TF1 launches France’s first streaming platform, with a paid option using Stripe technology

The TF1 Group owns and operates France’s first TV broadcast network, TF1, and now France’s leading on-demand streaming platform: TF1+. What’s unique about TF1+ is that anyone can watch the platform’s full content library at any time for free. People who want to consume ad-free content can sign up for paid subscriptions.

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On-demand streaming platforms such as YouTube and Netflix have permanently changed how people consume digital content. Recognizing this industry shift, France’s most popular free TV broadcaster, the TF1 Group (TF1), decided to launch an on-demand streaming platform called TF1+. As France’s first and most trusted TV network, TF1 already serves up news and entertainment to France’s nearly 65 million residents. However, the addition of TF1+ would meet consumers’ changing requirements, increase viewers, and drive long-term growth. To stay true to its original TV broadcasting model, TF1 decided to offer two tiers of TF1+ services: free, on-demand streaming of TF1’s entire library with advertisements and paid, ad-free subscriptions.

Because subscriptions would be new for TF1, it needed to build a payment and billing solution from scratch. The services had to be fast, reliable, and capable of scaling to support millions of viewers in a matter of minutes. If millions of people signed up for a paid TF1+ subscription at the same time, perhaps just before a big football game, they’d expect immediate onboarding or they’d likely cancel their subscription.

TF1 also had to build a security model that was smart enough to recognize the difference between authentic and fraudulent payments. And the company would have to continually iterate and evolve its payment, billing, and security solutions as quickly and cost-effectively as possible to meet future requirements—including international expansion and support for different payment methods, currencies, and regional tax rates.


TF1 evaluated billing and payment providers. After narrowing its choices, the company built proofs of concept (POCs) using top contenders’ technologies, including Stripe’s. In just one week, TF1 built a POC with Stripe Billing—which includes customizable subscription capabilities—and Stripe Payments, which supports more than 100 payment methods and over 135 currencies. Stripe’s ease of use was just one reason why TF1 chose to partner with Stripe.

“As a market leader with so much at stake, we needed a global payments leader that could manage our volume of scale and enable continuous, agile development,” said Thierry Bonhomme, CTO of TF1 Group.

Working part time, five TF1 developers designed and implemented the company’s initial Stripe solution—in just three months. They used Billing to create 1-month and 12-month self-service subscription options as well as a 7-day trial period. To enable paying customers to access their TF1+ services from any device, developers used the Stripe Billing APIs and the Go programming language to connect Billing with TF1’s customer relationship management (CRM) system. With the Billing APIs, developers created automated invoice generation and payment flows.

Developers configured Payments to process customers’ payments in euros via credit cards, debit cards, and digital wallets. And they added Link to enable an accelerated checkout experience built by Stripe.

TF1 activated Stripe Radar—a no-code fraud mitigation solution that’s built into Payments—to ensure fast checkout times and a reduction of fraud. Radar instantly assesses the risk level of every credit card transaction. Developers configured TF1+’s automated payment flows so they use data from Radar to instantly adjust accepted payment methods for individual customers if needed.

To minimise risk of any service disruptions, TF1 adopted Stripe Premium Support, a paid option that provides immediate, hands-on assistance. “The quality of our customer service is really, really important to us, which is why we contracted with Stripe Premium Support,” said Bonhomme. “Our local Stripe office in France has a team of people who can help us any time we need it.”

To prepare for its international expansion of TF1+ services, TF1 is now deploying Stripe Tax so payments and invoices automatically reflect the appropriate tax rates and tax laws based on customers’ addresses. The company is adopting Stripe Sigma as well so developers can use SQL queries to analyze its Stripe fraud, payment, and billing data—and build custom reports for business decision-makers.


TF1 drives 40% growth in revenue

In January 2024, the first month that TF1+ was available, TF1 increased its viewers by 30% and its revenue by 40% compared with January 2023.

“The platform we built already supports about 30 million people, which is about half of France’s population,” said Bonhomme.

TF1+ also easily manages massive spikes in subscription sign-ups, including 3.5 million customers in just 5 minutes.

Customers enjoy fast checkout experiences while TF1 mitigates fraud

By using Link, TF1 speeds up checkout processes for its customers now. And with Radar, the company has kept acceptance rates above 99.97% and fraud rates below 0.03%.

Developers add revenue-generating features faster

With Stripe, TF1 can continually evolve its solution to drive growth. For example, in just a few days, developers recently added a paid preview option with Billing that allows customers to pay to watch a movie the day before it’s officially available.

Additionally, by using a consolidated Stripe solution for payments, billing, fraud mitigation, and now taxes and reporting, TF1 has saved more than nine months of development effort and costs over the last eight months.

“Stripe is a cloud-native, one-stop shop for more than just payments,” said Bonhomme. “It provides a lot of capabilities we can choose from so we can quickly adjust our roadmap to meet new requirements—and keep things simple.”

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