RTL and ProSieben’s Addressable TV Venture Goes Live and Eyes Up European Expansion


D-Force, a joint venture for selling addressable TV advertising announced by ProSiebenSat.1 and Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland earlier this year, today formally begun operations in Germany. Through d-force, both broadcasters will make their addressable TV and digital video inventory available via ProSieben-owned demand-side platform (DSP) Active Agent. While this will initially be limited to the Germany market, d-force plans to quickly expand into other European markets.

At this point there has been no mention of the data that can be used in campaigns, the levels of addressability (individual/household/regional etc), or the technology that has been used on the sell-side.

The initiative is being headed up by Ralf Hammerath, Alen Nazarian, and Jens Pöppelmann, who will jointly guide d-force’s corporate strategy. Hammermath is CEO of ProSieben-owned ad server ADITION technologies, Nazarian if CRO of ProSieben’s sales arm SevenOne Media, and Pöppelmann is director of media operations at RTL’s ad sales house IP Deutschland.

While the operation is starting off small, with just ten staff overall, Pöppelmann said he hopes to grow the venture quickly. “d-force has ambitious plans,” he said. “In addition to Freiburg [where the first office is opening], next year we will open at least one more location in Germany and invest in the expansion of our resources.”

And Pöppelmann added that d-force has ambitions to expand internationally.  “We want to rapidly expand from Germany and the DACH region to other European countries,” he said.

RTL and ProSieben see a big opportunity in the venture. As SevenOne Media CEO Jens Mittnacht told VAN back in September, addressable TV and digital video revenues in Germany are expected to reach the single-digit billion euro range by 2022. But ProSieben and RTL will be of course be competing with the US tech giants to capture this revenue.

The two believe d-force will be an attractive alternative to the likes of YouTube for video ad spend. D-force will simplify the process for buying addressable TV campaigns, which previously would have to be booked via each broadcaster/sales house independently, potentially using different targeting standards. And by making addressable TV inventory available alongside other targeted digital video inventory, and making the DSP as simple to navigate as possible (d-force says campaigns can be ordered in “a few clicks”) they hope to compete with the global video platforms in terms of reach and simplicity.

“As an offering made by the European market for the European market, with high-performance technology, a media-neutral booking platform and high-quality consulting and support services, we will continue to expand our position as the central aggregator for ‘total video’ advertising,” said Ralf Hammerath.

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