RTL’s Digital Bets Continue to Pay Off with Continued Revenue Growth

RTL Group’s digital offerings are continuing to power revenue growth according the the company’s Q3 financial results, with the group planning further investment and expansion of its digital business over 2019. Overall group revenue for Q3 reached €1,422 million, up 3.6 percent year on year, bringing total revenue for the year so far to €4,468 million. Digital revenue for January to September reached €660 million, representing 17.9 percent revenue growth year-on-year.

The strong performance of digital helped the company weather what it described as “challenging market conditions”, with TV ad revenues in Germany having fallen over the past year (RTL did not say by how much). The company has been attempting to diversify its revenue streams to protect it against any declines in TV income, and says that 46 percent of revenues now come from TV advertising, while 19.7 percent comes from content, 14.8 percent from digital, and 5.6 percent from platform revenues.

“The mixed developments of the European TV advertising markets show that we are on the right track with our clear focus on two growth areas: building and expanding our non-linear streaming platforms, and producing local exclusive content,” said RTL Group CEO Bert Habets.

The company has seen strong growth in subscription numbers across its on-demand products. Paid subscribers to Germany’s TV Now Plus grew by 40 percent over the first nine months of 2018 compared to the previous year, with video views growing 45 percent. Over the same period Dutch streaming platform Videoland saw 119 percent year-on-year growth in paid subscriptions.

Habets said the company will continue to invest heavily across the streaming services it operates. “We will substantially increase the content offers of our streaming services across all genres – this includes showing programmes online first and developing original productions for these services,” he said. “Combined with state-of-the-art user experience, RTL Group is determined to become the European pioneer for the next level of Total Video.”

As part of this investment, RTL Deutschland will reboot TV Now over the coming months. This relaunch includes a new platform, as well as new content produced exclusively for TV Now, which it brands ‘TV Now Originals’.

The group also revealed plans to combine its multi-platform network (MPN) companies in an effort to grow its presence in the space. StyleHaul, Divimove and United Screens will be combined over the course of 2019 as RTL looks to “build a strong and profitable digital video group which operates at scale”.

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