Deutsche Welle keeps the world connected through localized content

Deutsche Welle keeps the world connected through localized content

“We use Tubular for long-term development decisions. For example, how can we increase our market share in the documentary field? Around this, we use the demographic data and the full-scale data Tubular gives us.”

Sebastian Katthöver, Head of Audience Development

Deutsche Welle is Germany’s international broadcaster that first launched in 1953. Today, it is one of the most watched international outlets thanks to its multimedia network that broadcasts in 32 languages and reaches over 250 million weekly users worldwide. In October 2023, DW acquired 156.6 million unique viewers on YouTube and Facebook, according to Tubular Audience Ratings. DW extends its reach via social media by connecting with audiences around the world.

Deutsche Welle’s Head of Audience Development, Sebastian Katthöver, sat down with Tubular to discuss how the media broadcaster strategizes universal and localized content alongside each other.


Synergizing social, digital, and television Content

Many traditional news & entertainment companies are struggling to connect with social audiences and allocate resources to new platforms. After all, younger generations are looking to social platforms to get the latest news on entertainment, politics and breaking headlines. 

Deutsche Welle, amongst all other long-standing media brands, has been tasked with the responsibility of bringing news & entertainment to the social media generations.

Expanding into new audience demographics

As a leading international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle not only has to understand audience interests, but they also have to understand variations across many countries and languages. This requires a need for many different data sets and a birds eye view into their localized and national content.


Start with Social

Sebastian Katthöver shared that Deutsche Welle actually uses social analytics to inform their television strategy. Traditional TV doesn’t offer in-depth behavioral insights, so by leveraging Tubular’s nuanced data, Deutsche Welle can understand the topics that are resonating with specific audience demographics online, and translate that into televised content for those groups.

We look at what our YouTube audience is interested in. Not the TV audience, the YouTube audience. What do they want? What are they looking at? What are they watching? What we show on TV is based on what our audience on YouTube likes.  That’s the way digital transformation works and that’s where our role as audience development comes in at certain points” – Sebastian Katthöver, Head of Audience Development

Social trends move fast, and the right data can tell us not just how many people are watching, but how much they’re engaging.Tubular data can uncover topics and storylines that resonate with audiences on social – to then transform longer segments on television. By following this formula, Deutsche Welle creates both social and televised content that resonates with audiences and feeds off one another.

Combining Creativity with Audience Data

Creative editorial teams excel at presenting culturally relevant stories and content ideas— but these ideas can always be improved and refined by data. A good storyline idea isn’t enough to win audience affinity. In-depth data from Tubular provides the insights to help media companies understand the elements that make a viewing experience pleasurable and seamless.

“It is a strategic goal for Deutsche Welle to reach more female and younger audiences, so we try to match that with an idea. The editorial team has a great idea and then we take a look at Tubular data for the demographics. Everything including content length, understanding the competition, and even thumbnail design. It was great to see what in the market is resonating with younger or female audiences.” says Katthöver.

Understanding specific content parameters that resonate best with target audiences, as well as getting a peek into competitor strategies, helps solidify the success of a new show launch.


In October 2023, Deutsche Welle, was a top global Media & Entertainment property across Facebook & YouTube:

    • Reaching 156.6M unique viewers around the world 
    • Amounting to 2.4 Billion Minutes Watched 
    • Reaching 3.1% of the world’s population

As a leading international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle has a lot of ground to cover across many countries, languages, publishing platforms, and more. They are able to reach so many markets without spreading themselves too thin by repurposing content and optimizing their audience targeting with data.

Their paramount success is due in part to their ability to understand diverse audiences, study their competition, and synergize content strategies across platforms. 

While DW is a broadcaster originating back to 1953, it continues to reach new heights and capture the attention of audiences by leaning into modern strategies. 

Access to in-depth behavioral data helps Deutsche Welle: 

  • Align strategies across social, digital, and televised content
  • Create localized content that appeals to target audiences
  • Supercharge creative ideas with data-driven strategy

With so many platforms, formats, audiences, and topics, it’s difficult for major media companies to move at a quick pace while maintaining a unified view. That’s where Tubular comes in.

Tubular offers you a bird’s eye view of what’s happening on social video across categories, as well as how well you and your competitors are performing. 

Want to hear more of Deutsche Welle’s success stories? Watch the full webinar here. 

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