RTL Group merges MCN firms to create major digital studio

RTL Group is merging its digital video businesses under Berlin-based Divimove to create a leading European studio outfit representing more than 1,000 creators.

The business is combining United Screens, its digital video business in the Nordics, with its digital video company Divimove. Plans are also in place to integrate its Dutch RTL MCN into the merged entity.

The strategy will make Divimove one of Europe’s leading digital studios and a top home for digital content creators, representing talent across nine markets and generating 3.2bn online views per month.

RTL Group’s exec committee has also approved a growth plan to expand Divimove’s capabilities in talent management, production of short-form video content, advertising sales and technology/data.

Planned investments mean the combined company’s revenue is expected to double to more than €100m ($112.7m) by 2022.

Over the past three months, Divimove, RTL Group’s major broadcasting families and Fremantle have jointly developed numerous co-operation projects in content production, as well as advertising sales and talent management.

In the content space, Divimove is set to produce digital pilots, spin-offs and brand extensions of TV formats, positioning the combined entity as an innovative digital studio and testing ground for new concepts.

In Germany, Ad Alliance will offer Divimove as a one-stop-solution for branded content campaigns, which includes a recent jointly developed campaign for Durex that aired exclusively on TV Now.

Meanwhile, Divimove will also offer its roster of creators partnerships with RTL broadcasters and Fremantle productions to expand their presence beyond social media. The combined entity will also give established TV stars the opportunity to boost their social media presence and build their personal brands.

Tobias Schiwek will continue to serve as CEO of Divimove and will also lead the integration process of Divimove, United Screens and RTL MCN.

Schiwek will report to RTL Group’s exec committee, effective immediately. Natalie Tideström Heidmark will continue to serve as CEO of United Screens, reporting to Schiwek.

Thomas Rabe, CEO of RTL Group, said: “RTL Group’s digital video businesses have built significant reach among young audiences which are highly sought after by advertisers. We have now defined a new structure and strategy to convert the rapid growth in short-form video consumption into a profitable business: we are bundling our strengths into one company with a hands-on management team, we are investing in talent, creativity and technology – and we are bringing the cooperation within our Group to the next level. Thus, Divimove will also work closely with BMG and the Bertelsmann Content Alliance in Germany.”

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