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RTL’s spending on content exceeding $1bn, say joint CEOs Dang, Schäfer

RTL Deutschland co-CEOs Stephan Schäfer and Matthias Dang at Screenforce Days

RTL Deutschland is currently investing €1bn (US$1.06bn) in content production, the company has revealed, an amount that will increase in the future.

The figure was confirmed by co-CEOs of RTL Deutschland Matthias Dang and Stephan Schäfer during an interview at the Screenforce Days screenings event taking place in Germany this week.

The background to the announcement is the ongoing transformation of the Cologne-based broadcast group into a “media house of the future,” Schäfer said.

Part of the transformation will see streaming service RTL+ developed as an application that will combine TV, streaming, podcasts and print publications. It will be a model financed partly by advertising and partly by subscriptions.

“One app for all media; that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world,” said Schäfer, talking up the company’s concept at the Screenforce Days event.

Henning Tewes

Henning Tewes, chief content officer of RTL, also emphasised that the company’s Vox channel in Germany will be further transformed, with a focus on attitude and entertainment. “Sustainability, inclusion and diversity will continue to take centre stage,” he said.

In addition to fiction produced in-house, licensed series will also be used to attract audiences, for example, with the Sex & the City sequel Just Like That, acquired from Warner Bros Discovery.

While high-quality series will be shown first on the RTL+ portal for the branding of the streaming offering, the subsequent linear broadcasts on RTL will generate audience reach, according to RTL Group’s management.

Acquired series such as Peacemaker and The Lost Symbol will soon be shown on RTL+ thanks to deals with US studios, such as with Warner Bros Discovery for HBO titles. The second season of Beta Film’s period drama Sisi will also premiere on RTL+.

Furthermore, RTL is reactivating various shows that were successful in the 1980s and 90s, such as the German version of formats The Price is Right and Saturday Night Live as well as The 100,000 Mark Show. The group is also continuing well-known unscripted formats like Let’s Dance (from BBC Studios), Undercover Boss (All3Media International) and The Bachelor (Warner Bros Discovery).

Finally, Frank Vogel, MD of RTL-owned marketing organisation Ad Alliance, was also at the Screenforce Days event to explain that his company is now also a tech and data business where advertising is distributed across all channels – including the transparency of data about video impacts on linear and digital channels.

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