FLIMMIT: Austria’s public-private-partnerships in public service media
Find out more about this innovative practice
In 2014, the Austrian public service broadcaster Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) concluded a public-private-partnership (PPP) agreement with FLIMMIT, a privately-held Austrian Video on Demand (VoD) platform active predominantly in German-speaking countries.
The collaboration has led to a series of innovative initiatives such as:
- presenting weekly collections of well-known and less-known audio-visual titles on a thematic basis;
- clearing rights for archive collections to make more works available to the public;
- and promoting domestic filmmaking by cooperating with the Austrian Film Academy and Austrian film festivals.
Moreover, the partnership makes Austrian TV series available to the public before they are broadcasted on ORF to facilitate public access to a diversity of digital services and contents. FLIMMIT has previously won several awards for creating a sustainable digital business model that supports diversified domestic and European audio-visual contents. They focus on providing access to high-quality Austrian and European productions and currently show more than 6000 films, including feature films, children’s and family movies, documentaries, TV shows, theatre and opera productions. By establishing a collaboration with ORF, the platform seeks to expand its online offerings even further by making domestic and ORF programmes available to a larger public.
In addition to this, the partners expect to increase revenue streams for filmmakers and license holders through a sustainable and long-term digital exploitation model, and to expand audiences for domestic and European audio-visual contents.
In line with SDG Target 17.17, Austria succeeded to develop and promote an effective public-private-partnership. By enhancing access to information through public service media for all in society (SDG Target 16.10) and by increasing digital access to diverse media content (Goal 1), the collaboration between FLIMMIT and ORF also directly contributes to the implementation of Goal 1 of the Convention and SDG 16.
- development of a strategy for domestic audio-visual content distribution via video-on-demand, covering both cinematographic and television content
- diversification of the legally available online offerings of audio-visual content and enabling long-term exploitation of audio-visual content through innovative business models
- development of new audiences for domestic and European audio-visual content online
The Austrian video-on-demand platform FLIMMIT, active predominantly in the German speaking countries, aims to develop a sustainable digital business model for diversified domestic and European audio-visual content and currently offers more than 6,000 feature films, children’s and family movies, documentaries, TV shows, and theatre and opera productions, most of which are of European and/or Austrian origin. The VoD shop and subscription services are available on PC, laptop and MAC, on mobile devices via iOS & Android apps, on televisions via a smart TV app, via Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay, and via HbbTV for cable, satellite and terrestrial transmission.
Flimmit has received multiple awards for its innovative business ideas (e.g. Red Herring, Audiovisual Media Days, ICT Finance Market Place, European Semantic Conference, etc.).
As a consequence, 2014 saw Austrian public service broadcaster ORF conclude a public-private-partnership agreement with FILMMIT, joining forces to expand its online offerings even further. Concrete measures include:
- presentation of weekly collections that mix well-known with less-well-known audio-visual titles on a thematic basis
- clearance of rights for archive collections, aiming to once again make these works available to the public
- prioritising certain topics such as MyFrenchFilmFestival, which presents selected French films worldwide through online platforms
- cooperation with other national VoD-platforms under the aegis of EuroVoD, which promotes cross-border exchange of A/V content
- promoting Austrian films, with collections and continuous thematic film-pools as a regular priority; including cooperation with the Austrian Film Academy and Austrian film festivals such as Diagonale in order to promote domestic filmmaking even further
- developing innovative exploitation models to further sensitize the public for the digital offerings, including the availability of Austrian TV series on FLIMMIT before their regular broadcasts on ORF stations and the availability of feature films on FLIMMIT parallel to their cinematographic release
- establishment of a viable home-grown online platform that supplies a diversity of domestic and European audio-visual content
- creation of long-term digital exploitation models and hence revenue streams for filmmakers and other licence holders
- attraction of new audiences for domestic and European audio-visual content
- assurance of interoperability and compatibility of formats for users
The establishment, operation and development of the platform was funded by various sources, including in particular funding by the Creative Europe/MEDIA Programme, as well as support by the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, by “departure”, the Creative Industries Agency of the City of Vienna, and by the Federal Ministry responsible for Culture.
In 2014 the Austrian public service broadcaster ORF concluded via its subsidiaries ORS comm and ORF Enterprise a public-private-partnership agreement with FILMMIT (25,1% of the shares). Since May 2016 ORS comm together with ORF Enterprise are the majority shareholders, holding approximately 96% of the shares of FLIMMIT.