RTL Group Combines German, Nordic Digital Video Business

RTL Group CEO Thomas Rabe

The European TV giant merges Scandinavian division United Screens with Berlin-based Divimove, part of a plan to unite its online multi-channel operations.

European TV giant RTL Group on Thursday announced it was merging two of its online multi-channel networks (MCN), combining Nordic-based United Screens with German operation Divimove.

RTL said it also plans to integrate its Dutch MCN business into the combined entity.

MCNs are online platforms that bring together YouTube channels of various online celebrities and stars, coordinating production, promotion and advertising sales across the entire group.

RTL's Divimove represents more than 1,000 talents in nine European countries and, according to the company's own figures, generates 3.2 billion online video views per month.

Tobias Schiwek will stay on as CEO of Divimove and coordinate the integration with the other MCNs, reporting to RTL Group's executive committee. Natalie Tidestrom Heidmark will continue to serve as CEO of United Screens, reporting to Schiwek.

RTL has been investing heavily in its MCN business, which it forecasts will more than double to combined revenues of more than $113 million (€100 million) by 2022.

RTL Group chief executive Thomas Rabe said Divimove will in the future work more closely with RTL's sister companies, including music group BMG and the Bertelsmann Content Alliance in Germany to improve cooperation and synergies within the company. Bertelsmann is RTL's parent company.

Divimove already works closely with RTL's production subsidiary Fremantle to jointly develop content, coordinate talent management and design cross-media advertising campaigns.