The growth in video consumption across all screens and on demand (AVOD and SVOD) represents a genuine opportunity to strengthen the power of TV channels and brands. These new usage patterns are based on cutting-edge technologies that require substantial investment, but which become strategic assets for the companies that control them.
Since 2008, Groupe M6 has been anticipating the need for and significance of these technologies for its business and has been developing in-house expertise around its catch-up television platform M6 Replay, and from 2013, around its streaming service 6play.
This technology unit, now called Bedrock and led by Jonas Engwall, has more than 200 employees and has developed a technology platform which is currently used by 6Play, RTL Belgium, RTL Hungary and RTL Croatia. From June 2020, this platform will also be used by the Salto SVOD service which is being launched by the groups TF1, France Télévisions and M6. RTL Nederland will also use this technology for the next version of its catch-up and SVOD services, RTL XL and Videoland. Bedrock aims to license its technology platform to further European broadcasters, also outside RTL Group.
With the aim of continuing its development and pooling investments on a European scale, Groupe M6 is opening up Bedrock’s capital, enabling RTL Group to acquire a 50% stake.
With this transaction, Groupe M6 and RTL Group aim to create a European leader in streaming technology. Bedrock’s capital may further be opened up to other shareholders.
Completion of the transaction remains subject to consultation of employee representative bodies.