Tuesday, June 24, 2008

BPN 1138 From txt to vids

One of the last speakers at the MPJC 2008, was Marianne Zwagerman of the Dutch media company Telegraaf Media Group with its flagship, the daily newspaper De Telegraaf. She told the story of how a newspaper company was changing into a media company, crossing from traditional media to a hybrid paper/digital media company. It is one of those company stories of conversion from a traditional medium into a digital medium in search for a digital product portfolio, while making money on the traditional media. De Telegraaf is not a small media company, so it is like changing the course a mid range tanker in a small (language) channel. And it is not just simple to say: from analogue to digital, from paper to bits and bytes, from texts and pictures to sound and video.

D Telegraaf Holding has a vast range of traditional publications: 100+ newspaper titles, 4 radio stations, 100+ puzzles and game titles, 12 magazine titles, 20 events. De Telegraaf was an early bird in the field of digital media; yet the turn-over of the digital media is less than 15 per cent of the 800 million euro turn over of the company. Besides these activities De Telegraaf Holding has a substantial share in SBS television company.

While the traditional media still bring in money, the digital media are working their way up. The activities are brought together in a digital division, which has a turn-over target of 15 per cent this year. De Telegraaf has been on internet for 12 years now. In the meantime the digital range has broadened from a simple extension from the printed newspaper to a pdf version to a special classified ads site, Speurders. But the company has also extended to narrowcasting and its subsidiary LibriumTV takes for example care of the McDonald network, the underground stations, Total gaz stations, buses of a particular company and shopping malls. The advantage for De Telegraaf in this activity is the combination of news and advertisement. .

Reigning the digital department is video in general and mobile video in particular. With the narrowcasting (or out-of-home TV) activities, De Telegraaf got into the video business. Now it operates Dumpert, the Dutch YouTube, but under editorial supervision. Dumpert has 550 uploads a month, 2,5 million visitors and 100 million watched videos.

But De Telegraaf also invested in the shockblog Geenstijl.nl and Geenstijl.tv. The reasoning behind this investment is curious. The newspaper De Telegraaf has always set the tone in the public discussion in The Netherlands. With Geenstijl.nl De Telegraaf shapes the talk of the day, showing that we know what make people tick.

For De Telegraaf there are three principles on their road from text and pics to sound and vids: branded media, hybrid business models and journalistic independence.

Blog Posting Number: 1137

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