RTL sees streaming revenue and subs jump

Thomas Rabe

Broadcast giant RTL Group saw its German and Dutch streaming revenues jump by 20.6% last year to €170 million as the group overall saw a strong rebound in the second half of 2020 and the fourth quarter in particular.

RTL said that paying subscribers for German streamer TV Now grew by 64% to 1.286 million over the course of the year, while paying subscribers for Dutch service Videoland grew by 38% to 903,000.

TV Now is ramping up its drive to include original content and will exclusive stream UEFA Europa League and Europa Conference League football from the 2021-22 season. The streamer introduced a new Premium+ tier last year enabling users to watch two largely ad-free streams in parallel with original soundtracks for non-German productions. It also signed a distribution deal with Deutsche Telekom last November.

Videoland meanwhile has introduced a low-cost entry tier alongside a premium tier that includes the parallel use of four screens.

RTL said it aims to grow its total number of paying subscribers in Germany and the Netherlands to between five and seven million, to grow streaming revenue to at least €500 million and to reach Adjusted EBITA break even by 2025. The group will grow the annual content spend for TV Now and Videoland to €350 million in 2025, up from €117 million last year.

CEO Thomas Rabe meanwhile reiterated that “there is a strong case for consolidation in the European broadcasting industry” and that the group was “currently reviewing such options for our controlling stake in the French broadcaster Groupe M6, with a view to creating value for our shareholders”. The group is exploring the potential sale of M6.

RTL agreed the sale of ad tech unit SpotX to US company Magnite last month.

RTL’s full-year revenues fell from €6.651 billion to €6.017 billion, but revenue in the second half grew by 0.8%, rising to growth of 2.8% in Q4.

Adjusted BITDA fell from €1.156 billion to €853 million for the year.


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