USA, 2005: Swiss national Bea Knecht and Professor Sugih Jamin from the University of Michigan share the common vision of offering live TV online, free of charge and under a legally proper license. They want to roll out this idea all over the world. This is when Zattoo was born.
With just a dozen employees in the USA and Zurich, Zattoo launched its service in Switzerland. The starting point for Zattoo was the opening match between Germany and Costa Rica on 9 June at the Soccer World Cup. Zattoo was the first in the world to bring live TV to the PC.
Following the successful launch in Switzerland, Zattoo started offering its live TV service in Germany as well. There were initially 22 channels available in Germany. In the first year, over 100,000 users in Germany watched Zattoo TV online. Taking Switzerland into account, over one million users have already registered for Zattoo.
More and more channels can be streamed via Zattoo. From this year onwards, this would also include channels by public broadcasters ARD and ZDF in Germany, which has more than doubled the number of available channels. In the meantime, a team of 40 people was working on the further development of Zattoo.
After the successful launch in Germany in 2007, Zattoo expanded into other markets such as Spain, Norway and Belgium. But the effects of the financial crisis, which hit the whole world just one year earlier, were also being noticed at Zattoo. This meant the service for live TV had to be discontinued in some countries.
Zattoo went mobile: to mark the World Cup, Zattoo launched the first free live TV offer for the iPhone in Switzerland. With the new recording function, users in Switzerland were also able to record the entire TV program for 30 days and therefore no longer miss any of their favourite shows.
Zattoo started expanding its mobile availability and now also became available for Android phones in Switzerland. With the iPhone and iPad, German users could enjoy mobile television as well. In addition, for the first time in Switzerland, users could watch TV content online via iPad/iPhone and Airplay on the large TV screen.
Under the former name ZATTOO TV SOLUTIONS, Zattoo bundled all its B2B activities, thus building an important second pillar. With the provision of live TV on Samsung and LG smart TVs and via Xbox, Zattoo made the leap to the big screen in the living room. In addition, users in Switzerland and Germany were also able to watch live TV in HD quality from this year.
The team also continued to grow and won over a handful of developers in Berlin to join the company. This formed the start of the Berlin site. It also marked the year in which the team moved into its first own office in Berlin Kreuzberg. ZATTOO TV SOLUTIONS developed a complete TV-Everywhere solution for the Swiss cable network Quickline as a white label, thereby gaining its first B2B customer.
The team in Berlin was growing so fast that it moved to a new office in early 2014. Where there was plenty of room at the beginning, it became too small once more at the end of the year. As a result, two dozen employees moved to the current location in Neukölln the following year. With Telecom Liechtenstein & SAK, Zattoo's B2B team gained its first multiscreen IPTV customers with their own set-top box.
Zattoo offers more and more TV content on demand and started entering the video-on-demand market. As in Switzerland, users in Germany can now also access the programme of selected channels for up to 7 days with the replay function. With the launch on the Amazon Fire TV and the Android TV, Zattoo entered into important partnerships and also became available on Xbox One and Apple TV from this year.
For 10 years now, users have been watching live TV online with Zattoo. With around 1.8 million people watching the European Football Championship, Zattoo reached a new record this year. One of the reasons was the massively increased service on Big Screen. This year, three major German network operators also opted for Zattoo's white label IPTV platform: EWE Tel, NetCologne and M-net.
Zattoo's B2B business gained a major customer this year: 1&1, one of the leading network operators in Germany, started using Zattoo's IPTV solution. The offer for advertisers was to be further expanded with the innovative advertising format, "Dynamic Ad Insertion" (DAI for short).
Premium users can now stream TV throughout the EU with Zattoo. Zattoo launched the new subscription model Ultimate with the first 10 Full-HD channels for the World Cup. In addition, the apps for Samsung Smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One, Android TV and Apple TV underwent extensive further development. For the B2B sector, 2018 was the year of the big deals: By now, Zattoo was hosting and managing the TV service of the Swiss mobile network operator Salt and was making the leap to the USA with the telecommunications provider Hotwire as a new customer.
Zattoo continued to grow and took over the end customer business of Magine TV and the streaming users of TV-Spielfilm in Germany. The brand also gained a new makeover, with more vibrant colours and shapes. Zattoo's B2B division also presented itself under the new slogan ZATTOO - The TV Platform with a new design and expanded its end to end white label IPTV platform to Android TV Operator Tier.
Zattoo now has over three million active users per month, making it one of the leading TV streaming providers in Europe. With its availability on all popular devices, Zattoo is now a complete and attractive alternative to conventional reception methods. As a pioneer in TV streaming, Zattoo also brings the Technology and Engineering Emmy® Award to Europe this year.
For 15 years Zattoo has played a major role in shaping developments in TV streaming. Always on board: Our users, customers, partners and friends as well as our great employees. We say "Thank you" for 15 exciting, instructive, funny and wonderful years that have made us the leading TV streaming provider in Europe. This will remain so for the next 15 years. That's a promise!