As of the start of February, Bertelsmann is to launch what it is calling a Content Alliance between all its content businesses in Germany, to develop and market collaborative formats across all its divisions.
The Alliance will encompass publisher Verlagsgruppe Random House, RTL Radio, the TV production company UFA, the music company BMG, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr.
Bertelsmann said it was following the lead of successful work done by the Ad Alliance, which since 2017 has pooled the expertise of strong marketers such as IP Deutschland and G+J eMS, and has been "very well received in the marke".
Gruner + Jahr c.e.o. Julia Jäkel will take on the additional role of chairing the board of the Bertelsmann Content Alliance. The committee also includes all the m.d.s of the individual German content businesses, including Thomas Rathnow of Verlagsgruppe Random House. The entrepreneurial independence of the respective businesses, as well as their journalistic and publishing independence, will not be affected by the Alliance, promised Bertelsmann.
Bertelsmann's c.e.o. and chair Thomas Rabe said: “Bertelsmann is a creative powerhouse and will be investing close to €6bn in creative content worldwide this year. The Bertelsmann Content Alliance in Germany will pool our Group’s content expertise in order to fully exploit the potential of our most important market. With content offerings across all media genres and new marketing opportunities, Bertelsmann will become an even stronger partner of choice for all creative professionals in Germany.
"This step also strengthens our position in the competition with the US technology platforms," he added.
Examples of existing content collaborations are the Vox TV series “Der Club der roten Bänder” being based on a book by author Albert Espinosa published in Germany by the Verlagsgruppe Random House. The UFA/Fremantle production “Munich” is based on the novel of the same title by Robert Harris, which is also published by Verlagsgruppe Random House.
In other initiatives, Gruner + Jahr and BMG have just announced a joint launch of a fan magazine about the musician Max Giesinger.