Advanced Television

RTL Q1 boosted by ad revenues, streaming

May 8, 2024

RTL Group has reported that group revenue was up 2.6 per cent YoY to €1.31 billion, mainly driven by higher TV advertising revenue and streaming revenue at RTL Deutschland, partly offset by lower Fremantle revenue. Group revenue was up 4.1 per cent organically.

RTL Group’s total advertising revenue increased by 10.1 per cent YoY to €686 million, of which €528 million represented TV advertising revenue, €80 million digital advertising revenue and €77 million radio, print and other advertising revenue.

RTL Group’s content revenue, generated by the Group’s global content business, Fremantle, was down 9.2 per cent to €395 million, attributed to timing effects in the UK, Italy and Germany. In Q2 2024, Fremantle will deliver major productions such as the second season of The Responder and the new real-time thriller series Nightsleeper for the BBC in the UK as well as season 19 of America’s Got Talent for NBC and Race To Survive: New Zealand for the USA Network in the US.

Streaming revenue was up 41 per cent YoY to €86 million, driven by a significantly higher number of paying subscribers and increased subscription prices in Germany.

RTL Group’s distribution revenue was up 8.6 per cent YoY to €88 million.

TV markets

RTL Group estimates that net TV advertising markets were up in Germany and France in the first quarter of 2024. A summary is shown below, including estimates of net TV advertising market growth rates and the audience shares in the main target audience group.

Net TV advertising market growth rate Q1/2024 (in per cent) RTL Group audience share in main target group Q1/2024 (in per cent) RTL Group audience share in main target group Q1/2023 (in per cent)
Germany +5.5 to +6.5 28.1 27.7
France +4 20.6 21.0

By the end of March 2024, RTL Group’s streaming services RTL+ in Germany and Hungary and 6play in France had 6 million paying subscribers – an increase by 24.2 per cent year on year (end of March 2023: 4.8 million).

  • Paying subscribers for RTL+ in Germany increased by 6 per cent year on year to 5.3 million (end of March 2023: 4.4 million). The partnership with Deutsche Telekom to bundle RTL+ Premium in Magenta TV continued to contribute to the growth.
  • RTL+ in Germany increased its video starts by 29.1 per cent year on year to a monthly average of 102 million in the first quarter of 2024. Usage of RTL+ increased by 45.1 per cent to a monthly average of 47.8 million hours. The average monthly podcast launches on RTL+ increased by 32.4 per cent compared to Q1/2023. For the audiobook and music offerings, March was the strongest month since launch in terms of number of plays.
  • In March 2024, Groupe M6 presented its investment plan for its streaming service M6+ (replacing 6play). The additional investments of €100 million in content, technology and marketing will build up over time. The service will be primarily financed by AVoD, complemented by a premium subscription tier. The service will run on the technology platform provided by Bedrock and is set to launch on May 15th.


RTL Group confirms its outlook originally presented on March 14th:

The geopolitical and macroeconomic environment remains volatile, and the impact on RTL Group’s businesses continues to be hard to predict. On the basis of a slight recovery of the German TV advertising market and broadly stable advertising markets in the Group’s other territories;

  • RTL Group expects its full-year revenue for 2024 to increase to around €6.6 billion, based on higher revenue from RTL Deutschland (mainly driven by strong growth in streaming revenue) and Fremantle (mainly driven by a recovery in the US market and acquisitions).
  • RTL Group expects its Adjusted EBITA for 2024 to be around €750 million, with a variance of plus/minus €50 million, depending on the development of the German and French TV advertising markets in 2024. This Adjusted EBITA outlook includes higher content costs, primarily for the broadcast of Euro 2024 matches in France and Germany, and higher streaming start-up losses (2023: €176 million) primarily due to the investments in M6+ in France.
  • RTL Group’s dividend policy remains unchanged: RTL Group plans to pay out at least 80 per cent of the adjusted full-year net result.
Thomas Rabe, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group, commented: “RTL Group has started strongly and in line with our expectations into 2024. We have strengthened our leading audience and advertising positions in Germany and continued the dynamic growth of our streaming business. Our first-quarter results confirm our strategy of investing through the cycle. RTL Group is looking forward to an eventful second quarter, with RTL Deutschland and Groupe M6 broadcasting Uefa Euro 2024 matches. In addition, M6+ will launch in France next week and Fremantle will deliver season two of The Responder, the new thriller series Nightsleeper and season 19 of America’s Got Talent.”

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