In the TV world, one of the big industry debates is about whether traditional broadcasters can take on Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Apple TV+ in the streaming video space.
German broadcaster RTL has been trying with its RTL+ and Videoland services, having signed up 3.4 million paying subscribers so far. Now it’s adding music to RTL+ in an effort to give it an advantage over those bigger rivals.
During its latest financial results, RTL announced that in the first half of 2022, RTL+ will be “expanded to a cross-media entertainment service, comprising video, music, podcasts, audio books and e-magazines”. RTL said it is hoping the expanded service will help it grow its paying streaming subscribers to 10 million by the end of 2026.
Where is the music coming from? Deezer. In fact, Deezer said this morning that it will provide the music, audiobooks and audio dramas for RTL+, including playlists and its personalised Flow stream. This isn’t a ‘sign up to RTL+ and get a subscription to Deezer separately’ deal though. Deezer has created new APIs and SDKs for RTL to use in fully integrating its content into RTL+.
It’s one of the deepest partnerships of its kind that we’ve seen, and could well presage similar deals across the world, wherever broadcasters are seeking an advantage in their battle against the biggest streaming video services. Which sparks an additional question about music’s role in the latter too.
Obviously, Prime Video is part of the same Amazon super-bundle that includes Prime Music, and Apple TV+ can sit alongside Apple Music in the Apple One super-bundle. But could RTL be pointing towards an even more unified future where music (in audio and video form) sits within these services too? And if so, what are Netflix and Disney+ going to do, and who might their partners be? One to ponder.