ARD and ZDF are expanding their media libraries into a common streaming network

ZDF Press Release

The ARD and ZDF are developing a joint streaming network of their media libraries. In the future, it will allow users to find ZDF content in the ARD Mediathek (media library) and vice versa.
SWR director Prof. Kai Gniffke, ZDF director Dr. Thomas Bellut and ARD Chairman Tom Buhrow Copyright: ZDF/Ralph Orlowski

The contents of both collections will largely be made available without barriers. The concept was launched on Monday, 21. June 2021 in Mainz, by the chairman of the ARD, Tom Buhrow, and the directors of ZDF and SWR, Dr. Thomas Bellut and Prof. Kai Gniffke.

Together, ARD and ZDF have a content catalogue of more than 250,000 films, documentaries, satires, and series. The common streaming network should make this treasure of quality public content more directly accessible and easier to find.

At the same time, users can continue to enjoy their familiar content. The media libraries are increasingly becoming entrance doors into the common streaming cosmos. The user interfaces of the broadcasters’ own media libraries remain intact and, as before, to serve the many users who come, motivated to catch up with missed content.

An overall search function across both offers is being built into the streaming network. This makes it easier to link all content. In addition, both media libraries will offer an overarching personalisation and recommendation system in the future. It is intended to offer users content from both media libraries according to their interests.

Whoever registers for one of the collections can make use of all the advantages of the network. But even those who have not yet registered can, for example, put together mixed playlists from both collections. Recommended and personalised content is played wherever the user happens to be. In this way, ARD videos can also be played in the ZDF media library and ZDF content in that of ARD.

ARD and ZDF are entering into an extensive technological partnership for the development of the streaming network. The closer technical cooperation is benefited by the joint location of both media libraries in Mainz.

There will be adjustments to the respective user interface and design. In the field of data protection, both media libraries will also become more closely interlinked. In the future, there will only be one common user account per user. In this regard, both broadcasters attach importance to a particularly responsible handling of user data.

The streaming network will be gradually built in the coming years. Additionally, it will also give other public service providers the opportunity to participate. Most recently, both media libraries had already integrated the contents of the young “funk” content and ARTE into their media libraries.

Original Press Release – German

ARD Communication, telephone: 0221 – 220-1475,;
ZDF Press and Information, Telephone: 06131 – 70-12108,

Photos are available via ZDF Press und Information, telephone: 06131 – 70-16100, and via

Link to the recording of the ARD/ZDF press conference:

Mainz, 21. June 2021
ZDF Press and Information

Header Image: SWR director Prof. Kai Gniffke, ZDF director Dr. Thomas Bellut and ARD Chairman Tom Buhrow
ZDF/Ralph Orlowski