• Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland takes over the group’s ad-tech businesses
  • Executives say objective is to create an open ad-tech development unit
  • RTL Group announces review of its strategic partnerships for SpotX Global


RTL Group overhauls ad-tech business: Calls for partnerships amid strategic restructure

Source: RTL

Broadcaster RTL has overhauled it ad-tech business creating a centralised European hub while calling for partnerships to drive digital video monetisation. 

Luxembourg-based RTL announced today its executive committee and board of directors have decided to carry out a strategic review of its ad-tech business

In a statement to the press, RTL Group’s largest business unit Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland will take over the responsibility of the group’s ad-tech businesses in all European markets – except the UK – bundled under the brand Smartclip.

The restructuring will begin with immediate effect and the UK operations will continue to work as the centralised hub for SpotX Global in Europe.

The two operations will collaborate and work closely together to deliver leading technology and monetisation solutions to existing and new European clients.

Executives announced the objective of Smartclip is to create an open ad-tech development unit, based on the technology developed by Smartclip and custom-tailored for the needs of European broadcasters and streaming services.

Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland will further invest in evolving and growing the Smartclip platform.

Partnerships in parallel

RTL Group also announced it has begun reviewing its strategic partnerships for the SpotX Global business.

SpotX is positioned as a leading platform to monetise digital video, including premium video-on-demand and live TV streamed to any internet-connected TV device. It will continue to operate on a global basis, serving some of the world’s largest media owners, device manufacturers, platform operators and publishers.

SpotX fully acquired the UK-based video technology company Yospace in February this year. It said at the time that Yospace’s advanced solutions for dynamic server-side ad insertion further complements the SpotX platform, providing one of the leading solutions for monetising high-quality video streaming across Europe, the US and Asia.

RTL Group chief executive Thomas Rabe said: “New partnerships and state-of-the-art advertising technology are key success factors for our Total Video strategy.

“The strategic review of our ad-tech businesses serves both goals: firstly, it facilitates partnerships in Europe and the United States. Secondly, it bundles efforts and resources to build a competitive European advertising technology platform.

“With our alliances and partnerships, we are actively shaping the future of the European Total Video industry – from content creation to ad sales and technology.”

RTL Group unveils new leadership structure

RTL Group’s Board of Directors appointed Elmar Heggen as the group’s chief operating officer and Björn Bauer as the Group’s new chief financial officer, effective immediately.

Both Heggen and Bauer will report to RTL Group CEO Rabe.

RTL Group chairman Martin Taylor said: “I am delighted that we have found such a dynamic and experienced leadership team for RTL Group.

“Elmar Heggen knows our Group inside out and will be an active sparring partner for the chief executives of our business units.

“Björn Bauer has extensive financial expertise and media experience. With our CEO Thomas Rabe, I wish both of them lots of success in their new positions.”

To drive the strategic agenda of RTL Group and to foster cooperation, the Group is also establishing a Group Management Committee, which will be composed of the members of the Executive Committee (Thomas Rabe, Elmar Heggen, Björn Bauer) and the CEOs of the Group’s three largest business units – Bernd Reichart (CEO of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland), Nicolas de Tavernost (CEO of Groupe M6) and Jennifer Mullin (CEO of Fremantle).

In addition, the Board of Directors has mandated the Executive Committee to review the role and the size of RTL Group’s Corporate Centre in Luxembourg. As part of this mandate, the Executive Committee will also explore whether certain corporate positions could be transferred to Cologne. The review is expected to be completed by the end of September 2019.