RTL Group said that in the first half of 2018 it continued its successful business development and Total Video strategy.
“Despite significant negative exchange rate effects and major sporting events such as the Winter Olympics and the Fifa Football World Cup 2018. RTL Group’s business model stands for resilient top-line growth, a highly diversified revenue mix and high-quality earnings. RTL Group will foster more organic growth initiatives in two main areas: building video-on-demand services that attract mass audiences across all content genres and continuing FremantleMedia’s push into scripted drama,” the broadcasting group said.
RTL Group expects its total revenue for the fiscal year 2018 to continue to grow moderately (+2.5 per cent to +5.0 per cent), driven by the Group’s digital businesses and FremantleMedia (excluding exchange rate effects).
The 2017 EBITDA included a positive one-off effect of €94 million from the sale of buildings in Rue Bayard, Paris. Normalised for this effect, RTL Group expects EBITDA in 2018 to be broadly stable (-1.0 per cent to +1.0 per cent)
The group is growing its on-demand services. In June 2018, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland announced its plans to significantly expand its video-on-demand platform TV Now, in particular by offering additional local, exclusive content. The number of paid subscribers for TV Now Plus grew by 43.5 per cent.
In April 2018, RTL Nederland announced that it plans to merge its advertising-financed platform RTL XL and its rapidly growing subscription video-on-demand service, Videoland, into a single platform. Videoland recorded paid subscriber growth of 122 per cent4. Total subscriber viewing time increased by 204 per cent in the first six months of 2018, compared to the same period last year
In June 2018, Groupe M6 announced it would team up with France Télévisions and Groupe TF1 to build Salto – a joint French online video platform providing news, including magazines and special events, sport, entertainment, French fiction, US series, documentaries and films
“The good results for the first half of 2018 highlight once again the key strengths of RTL Group: with our broad international footprint across broadcast, content, digital, and an ever-more diversified revenue mix, we continue to grow organically, even in challenging market environments. Our high levels of profit margins and cash generation allow us to combine attractive dividends with significant organic growth initiatives,” said Bert Habets, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group.
“In our rapidly changing Total Video industry, growth mainly comes from non-linear or streaming services. We will further increase investments in our video-on-demand services, with a clear focus on local, exclusive content, and gradually adopt a hybrid model – combining a free, advertising-financed service with a premium pay product. First examples of our building strong local streaming champions
are the upcoming massive expansion of TV Now in Germany and Videoland in the Netherlands.
“Every investment in local, exclusive content strengthens both our linear TV channels and our nonlinear on demand services. This local, exclusive content focus is the power engine for our Total Video offers. Especially with FremantleMedia’s push into scripted drama, we are fuelling our content pipeline. Currently, FremantleMedia is seeking funding for at least 35 scripted series ideas that we want to realise. As a consequence, international drama productions will already generate more than 20 per cent of FremantleMedia’s total revenue in 2019.”