RTL Group’s SpotXchange Deal: The Industry Reaction

RTL’s move to take a 66 percent stake in SpotXchange, a  programmatic video advertising platform, could have significant implications for the growth of programmatic across Europe. Here three leading figures from the buy and the sell side share their views”

Rhys McLachlan, Head of Global TV Strategies, Videology

Rhys McLachlanFor a renowned, legacy media conglomerate such as RTL to invest in such a progressive business is testament to how quickly the media landscape is changing. The deal speaks volumes for the necessity of these businesses to create internal agility through either the development of their own technologies, or in this instance, the acquisition of a respected and well-established third party technology business. This is a significant move by a global media powerhouse and is consistent with recent, not dissimilar, moves from both Facebook and Comcast in their acquisitions of LiveRail and Freewheel respectively.

Danny Hopwood, Head of Platform, EMEA, Vivaki 

Danny HopwoodRTL buying such a big stake in a purely programmatic technology company like SpotxChange is further evidence of consolidation taking place in the ad tech sector (which I believe is needed right now).  It’s also a sign that TV-based companies are looking at the programmatic market seriously and starting to take action.  This is a much welcomed sign of progression.  The question is what moves will we see from other big TV media companies now that the ball is rolling?  The US market is making the right noises, central European markets can testify to progression due to RTL but there are still large broadcasters staying well clear of programmatic.  The landscape is changing for everyone.  We can choose to be proactive to this or reactive.

Sorosh Tavakoli, CEO, Videoplaza

Sorosh Tavakoli, CEO of VideoplazaAs with the other recent transactions, this is great news for SpotXchange founders and shareholders – well done! RTL knows programmatic trading will be important for the TV advertising market sometime in the future and it’s clear they wouldn’t want that market to develop without them participating. However, this deal is more about RTL Group tapping into the mid to long tail part of the market, complementing their strong position in premium
RTL Group are also operating their entities completely independently, we know this really well working with most of them. This means they all use whatever tech and partners they wish. This raises some questions around wether this strategy will remain or change. So to conclude the SpotXchange acquisition will allow RTL Group to tap into the mid/long tail part of the market while future proofing them selves for when programmatic trading becomes a reality for broadcasters.

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