RTL Group Revenue Growth Driven by Content & Digital


RTL Group has reported revenue of 4.6 billion euros ($5.1 billion) for the first nine months of 2019, up 2.8 percent, largely thanks to the group’s global content business, Fremantle, and digital activities.

Thomas Rabe, CEO of RTL Group, commented: “RTL Group continues its growth trajectory with revenue up 3.5 percent organically in the first nine months of 2019, driven by our content and digital activities. We are on course to achieve all the targets in our outlook statement. We also made good progress on our strategic priorities and partnerships: at the end of September 2019, RTL Group registered 1.4 million paying subscribers for its streaming services in Germany and the Netherlands—up 50 percent year on year. As our streaming services are showing rapid growth and exceeding our expectations, we will significantly increase our ambition level and investments. In France, Groupe M6 is building the tech platform for Salto—the joint subscription service with TF1 and France Télévisions to be launched in 2020. With our European ad-tech business, Smartclip, we are creating an open ad-tech platform, tailored to the needs of European broadcasters and streaming services. Together with the management team of RTL Deutschland, we have started a roadshow to present our solutions to other European broadcasters—creating a great deal of interest.”

Revenue from RTL Group’s broadcasting operations was down 2 percent, to 3.2 billion euros, mainly due to scope changes (the sale of Universum Film and the football club Girondins de Bordeaux) and lower TV advertising revenue in Germany and the Netherlands.

Content revenue—which represents Fremantle—was up 16 percent to 1.2 billion euros, mainly driven by the delivery of new shows and series such as the second season of American Gods. For the full year 2019, RTL Group expects Fremantle’s organic revenue to grow between 10 and 12 percent on a constant currency basis.

Digital revenue generated by RTL Group’s MPN activities and SpotX was up 14 percent to 337 million euros, thanks to growth at both BroadbandTV and SpotX. VOD revenue, generated by RTL Group’s broadcasting operations, was up 24 percent to 183 million euros. RTL Group’s total digital revenue was up 14 percent to 755 million euros.

RTL Group estimates that the net TV advertising markets were down in Germany and France and slightly up in the Netherlands. Paying subscribers for RTL Group’s streaming services in Germany and the Netherlands were up 50 percent.