RTL Group Unveils New Division to Oversee (and Grow) Its Video Investments
By Sahil Patel
The division will be led by Marcel Reichart, EVP of digital development and partnerships at RTL parent company Bertelsmann. As EVP of the RTL Digital Hub, Reichart will oversee a team based in the US and Europe focused on developing new business and other growth opportunities for RTL’s online video companies, which include the YouTube multi-channel networks StyleHaul, BroadbandTV, and Divimove, and video advertising platforms SpotXchange and Clypd.
As part of RTL Group’s “decentralized” structure, each portfolio company will still be independently led by its CEO. The RTL Digital Hub, instead, will serve as an additional development resource for various areas of growth, including international expansion, external partnerships, and synergies (where applicable) with RTL Group’s broadcasters and its production arm FremantleMedia as well as with other divisions within the large Bertelsmann family.
RTL Digital Hub will also be responsible for finding potential new investments for RTL Group in the online video space.
Online video has been a massive area of growth for RTL Group since its initial investments in BroadbandTV and StyleHaul. Its portfolio currently generates more than 7 billion views online per month, and its MCNs combined make it the number-two player on YouTube, the company boasts.
For 2014, RTL Group’s total digital revenues hit €295 million, up 26% from the previous year. In Q1 of 2015, it reported “strong” revenue growth for BroadbandTV (up 67% year-over-year), StyleHaul (up 60%), and SpotXchange (up 86%). Together, the three businesses will generate a “three-digit million Euro figure” in revenue in 2015, according to a spokesperson for RTL Group.
“The creation of the RTL Digital Hub underlines our strategic goal to become a global force in online video and to further increase our presence in North America,” said Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch, Co-CEOs of RTL Group, in a statement. “With our recent investments in North America — BroadbandTV, StyleHaul and SpotXchange — we’ve reached critical mass in online video. Now we will bundle our efforts to develop our rapidly growing reach in this area into a more significant and profitable third pillar of RTL Group.”