Joyn+ can immerse themselves in a variety of content, from the strategic depths of "Shame Game" to the streetwise humor of "Slavik - Auf Staats Nacken." The service celebrates female-driven narratives with shows like "Frau Jordan stellt gleich," and offers a laugh with the raw comedy of "Jerks." Medical drama fans can follow long-running series such as "Grey's Anatomy," while younger audiences might flock to "Krass Klassenfahrt" or the intriguing "Reef Break," and everyone can join in the guessing game with "The Masked Singer."

What does it cost?

In the wake of ProSieben's complete takeover, Joyn+ continues to be competitively priced at 6.99 euros per month, promising a comprehensive entertainment experience at an accessible cost.


MagentaSport: Live Sports beyond just Football

What is it?

MagentaSport, Telekom's expansive sports OTT  service, offers fans an all-access pass to over 1,600 sports events annually, transcending beyond the usual football fare.

Highlights

MagentaSport serves up a sports medley, streaming everything from 3. Bundesliga football and top-tier European basketball leagues to the Frauen Bundesliga and DEL ice hockey. It rounds off its roster with the DKB Handball Bundesliga and, for Telekom customers, exclusive access to German Soccer League and UEFA Champions League action.

How much does it cost?

In 2023, MagentaSport adjusted its monthly rate from 9.95 to 12.95 EUR. It's worth mentioning that cost-saving options exist for long-term commitments or for existing Telekom contract holders.


MagentaTV: (Almost)-All-in-One Entertainment at One Price

What is it?

Magenta TV, the bespoke streaming service from Telekom, has positioned itself as a versatile entertainment hub, offering an array of TV channels and exclusive access to a trove of series, movies, shows, and documentaries through its comprehensive media library.

Highlights

The platform takes pride in its unique selection of series that cater to a variety of tastes. The gripping drama "Deutsch-Les-Landes" and the darkly comic "Arthurs Gesetz" offer viewers a slice of German-made excellence. International hits like "Prison Break" and "The Walking Dead" keep suspense enthusiasts on the edge of their seats, while "24" and its sequel "Legacy" continue to deliver action-packed storytelling. Fans of historical drama can indulge in the epic sagas of "Vikings," transporting viewers to the tumultuous and adventurous Viking Age.

Exclusive to Germany, Magenta TV also hosts celebrated series such as "The Handmaid's Tale," "Better Things," "Get Shorty," and "Condor." For sports fans, the inclusion of MagentaSport adds live games and events to the already rich viewing palette.

How much does it cost?

MagentaTV's central concept intertwines with Deutsche Telekom's fixed-line services, yet it also offers the flexibility of 'Magenta TV Flex'—a standalone OTT choice priced at 15.00 euros monthly.


Netflix: Trailblazing the Streaming Revolution - at a Cost.

What is it?

Netflix, the streaming juggernaut, continues to reign supreme, offering an unparalleled array of series, movies, and documentaries. Its catalog is a testament to its pioneering spirit in the streaming revolution, albeit with a price tag that reflects its premium status.

Highlights

The platform has become a cultural phenomenon, capturing global attention with its original series. From the psychological depths of "Mindhunter" to the political machinations of "House of Cards," Netflix has set the bar for quality streaming content. It's a hub for international hits as well, such as the suspenseful "Haus des Geldes" (Money Heist) and the groundbreaking "Squid Game," which became an overnight sensation.

Recent additions like the enigmatic "Stranger Things" and the darkly comedic "Wednesday" continue to draw viewers, while "Monster" delves into the complexities of true crime. The opulence of "Bridgerton" offers a period drama fix, and the critically acclaimed "Dark" keeps fans of German productions engaged.

How much does it cost?

Netflix's tiered pricing structure includes a premium option with Ultra HD quality and multiple streams at €17.99 monthly, alongside a standard tier for €12.99. As of October 2023, the basic plan, previously priced at €7.99, has been discontinued. In its place, a new ad-supported package offers a budget-friendly alternative at €4.99, introduced in late 2022.

While Netflix has raised subscription costs in the US and France, with two of the four tiers seeing a price increase, the basic plan has been discontinued for new customers in the US and Canada since June 2023. Whether similar price adjustments will apply to Netflix subscriptions in Germany remains to be seen.


Paramount+ Unveils: A New Peak in Entertainment

What is it?

Paramount+ makes its anticipated debut in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland this December, heralding a new era of entertainment from the powerhouse of American cinema. With a launch that extends beyond the Paramount vault, the service integrates a vast array of series and movies from Showtime, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and MTV.

Highlights

Showcasing a lineup that merges classic cinema with contemporary storytelling, Paramount+ promises an immersive viewing experience. It offers a rendezvous with history through "The First Lady," embarks on interstellar voyages with the "Star Trek" saga, and delivers crime-solving action with "NCIS." The platform doesn't shy away from pioneering narratives, featuring the likes of "Halo" and "The Offer," charting new territory beyond the familiar.

Catering to a diverse audience, the service also presents the satirical antics of "South Park," the domestic comedy of "King of Queens," and a kid-friendly zone with "Paw Patrol" and "SpongeBob SquarePants," ensuring every age finds its niche.

How much does it cost?

In a competitive move, Paramount+ sets its monthly subscription at an accessible 7.99 euros, positioning itself as a formidable contender in the streaming domain with a robust catalog that speaks to both the nostalgic and the avant-garde.


RTL+ Amplified: German OTT TV, Redefined

What is it?

RTL+, a product of the RTL Group, has evolved into a comprehensive streaming service, redefining the German OTT TV landscape. Offering both a free tier with access to popular RTL channels like RTL, RTL 2, and Vox, and a premium subscription, RTL+ stands out with its flexibility in viewing options—be it live streaming or on-demand from their extensive media library.

Highlights

The service has bolstered its lineup with an array of content designed to captivate a wide audience. Sports enthusiasts can revel in the high stakes of the Europa League and the adrenaline-pumping action of the NFL. Drama seekers are drawn to the intense narratives of "Yellowstone" and "Walker," while fans of long-standing soaps can continue their journey with "GZSZ" (Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten).

For those who delight in the thrill of mystery, "Pretty Little Liars" offers a binge-worthy escape, and the crime-solving prowess in "CSI" keeps viewers hooked. With RTL+'s premium option, subscribers not only get early access to in-house productions but can also enjoy these hit formats ahead of the regular broadcast schedule.

What does it cost?

Pricing for RTL+ Premium starts at a modest EUR 4.99 monthly with ads, with the Premium Duo tier at 7.99 euros, introducing an ad-free experience, content download capability, and multi-device streaming. RTL+ is set to become a mainstay in German homes, offering an eclectic mix of content that transcends traditional TV viewing.


Sky WOW: New Name, New Platform and Old Charms

What is it?

Sky's streaming platform, formerly known as "Sky Ticket," has rebranded itself as WOW since June 2022, bringing a fresh identity while maintaining its legacy of premium content. This transformation signifies a commitment to evolving viewer demands, offering a diverse range of programming that caters to a wide audience.

Highlights

WOW's content lineup is a blend of classic and contemporary, featuring enduring masterpieces like "The Sopranos," "Six Feet Under," and "The Wire." The service also stays abreast of current trends with acclaimed series such as "And Just Like That," "Euphoria," and "House of Dragon." German productions like "Das Boot" and "Der Pass" add a local flavor, while "Halo" expands the realm into sci-fi territory.

For sports aficionados, WOW Live-Sport is a treasure trove, presenting live action from the Bundesliga, including the coveted Saturday matches, Premier League, and the adrenaline-fueled Formula 1 races. The service doesn't stop at football; it extends to the ATP Tour, Eishockey (Ice Hockey), and more, ensuring that fans of various sports find their fix.

What does it cost?

Sky WOW offers three distinct subscription models to accommodate different preferences: WOW Series at 7.99 euros per month, WOW Movies and Series for 14.98 euros, and the comprehensive WOW Live Sports for 29.99 euros per month. This tiered approach allows viewers to tailor their subscription based on their interests, be it gripping dramas, blockbuster movies, or live sports events.


YouTube Premium: The Cost of Uninterrupted Access

What is it?

Since its introduction in Germany in 2018, YouTube Premium has offered a unique viewing experience, transforming how users interact with the world's largest video platform. This premium service eliminates the interruption of ads, providing seamless access to YouTube's vast library of videos, which users can also download for offline viewing.

Highlights

A standout feature of YouTube Premium is its integration with YouTube Music. Subscribers gain access to the premium version of this music streaming app, enhancing their audio experience with an extensive catalog of songs, albums, and artist collections.

What does it cost?

Priced at 11.99 euros per month following an initial eight-week trial period, YouTube Premium offers a multifaceted digital experience. Members not only enjoy ad-free video content but also have the luxury of background play, allowing videos to continue playing while other apps are used. This combination of uninterrupted viewing, offline access, and enhanced music streaming positions YouTube Premium as a competitive player in the digital subscription landscape.


OTT Bundles: Maximizing Entertainment Value in Today's Diverse Media Landscape

In an era where the range of entertainment options is vast and ever-expanding, MagentaTV emerges as a standout with its attractively varied bundles. These packages integrate services like RTL+, Netflix, and Disney, offering subscribers significant savings. Depending on the chosen bundle, customers can enjoy a price advantage of over 50% compared to individual subscriptions, potentially amounting to annual savings of 100-200 euros.

Moreover, the bundling trend isn't limited to Magenta. Waipu, Vodafone, and Sky are also in the fray, with notable packages like O2's inclusion of WOW and Netflix. Sky extends its bundling strategy by incorporating Paramount+ besides Netflix into its offerings. Additionally, Deutsche Telekom and Waipu have joined hands with DAZN to provide bundled options, enhancing the appeal to sports enthusiasts with a discount.

To paint a clearer picture, consider this: the full spectrum of TV entertainment doesn't necessarily mean juggling ten different subscriptions. Providers like Sky, Telekom, and Vodafone have crafted bundles that not only save money but also time and effort.

And it's worth noting the substantial new customer discounts across all platforms, potentially tallying up to 200 euros in savings.

These bundle offerings reflect a strategic response to the evolving demands of viewers, ensuring they get the most out of their subscriptions without the hassle of managing multiple accounts and payments. As the entertainment world grows, these bundles stand as an efficient solution to access a wide array of content, from blockbusters and top series to captivating documentaries.


30. November 2023

TeraVolt and ZDF Win the “HbbTV Award 2023” with ZDFmediathek Zapping Player 

Naples, November 29, 2023 - TeraVolt - A QVEST Company has won the “HbbTV Award 2023” with the product "ZDFmediathek Zapping Player". During the Award Ceremony at the 11th HbbTV Symposium, which were presented in Naples, ZDFmediathek Zapping Player came out on top in the category "Best Technology Innovation in an HbbTV Product or Service". 

The HbbTV Association, a global initiative advocating for the provision of open standards for advanced interactive TV services across broadcast and broadband networks for connected TVs and set-top boxes, honors outstanding achievements in the field of HbbTV with this award. 

The Award was presented to Volker Harbs (CTO, TeraVolt GmbH) and Katharina Schrenner (Product Manager, ZDF)

HbbTV Award Jury quote: “This looks simple, but it is an advanced HbbTV feature, providing an excellent user experience.” 

The ZDFmediathek Zapping Player offers a completely new way to discover further and above all new content in the ZDFmediathek. With the Zapping Player, functionalities can now also be used via HbbTV on the big screen that were previously only integrated on social media platforms. The younger generation is used to "swiping" through content feeds on the various social media platforms every day. Every time it is a surprise which content is suggested next. This makes it possible to constantly discover new content and with the "content swipe" functions, the younger target group is addressed.   

“We are thrilled, together with ZDF, about the success of the ZDFmediathek Zapping Player. It's always great when our innovative products receive international recognition. Winning the award also highlights the excellent partnership with ZDF, which has been ongoing for over four years.” says Mirko Rasche, Client Service Director TeraVolt GmbH 

The zapping player is integrated as an overlay above the video player and can be controlled interactively with the remote control of the SmartTV. This makes it easy to switch back and forth between the different contents. In comparison to the classic navigation via teaser tiles, where it is often not clear what content is behind them, viewers are directly part of the current programme and thus get a better and quicker feeling of what kind of content it is.   

Furthermore, viewers using the Zapping Player can choose among three different options: they can either opt for channel-surfing through the displayed suggestions to discover entirely new content, or they can select thematically similar content within a channel. Additionally, it's possible to continue watching the current stream within a channel. All videos can be started from the beginning, paused, or rewound, and users can also select different audio tracks or set bookmarks for later playback.

ZDF is consistently pursuing the path of digital transformation and TeraVolt is proud to be able to accompany this process as an OTT development partner.  

About TeraVolt  

TeraVolt GmbH is a solution provider for digital media products and consulting based in Hamburg with a team of around 50 experts in product, strategy, and technology. The company specializes in developing outstanding new TV experiences and product lighthouses together with international clients and producing the best OTT solutions for them - from the initial idea to innovative products in operational use. 

www.teravolt.tv 

2. November 2023

TeraVolt develops “Zapping Player” for ZDFmediathek  

Hamburg, November 02, 2023 - As OTT development partner of ZDF, TeraVolt is pleased to introduce the Zapping Player as a new feature in the ZDFmediathek. Zapping offers a completely new way to discover further and above all new content in the Mediathek. With the Zapping Player, functionalities can now also be used via HbbTV on the big screen that were previously only integrated on social media platforms. With the "content swipe" functions, the younger target group is addressed.  

The younger generation is used to "swiping" through content feeds on the various social media platforms every day. Every time it is a surprise which content is suggested next. This makes it possible to constantly discover new content.  

The zapping player is integrated as an overlay above the video player and can be controlled interactively with the remote control of the SmartTV. This makes it easy to switch back and forth between the different contents. 

In comparison to the classic navigation via teaser tiles, where it is often not clear what content is behind them, viewers are directly part of the current programme and thus get a better and quicker feeling of what kind of content it is.  

In addition, it is possible to choose between three different options in the zapping player. Watch completely new or different content by zapping and also be surprised by what content is shown. Watch the same content by playing the next video within a channel. Or it is possible to continue watching the current content. Content can be watched again from the beginning, paused or rewind, and it is also possible to select different audio tracks or set bookmarks for later viewing.  

The integrated channel overview is easy to access and provides additional information about the current schedule of the respective channels, what content is currently being shown as well as basic content information about the individual channels.  

 The integration of the zapping player thus offers a large amount of additional content that is scheduled and personalized on a daily basis, either manually or with the help of an algorithm. 

The Zapping Player is part of the "TV mobile FIRST" concept with which TeraVolt accompanies TV stations, broadcasters and platform operators during the digital transformations so that they can better reach younger target groups in the long term. TeraVolt also expects that in the future TV use across all target groups will increasingly be connected to the internet, i.e. "TV mobile FIRST". With the "TV mobile FIRST" concept, TeraVolt offers its customers a technological solution to also profit from the social media success stories and the associated added value.  

ZDF is consistently pursuing the path of digital transformation and TeraVolt is proud to be able to accompany this process as an OTT development partner.