Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Pre- MIPCOM movements in Dutch Market

Eyeworks takes over Swedisch TV Producer
Nova TV is the production company of NovaMedia, part of Bingo Lotto the biggest charity lottery company in Sweden. Nova media is also responsible for the National Postcode Lotterij, Sponsor Loterij and Bank Giro Loterij in the Netherlands. Nova Media is producing succesfull shows as One against Hundred and Deal or No Deal. At Endemol, producer of these formats, the take-over will not be regarded as much fun! But Telefonica has not made means available when they first started the sale of the company and asked Endemol to buy first. For now Eyeworks is only to produce the swedisch television programms, but inevitably the ties between Novamedia and Eyeworks are getting closer. Eyeworks is working hard on the international growthstrategy of the company. Being close to Novamedia is not so bad for business then.

More and more it seems like Endemol is losing the race in its own territory, the Dutch market. A lot of it is caused by arrogance at being the biggest, the best in the last five to ten years (and boy where they annoying!). Endemol had the attitude it could do everything they wanted. But in this market it is not how big your name is, it is not how much money you have been bougth for that makes you a market leader in the long run. It is passion that drives this industry. Passion and talent. These very volatile 'assets' are upmost important and as the Endemol case shows very hard to secure. With the market speeding up, creating even more possibilities through crossmedia business models, you are definitely only as big as the passion and talent that your are able to enclose in your company for every moment. It is all.. and I mean all about PEOPLE.
My experience is that there are a lots of people who want to work in this industry. The glitter and glamour still seems to appeal to lots of them. But there are only few that are talented enough to see beyond the boundaries of the present ideas and possibilities, to create new beautifull things.

Eyeworks is putting most of its creative talent in the deal making right now or so it seems. I have not seen many new interesting formats lately. Let's just wait and see what they will come up with next.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Dutch Mediatycoon De Mol is breeding up new strategy

John de Mol released himself of his ties at Endemol at the beginning of this year. Famous for a combined talent for business as well as creating television formats, it is the uphand of his business obligations at Telefonica owned Endemol, that made him very tired. That and the suffocating success of Big Brother, which became his own golden cage. But we do not need to be sorry for John de Mol for he has cashed in on his success twice in the last four years making him a biljonair mediatycoon. So ' everybody' has been waiting for what he is going to do next with his private capital that by Forbes is estimated at 1,6 billion Euro.
A truck load full of people are allready offering him his services and proclaiming they definitely want to work for him.
It seems he has endless choice and possibilities? Last week he has sought up publicity with his deal to fill the eveningslots of Nickelodeon in the Netherlands ( The reach of Nickelodeon in the Netherlands territory is 97%. He has bought up the rights of all away games of the National League (for an estimated all high of ninehundred thousand Euro per play). In 1996 John de Mol had to swollow his loss at trying to start up Sport 7. A national commercial sports channel. It did not work out. I think: The reasons not being that people did not want to have a sports channel, as is much presumed. But.. It had to happen to fast. For a succesfull sportschannel you need most of the leading leagues. It takes time to secure these rights. So Sport 7 did not have those rights to start with and to much airtime had to be filled with sportevents of the lower leagues. And you may even do that, take up an unknown event or sport, market it very cleverly and make it very big, as was done with darts by SBS 6 in the Netherlands (and boy did they pay nothing when they first started airing this). Anyway Sport7 missed a clearly worked out sender profile, good formats and keen marketing to help bring interest in several sports and the schedule up. Remaining is the basic idea of a sports channel in a sportloving country as the Netherlands.. which is still very strong. It seems now John de Mol can take time to build up his channel. He aims at two broad family networks. Maybe one male skewed with sports and the other more female/ family skewed. In the Netherlands everything John de Mol does attracts a lot of attention, opinion and publicity.

But, what most got most of my interest last week, where his remarks on convergence in "Adformatie" (39, 23 september 2004): "I am convinced that - and I seem to be alone in this - the TV market will change dramatically the next coming years. Digitalising, cable, broadband internet, new platforms. The good news being that another business model is emerging. A part of the business will always be GRP based, but I see advertisers massively on the look out for new ways of communicating other then the 20 seconds spots."

His remarks on how this will work now where even more interesting: "On the forefront there will be a great free-to-air TV station, generating mass. It will work as a net where all fish will swim into. The first magnet will be a grand populair television programm reaching one million viewers, and that will be narrowed further more, where there will be a better focused and more profound interest in the communication. At the end of the narrowing net there will be one-to-one communication, by means of gsm, internet or whatever. In Holland I want to create an ideal convergence model. Radio, tv and content will play a role in that. You do not need to own these channels, because there is no scarcity. You do need to be in control of the scarce elements, such as creativity".

I don't think he is the only on who thinks this way, I do agree anyway and my experiences are similar that there is not much awareness of the fast changing medialandscape in the Netherlands! Especially his last remarks tend toward a better view on crossmedia communication. I do agree with de Mol on his analysis of a changing landscape. There are many turtles in this market, they will not be able to speed up to new developments and will be left behind. I like turtles by the way, I like the slow way they move. They will be great in their own trend, the slow motion.

I like his remarks on convergence, the narrowing net does present a lot of my ideas on crossmedia communication. But it is a broad view and the proof will be in the production of a truly inspiring crossmedia format. Currently I am working on at least three formats.
I am looking for a channel that is willing to negotiate on this...

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

digital storytelling

Yesterday I was at the IBC in Amsterdam.
Seen some new stuff and off course some familiar people.
I bought a book called Digital Storytelling by Carolyn Handler Miller.
Yet another expression for the new form of storytelling.
I was very pleased to find out that she does have the same basic
ideas about crossmedia productions. Check it out.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Polder crossmedia


I didn't mention this organisation yet. They are very much in the same state of mind as I am, regarding the development of crossmedia communication. I followed a course on interactive storytelling there, more than a year ago, that' s how I get to knew them. I wanted to know about their crossmedia models, but we worked with one system called the korsakov, you can find information on their website. It was nice to do, but you were restrained to this one system which was a bit of a pity because a workshop on interactive storytelling should be much broader than that. Good was that they approach the subject with a hands on mentality. For crossmedia communication their work is certainly relevant. Have a look!