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Youth’s Video Takes Aim at Merkel’s Party in Run-Up to European Elections

By Christopher F. Schuetze

A 55-minute clip attacking Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party logged more than nine million views in six days. The German establishment has taken notice.

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Netflix plans German office in Berlin

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Netflix wants to open a German office in Berlin in autumn 2019. After London, Madrid, Paris and Brussels, this would be the streaming service’s fifth national office in Europe.

“Since our launch in the German market in 2014, we have been warmly welcomed by the creative community and we are happy to be working with many great local talents in front of and behind the camera,” Kelly Luegenbiehl, Vice President of International Originals EMEA at Netflix, told German industry service DWDL. “Given our growing volume of original German content, now is the right time to get even closer to this community, so we can deepen our partnerships.”

“We are convinced that a Netflix office in Berlin will help us further integrate into Germany’s creative community, and we look forward to developing even more exciting content in the coming years,” she added.

So far, the activities in Germany have been managed from Netflix’s European headquarters in Amsterdam. Not only will employees move from Amsterdam to Berlin, but new jobs will also be created in the German capital, according to the report.

Russia’s Youth Found Rap. The Kremlin Is Worried.

By Ivan Nechepurenko

Streaming and social networks took music out of the hands of the country’s cultural guardians and let a new generation of artists emerge.

Screenland: The Pleasure of Watching Others Confront Their Own Incompetence


A viral instructional video of a hand being drawn provided the internet with a safe way to encounter a difficult truth.

bumerangTV launches free VOD service in Germany

By JΓΆrn Krieger

With bumerangTV a free, ad-supported video-on-demand (VOD) service has launched in Germany for fans of series in the original language.

The streaming service initially includes productions from Turkey and Spain, with series from Russia and Arab countries to follow later. Some content such as Turkish series Magnificent Century (original title: Muhtesem Yüzyil) are also available in dubbed German.

With the service, Ecem Yüksel, founder and managing director of bumerangTV, wants to promote integration and understanding for other cultures through entertainment.

The VOD platform is available via the web browser and as an app for smart TV sets, smartphones and tablets in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Austrian Chancellor Calls for Top Minister’s Ouster, Deepening Government Chaos


Austria’s chancellor called for the dismissal of his interior minister, a member of the Freedom Party, leading the far-right party’s other ministers to quit the government.

Wirecard provides payment services for BluTV

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Turkish streaming service BluTV has selected German digital payment solutions provider Wirecard to support its global expansion.

Wirecard will provide the SVOD platform, which offers Turkish content to over 4 million subscribers, with digital payment solutions across Europe.

“As the first Turkish digital platform to go truly global, it is essential that we have an experienced partner by our side,” said Alptug Copuroglu, head of international at BluTV. “Wirecard’s long-standing experience in digital payments is instrumental in enabling us to grow our streaming subscription services beyond Turkey. We look forward to continue bringing our broad content offering to millions of viewers around the world.”

Boris Bongartz, head of sales digital goods at Wirecard, added: “Streaming subscription services are growing at an incredibly fast pace. Our digital payment services will allow BluTV users to have a smooth and enjoyable customer experience, and focus on their main objective: enjoying great TV content, no matter where in the world they are.”

BluTV is available globally with the offer including Turkish series, BluTV original series and mainstream TV series from around the world. In addition to the European expansion, BluTV is focusing on further strengthening its position in the MENA and Latin American markets.

Swedish Nenda launches streaming service for hotels

By Robert Briel

Nenda, an up-and-coming Swedish company, is being launched with the aim of revolutionizing the B2B TV market with a streaming service for the hotel industry.

The initiative is led by CEO Anders Hässel, who previously held a top job at Telenor, where he was responsible for content acquisition and strategy. The company has raised SEK5.5 million in a seed round from, among others, Björn Lifvergren (who becomes Chairman of the Board) and Carl Palmstierna (who joins the board).

Björn Lifvergren has built up the company BTI Studios, a billion SEK company that delivers subtitling and dubbing to companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.Carl Palmstierna, former Partner in Goldman Sachs International and CEO of ABG Sundal Collier AB. He was also chairman of the board of QBrick.

“The B2B market for TV has been neglected all over the world. Hotels in particular have not had the opportunity to offer their guests a worthwhile product. Their offering is based on old technology, difficult to navigate and, not least, has substandard content,” said says Anders Hässel, CEO and Co-founder.

“‘A hotel experience’ is a well-known expression for a “better-than-home-feeling,” but the television experience in hotels is clearly worse than the one guests experience in their homes. Today’s technical solutions are also both expensive and complex for hotels to manage. Nenda offers an all-in-one service with everything from sports to movies, international news channels and pay-per-view. In addition, guests can see what they want when they want because there are both live and on demand channels. Our technical platform means that guests from all over the world can get subtitles and dubbing in their home language, and that hotels can connect the TV experience directly into the digital guest journey through integration into hotel systems.”

“Today, 68% of all guests turn on the TV in the hotel room, but few find anything to watch. When we now bring OTT to the B2B world, we can offer a unique product, which suits hotels beautifully! We will connect the best and most innovative content providers with hotels that want to be able to offer the guests good content. We have global ambitions for all B2B segments, but we are initially launching in the Nordic region with a focus on hotels and then expanding into other geographical markets and business segments. In the Nordic region alone, there are over 320,000 hotel rooms, and globally just over 16 million! We are already in discussions with some of the largest hotel chains and there is a lot of interest. The programming networks need increased distribution and new flexible revenue streams – which fits our model hand in glove.” said Björn Lifvergren, Chairman of the Board.

“I have many years of experience from supporting founders and building fast-growing technology companies such as the streaming companies Qbrick and Magine. I really believe in the initiative with a specific focus on B2B,” added Carl Palmstierna, board member.

(On the picture from the left: Carl Palmstierna, Björn Lifvergren, Anders Hässel)

Highlights From the Video That Brought Down Austria’s Vice Chancellor


A woman who said she was the niece of a Russian oligarch. A villa on Ibiza. A secret videotape. Lots of alcohol.

Austrian Leader Calls for Snap Election After Far-Right Vice Chancellor Resigns


A 2017 video that was secretly filmed showed Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache promising government contracts to a woman claiming to be the niece of a Russian oligarch.