Anke Schäferkordt, CEO of the RTL group, the largest European entertainment company, stated in an interview with a German newspaper that Netflix could follow the example of pay TV service Sky and open up its service for advertising.
In the interview Schäferkordt states she is aware of growing competition from the internet and that she believes that streaming services could join the battle for advertising budgets. “In the long run Netflix could also open up for advertising, much like Sky’s paying customer did,” Schäferkordt said. Sky’s pay TV service loads advertisements to the user’s set top box and displays them during breaks. The advertisements can be highly targeted because Sky builds up a profile of each household subscribed to its service. The company claims it can keep the subscription fee lower thanks to the advertisements. Netflix and Amazon might use the same reasoning.
Schäferkordt added that besides Netflix, also Amazon might open up its Prime video streaming service for advertising.
Despite the popularity of the streaming services, Schäferkordt believes that traditional TV is here to stay for a while. The RTL group prepares for the future by investing in its own productions that should continue to attract large audiences.
RTL owns radio and TV stations in Asia, Belgium, Hungary, France, Germany, Netherlands and Spain, and produces TV shows like The X Factor, Pop Idol, the Price is Right.