RTL sees pay VOD base grow by 60%

RTL Group grew its paying video-on-demand subscriber base in Germany and the Netherlands to 1.15 million at the end of March, up 59% year-on-year. CEO Thomas Rabe hailed the “good progress” the company has made towards achieving its goal of “building local streaming champions in the European countries where we have strong families of channels”.

Thomas Rabe

RTL’s revenues for the quarter to March was up 7.2% to €1.518 billion which the company said was mostly driven by production unit Fremantle and RTL’s digital activities.

Revenue from broadcasting was down 2% to €1.084 billion thanks to a soft advertising market in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Digital revenue from multichannel networks – notably BroadbandTV – and advertising tech outfit SpotX – was up 25% to €105 million, boosting total digital revenue to €220 million, up 15.8%.

RTL’s Rabe said the company had “decided not to acquire the remaining shares of BroadbandTV”. RTL owns a 51% share of the multichannel network.

Under former CEO Bert Habets, RTL this year set a goal of growing he number of paying subscribers to its SVOD services to three million and to grow revenue from video-on-demand to €360 million by 2021, after the number of paying subscribers to its services passed the one million mark at the end of last year.

RTL also committed to invest at least an additional €350 million in expanding its streaming offerings over the next three years, including €300 million to be invested in content across all genres.

Habets resigned unexpectedly in April for personal reasons, and was replaced by Rabe, the group’s chairman and the chairman and CEO of majority owner Bertelsmann.

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