RTL combines assets to create ‘Europe’s leading digital studio’

RTL Group is combining key digital assets to create what it describes as “Europe’s leading digital studio and home for digital content creators”.

Divimove recently signed Dutch YouTube star Dylan Haegens

The Luxembourg-based international broadcast outfit has unveiled plans to combine its digital video business in the Nordics, United Screens, with Divimove, its Berlin-based digital video company. RTL also plans to integrate the Dutch RTL MCN into the combined entity.

According to RTL, the combination will make Divimove Europe’s leading digital studio and home for digital content creators – with more than 1,000 content creators across nine European countries who collectively generate 3.2 billion online video views per month.

Tobias Schiwek will continue to serve as CEO of Divimove and will also lead the integration process of Divimove, United Screens and RTL MCN  Schiwek will report to RTL Group’s Executive Committee, effective immediately. Natalie Tideström Heidmark will continue to serve as CEO of United Screens, reporting to Schiwek.

RTL said it expects the combined company’s revenues to double to more than €100 million by 2022 and has also put in place a growth plan to expand Divimove’s capabilities in talent management, production of short-form video content, advertising sales and technology and data.

Over the past three months, Divimove, RTL Group’s major broadcasting assets and production outfit Fremantle have jointly developed various cooperation projects across advertising sales, talent management and production.

In Germany, Ad Alliance is offering Divimove for branded content campaigns, such as a campaign for Durex, exclusively aired on the streaming service TV Now.

Divimove is offering its creators partnerships with RTL broadcasters and Fremantle productions to expand their presence beyond social media. At the same time, while TV talent is being given the opportunity to boost its social media presence and build personal brands.

Divimove is also to produce digital pilots, spin-offs and brand extensions of TV formats as a testbed for new concepts.

Thomas Rabe, CEO of RTL Group, said: “RTL Group’s digital video businesses have built significant reach among young audiences which are highly sought after by advertisers. We have now defined a new structure and strategy to convert the rapid growth in short-form video consumption into a profitable business: we are bundling our strengths into one company with a hands-on management team, we are investing in talent, creativity and technology – and we are bringing the cooperation within our Group to the next level. Thus, Divimove will also work closely with BMG and the Bertelsmann Content Alliance in Germany.”

RTL’s Q1 revenues, posted in May, were up 7.2% to €1.518 billion which the company said was mostly driven by production unit Fremantle and RTL’s digital activities.

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 at the time that the company had “decided not to acquire the remaining shares of BroadbandTV”.  RTL owns a 51% share of the US-based multichannel network.

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