Saturday, September 09, 2006

Dutch RTL formulating broadcast strategy

The IBC in Amsterdam is an occasion of boasting and putting down strategies. In the past week the Dutch Bertelsmann broadcast subsidiary RTL put down its strategy for the next year. It did so, away from the conference venue; clearly indicating that this was for domestic consumption of competitors and advertisement agencies. It became a more than an interesting session as the RTL officials as they professed their beliefs.

It became clear that RTL will continue to put their money in the present broadcast platform. The Dutch subsidiary RTL has three TV stations and a radio station and they will keep them. These stations are the money makers with 30 second commercials and will remain so. And the content of these stations will be the material for the spin-offs for internet and digital television channels. Despite the fact, that youngsters spent less time watching television than the average viewer, the RTL officials believe that the youngsters will spent less time on internet in the future.

Although this may be the opinion of broadcast die-hards, RTL offers more spin-offs than ever. In fact aspires to become in the top three of content providers. RTL will invest in three sectors: News, Business news and Entertainment. In 2007 RTL will be active with video in three media, besides television: internet, cable and mobile:
- aims to be the largest video site in the Netherlands, competing with Shoobidoo of KPN and Google Video. At present occupies the 10th place in penetration and the 19th place in page views. It will move up with the video-on-demand service as well as missed programs as well as the content around the popular programs. In fact RTL wants to have an extra channel through the internet site
- For cable an internet will develop theme channels and will exploit them on its own internet, but also offer them to cable operators and internet video operators. A 24 hour news service, a paid classic music channel, but also crime, comedy and soap channels will be available.
- Mobile distribution on UMTS and DVB-H will be the third area of attention. RTL will push video on mobile between 12 and 2 pm. It sees this time as prime time for mobile. With this instrument RTL is starting to use day-parting.

The Dutch subsidiary of RTL is positioning itself as a top digital video content provider on three platforms in the Netherlands. I still remember that the official in charge of the interactive department said in 2005, that by 2008 the revenues of interactive content would be so high that the department would get a seat on the management team. If RTL can make the presented plans true, interactive content will change the revenue picture of the broadcast company drastically.

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