TFO has been a cultural cornerstone since its 1970 inception as a TV channel: an asset to Ontario’s French speaking communities and an educational tool for Anglophones interested in learning French.

Today, TFO has staked its claim in a market saturated by giants. In collaboration, we launched a modern streaming platform on par with the most well-known in the industry; proving that even smaller-scale organizations can deliver big when it comes to digital experience.

The new media landscape

A 2022 study by Media Technology Monitor found that 1 in 5 Canadians have opted to cut their cable service, and 1 in 8 never had one to begin with. Streaming subscriptions, on the other hand, have been rising since the aughts of Netflix.

Recognizing this shift, TFO seized the opportunity to redefine their audience’s engagement.

Six weeks to seamless streaming

In a six week sprint done entirely in-house, our digital team collaborated with TFO to design, build and launch an ad-free, user-friendly digital universe replete with 5,000 pieces of high-quality content items for Francophones and French language learners of all ages. The platform operates effortlessly between tablets, phones, laptops and gaming consoles; bringing users entertainment and education wherever they may be.

Whether it's elevating discussions on mental health or giving a platform to local and international talent, the system's design ensures that each piece of content reaches its intended audience. Robust search features, parental controls, watchlists, and highlighted new releases contribute to this personalized experience.

Enriching viewing experience with tech

To ensure lightning-fast page loads and smooth streaming, we applied a software concept called “headless architecture” in order to pair leading content management system Sitecore with React, a powerful frontend library. This enabled us to separate the website’s content from its presentation, ensuring both the front and back ends functioned optimally. To protect users from horrors of the buffering icon, we implemented adaptive streaming, meaning the platform automatically adjusts video quality based on internet speed. If a problem should arise, our real-time analytics enable us to swiftly fine tune it.

Inclusive design is an imperative

Not a feature. In addition to covering standards like colour contrast and precise language for buttons, each video on TFO’s platform is accompanied by Closed Captioning and a transcription feature that enables the user to follow along to each word on a sidebar. The entire site can be navigated through the keyboard, enabling access for anyone facing obstacles related to fine motor skills. These carefully crafted features ensure we meet the stringent benchmarks for inclusivity and accessibility in today's digital world.

Stay tuned for season 2

Through continual refinements and the introduction of several exciting new features, we aim to ensure TFO remains an enriching and essential destination for its viewers. We’re excited to see what the next chapter of has in store for language learners and beyond in the months to come.