RTL Nederland: a ‘fan-centric’ strategy

Banners of RTL Nederland in its HQ

Interview by Daniel Esparza

RTL Nederland is involved in a process of changing its strategy, driven by new market trends. Over the last few years, RTL has switched from being TV-centric to deploying a content-centric strategy. Currently, it is facing a new stage. RTL now wants to become a fan-centric company.

We have talked with Giovanni Piccirilli, CTO at RTL Nederland, and Hank van de Loo, Broadcast Architect, in order to know what technological innovations the company is implementing to be successful in this new scenario.

As an introduction, tell us what position RTL Nederland has on the current television scene in the Dutch market?

RTL Nederland is the Dutch leading and one of the most distinguished media companies. We entertain and inform a broad audience 24/7 on Digital and Broadcast platforms with stories that touch both the heart and mind. As an all-round media & entertainment company we boast five free to air television stations (RTL 4, RTL 5, RTL 7, RTL 8 and RTL Z), an independent news organisation, the leading local video on demand platform Videoland, the leading MCN in entertainment with more than 1 billion views per year, a growing live events division, three Thematic channels (RTL Lounge, RTL Crime, RTL Telekids), the #1 Dutch digital weather platform Buienradar and a ventures division. Our channels and platforms offer a wide variety of international and predominately Dutch programs, documentaries, films and series. RTL Nederland is a subsidiary of RTL Group and part of the international Bertelsmann organisation.

On a general level, could you tell us which the most relevant technical challenges you face now are?

The most relevant technical challenges we face at the moment are:

  • The implementation of our fan centric strategy, which means the seamless cross-platform consumer-focused experience.
  • The implementation of our cloud first strategy.
  • The movement to IP in production.
  • And last but not least the war for talent: RTL attracting and retaining fresh talent in the field of data and technology.

Have you developed some recent technological innovations to improve your information services?

  • We made a choice for a converged platform supporting our rights, royalties and scheduling across all customer touchpoints.
  • SCTE35 implementation.
    CTO of RTL Nederland, Giovanni Piccirilli

    Giovanni Piccirilli, CTO of RTL Nederland.

  • Converged data backend.

What is your technological state in the graphics section? Have you tried developments in augmented reality?

Yes, we have been doing VR and AR since 2013 in our news studio. We use an automated studio control.

What is the degree of integration of your internet and television newsrooms? Do you trust any integrated multimedia system?

We recently made the transition from platform centric to story-centric. We produce our stories on one and the same platform and we can distribute it on different channels. Our strategy now is ‘digital first’. At the moment we work with AVID MediaCentral Production Management system with AVID I-News as the Newsroom system, which is proving to be a great platform.

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