The Dutch government has pinpointed the creative industry to be of importance for the Netherlands economy. At the crossmedia cafe Paul Rutten of HvU, presented some of his work on analysing the industry in the North Wing of the Netherlands. Most creative industry is concentrated around the cities (no surprise here) Amsterdam has largest creative industry (again no surprise) Utrecht is developing as a game nod (interesting). Hilversum and Amsterdam are mainly focussed on content production, while Amersfoort and Utrecht are focussed on services.
The other speakers, industry, where setting the marks for the business as they see it coming the next 3 to 4 years. De Telegraaf faces 1 million Euro’s loss a year in the printed personal ads section a year, due to the digital trading places like ‘marktplaats’ and ”E-bay”, which is one company. Therefore they started “speurders” on the internet as a counter ‘attack’. The offer is interesting to the customer if you get a print ad AND an internet ad for the price of one and a half. I do not know if this is the model, but it is the only advantage they have over the other competitors they still have presence in print. Translate that to an offer to the public and you may have a chance. Dick van de Graaf (Endemol) was openhearted on the Endemol strategy. In the next 3 to 4 years Endemol plans to service 50% off its current customers (broadcasters), 40% directly to advertisers and 10 % directly to the consumer. I do not know if this is the worldwide strategy or just the Dutch strategy. But it gives an indication that Endemol is very hard working on entering new markets. They have to get out of the incenstueus relation of broadcaster-producer. Their arrogance towards the ‘outside’market during the past years has not helped the company very much, at least this was the situation in the Netherlands. In case of UK or South America the company has had a very different approach. The succesfull entering of new markets is to be expected in these parts of the company. Peter op de Beek of RTL Interactive confessed to be still a little player in the RTL company but by now not to be ignored for RTL Interactive is presenting a 40% return on sales to RTL this year. Idols is off course one of the main forces here. As for Talpa (not present as speaker) the other speakers wondered why they did not try pay per view on the highly popular Big Brother on the internet (500.000 unique visitors each day) I do not agree on that. First behaviour of looking on the internet has to be established. At least in the Netherlands. And what a wonderfull case Big Brother is again to signify the importance of a crossmedia approach for Talpa. Comparable is the UK model of pay per view on the internet for BB. It grew very gradually in line with the behaviour and acceptance of the public of such services.
To conclude, broadcasters, publishers and producers are aware of the changes ahead and are actively anticipating. Compared to a year ago when people seem to glaze when I was telling i did something with crossmedia, because of the changing media landscape?? Large players are aware. The aggressive entering of the market by Talpa and the advocacy of de Mol for converging media has awakened the market a little more. Still if you compare to other countries like UK, France, Spain, Sweden and Finland the Netherlands is just only getting out of their comfort zones. As I have been very critical of Talpa at the start; they are doing a wonderfull job at establishing a strong broadcast channel in a short period of time. The channel sentiment is getting more clear by the day and loyal viewing habits are emerging. I am still not very enthusiastic about their ‘crossmedia approach’. There is however one very important thing they are doing right now and that is establishing viewing behaviour on the internet for Talpa. What I see now is Talpa making television and establishing second and third windows for the same product. That is a smart multichannel approach. But it is not crossmedia yet. I am thankfull for Talpa generating new viewing habbits on the internet, that is good for the whole market to gain from.