ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL Deutschland forge alliance in ad-tech, aiming to counterbalance dominance of US giants

Two major German media conglomerates, ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL Deutschland, are teaming up to strengthen their advertising technology (ad-tech) capabilities. This collaboration will merge the assets of each group’s adtech subsidiary – Virtual Minds and Smartclip, respectively – enabling advertisers to execute campaigns across a broader spectrum of platforms. These platforms range from traditional linear TV to smart TV advertising, as well as campaigns on the Joyn and RTL+ streaming services. By combining forces, the partnership aims to reduce reliance on adtech solutions provided by dominant US tech companies.

The integration of Virtual Minds and Smartclip will establish a cohesive technology infrastructure, fostering innovation in advertising sales. Advertisers and agencies will enjoy streamlined access for campaign planning, booking, and execution. Moreover, this collaboration will enable the optimization of digital and linear video reach through cross-platform data, paving the way for programmatic advertising on linear TV. This unified approach will facilitate consistent measurement and booking of campaigns across addressable TV (ATV), connected TV (CTV), and linear TV, appealing to digitally savvy clientele.

This joint initiative signals a broader trend towards openness in the European adtech landscape, empowering broadcasters and publishers to present their inventory through specialized adtech platforms. This move aims to enhance accessibility for advertisers, fostering convergence between TV and online video. Initially launched in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), the partnership plans rapid expansion across Europe. Technical integration between Virtual Minds and Smartclip will enable seamless operation of the combined adtech stack.

The German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) has been informed of this collaboration in advance to ensure compliance with competition regulations. Carsten Schwecke, CEO of Seven.One Media, emphasized the strategic significance of the partnership in establishing a European-made full-stack adtech solution. Matthias Dang, Chief Commercial, Technology and Data Officer at RTL Deutschland, highlighted the alignment of media and technology strengths, aiming to provide advertisers with a viable alternative to international tech providers while retaining control over digitalization efforts in the video space.

Building upon previous successful collaborations such as d-force and the Addressable TV Initiative (ATVI), the partnership between ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL Deutschland represents a significant milestone in the transformation of their core business operations. As they enter the implementation phase, the focus will be on creating seamless interfaces to enable advertisers and agencies to leverage cross-genre campaigns effectively through unified adtech solutions.

SMPTE, EBU, and ETC
Magewell and Central