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RTL combines short-form units as multi-platform strategy takes shape

RTL is to combine its Divimove and UFA X units into a single short-form video division from the beginning of January. According to the broadcaster, the new unit will create an integrated powerhouse for the production, aggregation and monetisation of short-form video content in Europe.

Tobias Schiwek-

RTL recently increased its shareholding in multi-platform network Divimove to 100%.

Tobias Schiwek, currently co-managing director of UFA X and chief digital officer of UFA, will become the new CEO of Divimove, effective from January 1.

The rest of the unit’s management team will comprise chief operating officer Nancy Julius, chief sales officer Olaf Herzig and chief financial officer Christoph von Schwerin. Julius will join Divimove from UFA X where she is currently co-managing director.

RTL had previously announced plans to combine its StyleHaul, Divimove and United Screens divisions into a single digital video group, which will take place in the course of next year. After this has been completed Schiwek will report to Sean Atkins, CEO of StyleHaul, who will oversee the combined organization.

Divimove currently counts 300 million subscribers to its 900 social influencers across Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland and France.UFA X specialises in digital storytelling in the form of journalistic content, fictional and serialised stories and entertainment formats for young audiences.

Bert Habets, CEO of RTL Group, said: “The consumption of short-form video continues to grow rapidly – and so do advertising and branded content revenues in the social media ecosystem. As part of our Total Video 2.0 strategy, we will bundle our MPN businesses – StyleHaul, Divimove, United Screens – to build a strong and profitable digital video group led by Sean Atkins. This new group will operate on a global scale to reach and entertain young audiences. The combination of Divimove and UFA X is an important element of this strategy as it will significantly enhance the creative power of our MPN businesses and the variety of our offers to advertisers in the European markets.”

Schiwek said: “Through Brandboost, Divimove has recently and successfully built up storytelling for brands – a segment in which UFA X gained significant market share in the past. After the initial conversations with the team at Divimove, it became very clear that this combination makes us even stronger. We have everything we need to continue our success in the realm of online video: the reach and creative diversity of Divimove as well as UFA X’s exceptional expertise in storytelling. I am delighted that with both these extraordinary teams we can offer a unique value chain in production and marketing – not only to brands but also to TV channels, platforms and NGOs.”

Nico Hofmann, CEO of UFA said that she was  “truly proud that UFA’s commitment to the digital transformation of our industry is now gaining new momentum in a larger group.”