1.Digital boom eases revenue-dip for RTL
Germany-based, pan-European broadcaster RTL this week announced that digital revenues jumped 26% in the year to 31 December, 2013, to hit €236 million thanks to organic growth and new acquisitions, despite an overall revenue drop of 1.8% to €5,889m during the period.
RTL claimed the slight dip reflected the overall bleak economic outlook of the continent during the period, but noted that digital revenues – primarily ad revenues – but added that it looked to make further acquisitions in the digital space to further its prominence within the business.
The pan-European broadcaster made several acquisitions of digital-only outfits throughout 2013, including several tie-ups with primarily digital players, as evidenced by launch of a multi-channel food platform network with Vice Media.
The group also revealed that its catch-up TV services and websites, including BroadbandTV, attracted a total of 16.8 billion online video views in 2013, up 143% year-on-year.
With the German programmatic market notable for the supposed unwillingness of media owners to sell their inventory via programmatic channels, perhaps this strategy is a sensible one if RTL’s sterling digital performance is to be considered. In fact sources are openly discussing the possibility of RTL entertaining the idea of opening up its inventory to programmatic exchanges, but the German-based broadcaster remains purse-lipped over its eventual decision to remain open or closed.
2. Axel Springer looks for digital acquisitions
German publisher Axel Springer this week announced it was to reorganise its business around its digital operations, and is on the lookout to buy new companies in the digital advertising space, according to the company’s chief executive Matthias Doepfner.
“We want to take advantage of further acquisition opportunities,” he told a news conference to reveal the company’s annual results, where it also revealed revenues of €2,801.4m for 2013.
Digital media revenues rose by 6.7%t and the share of total revenues contributed by digital media activities rose from 44.6% in 2012 to 47.9% in 2013. With the German programmatic advertising sector forecast to double in 2014, it will be interesting to see whether Axel Springer will outright partner with a third party or build its own technology stack.ronan