Joyn: One platform for all of Germany

Joyn is a VOD content platform designed for and by Germans. Under its two subscription modes, which combine both free access to content and the enjoyment of a more selected portfolio of titles through a premium subscription, they aspire to become the number one platform in Germany, according to our interviewee Benjamin Risom, CPO at Joyn. In this interview, we answer questions that explain how the platform is financed, the technological development it has undergone throughout its life and the fundamental characteristics of its foundations. Check out the foundations of an OTT that aspires to become the first choice of all Germans.




How were Joyn / Joyn PLUS+ born?

Joyn launched in June 2019 as a joint venture between the broadcasters ProSiebenSat.1 and Discovery. In December our premium offer Joyn PLUS+ was added. Consolidating different entertainment offerings into one app and under one roof was something that a lot of people were looking for, but that didn’t exist on the German market until that point of time.


How has it developed through the years?

We are continuously improving and developing our product. In the beginning we worked on the availability of Joyn on different devices and platforms, so that we are now available on all common devices. Also we integrated a lot of partners and on demand content. With more than 24 million app downloads and around 6.4 million monthly active users we are very happy with the development of Joyn and look forward to everything coming.


What are Joyn / Joyn PLUS+ business model?

With Joyn, we offer a wide range of free content with unique Originals, media libraries, live TV, and catch-up of many popular TV shows. This extensive offering is ad-financed and virtually the gateway to the Joyn world. With Joyn PLUS+, we also offer a subscription-financed streaming service that includes additional international exclusives, previews, and premium originals.


What makes Joyn / Joyn PLUS+ different from other OTT / VOD platforms?

Joyn claims a unique positioning in the German market: With our freemium model, we are clearly positioned in the German market and thus have an important differentiating feature. The combination of a free offering with live streams and a media library with catch-up, preview content and local originals, as well as a premium area with live streams, including HD pay-TV, even more exclusive international content and premium originals, as well as movies and series, has not been available in the German TV market before.

And we are constantly building out our proposition. Our content portfolio is evolving and we are currently adding more short-form content for snackable entertainment moments. Moreover, we will have over 100 exclusive previews in 2022 from our Shareholder ProSiebenSat.1, which will be airing on Joyn, before they will be shown on live television. Additionally, our platform itself is developing into a more personal experience with amazing features.


What criteria do you use to choose the titles you offer on your platform?

We focus on Variety in our in-house productions. We give young talent and bold ideas a chance. But we particularly try to close the gap between YouTube and classic TV. We produce storytelling content with well-known personalities from the social web or create our own formats around social media stars. In addition, we receive a lot of content from our content partners and our shareholders. This content is so varied that on Joyn we can truly offer something suitable for everyone.


What is the technological infrastructure of your platform?

Joyn is built using micro services and message driven architecture. We are cloud native which helps us with speed, agility and resilience. We build most of the services in house and use SaaS products where it brings value.


What is the cloud platform that hosts Joyn / Joyn PLUS+? What services does it offer to you?

We have a multi cloud (GCP and AWS), multi region and multi CDN approach for achieving the best quality for our customers and have the best tech product fit.


How much of your content is broadcast in HD or 4K? Are there plans to continue growing in this aspect?

The private broadcaster live streams and media libraries are in SD within our free offering. In the subscription product, live streams and on-demand contents are offered in HD. We have a clear distinction between the tiers here, in alignment with our business model. With regards to our own productions, we produce the originals in 4K, even though they are shown in HD. The future will certainly move towards a 4K standard, even on TV, and we plan to increase the share of high resolution content constantly.


Do you have any goals to grow internationally?

We focus on the local market in Germany and on offering our users the best possible entertainment experience. The German market is very unique and we believe to have found a great mix to excite the users here. Our goal is to take a leading position in the German market and this demands all our attention.


What is the technological next big step for Joyn / Joyn PLUS+?

We will be focusing on leveraging the power of our data in order to provide the best user experience. We aim to be state-of-the-art in terms of orchestrating individual user journeys, especially in regards to recommending content and ad monetization.


The multimedia content market is growing a lot and the offer is huge for the viewer. What do you think the future of OTT / VOD platforms will be like?

There will be a consolidation of content and offerings. Users will demand more specific topics and an experience tailored to their habits and interests. Whether it is news, local creators, sports or blockbuster entertainment, users expect that their needs are met on one platform. We feel well positioned as an aggregation platform for this. We already bundle the content of various providers and believe that our content and product strategy will pay off in the future. Our goal is to be the number 1 local streaming provider in Germany.

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