Pooling our strengths: by forming alliances both inside and outside the Group, Bertelsmann is creating the basis for a strong, comprehensive presence in the media content, marketing, data and technology sectors. The focus is currently on the German market, with other markets in sight.
In Germany alone, Bertelsmann invests about €2 billion a year in its creative content. Globally, the figure exceeds €5 billion. Whether it’s RTL Group or Penguin Random House, Gruner + Jahr or BMG, each of the Group’s four major content divisions is a creative powerhouse in itself. Together, the four are unparalleled. In Germany they pooled and coordinated their strengths in the Bertelsmann Content Alliance in 2019. Similar content alliances will be launched in France and the United Kingdom in 2020. And partnerships with third parties such as Salto in France and Loves TV in Spain – the joint streaming platforms of the respective national TV leaders – are also part of the strategy, with Groupe M6 and Atresmedia, respectively, playing leading roles.
Advertising remains the largest contributor to media revenues – including digital. However, digitalization has fundamentally changed the possibilities, and hence the expectations, of advertisers: they want high reach, and therefore cross-media solutions and offerings from a single source. This is precisely what the Ad Alliance has guaranteed since 2017. Besides the Bertelsmann companies Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and Gruner + Jahr, the Spiegel Group and Axel Springer are also on board. Together they offer advertising customers integrated concepts to raise attention for their brands or products across all media channels, from print to TV to digital. A similar advertising alliance is being created in the Netherlands involving RTL Nederland; and in Germany, d-force, a successful joint ad-booking platform from the marketers of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and ProSiebenSat.1, has already been added.
Bertelsmann aims to become the technologically leading media, services and education company in the fields of cloud, data and artificial intelligence. This can only be achieved if strengths, resources and expertise are pooled across the Group on one hand, and if Bertelsmann pursues a clear, coordinated technology agenda on the other. Since 2019, the Technology and Data Advisory Board has been responsible for ensuring both. With the Bertelsmann Collaboration Platform, the company is also creating the necessary basis for sharing IT applications with one another. In addition, there is Gravity, the French data and media alliance in which Groupe M6 and the G+J subsidiary Prisma Media have a stake, as well as the netID login alliance established by Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, Gruner + Jahr, ProSiebenSat.1 and United Internet.