Monday, May 14, 2007

Narrowcasting spreads fast in The Netherlands

Last year I did a series on narrowcasting under the title A Wonderful World of Screen. At that time I put a question mark behind the title. Editorially this is not a strong move. But at that time we were just at the start of narrowcasting with a few screens around in shops and a few big screens in public spaces. But within a year much has changed. Screens are playing in busses and metro trains, while railway trains are on the agenda. Schiphol Airport has a record amount of screens with 2.000 units and still expanding. And shops look old fashioned without screens. The Media Markt chain of consumer electronics shops had at the end of March 4.500 screens installed. Even a beach resort is putting five big screens on the beach.

The weblog produced a list of channels, locations, screens and operators. They listed 104 narrowcasting initiatives with a total of 9.193 locations. There are 26 megascreens in 20 locations, with the largest megascreen at the Rembrandtsplein, an entertainment hotspot in Amsterdam. The listing can be downloaded as PDF:
- In alphaberical order
- Per location
- Per operator
- Ranking the number of screens

The largest screen in the Netherlands is the Rembrandt screen (photograph of the openingsnight by Bright), which is located on the Rembrandtsplein, a square withbars, restaurants and discos. It took the company Explore Vision Group, based in Dubai, five years of negotiating with the municipality of Amsterdam. But in December 2006 the narrowcast finally went on the air. The screen is fixed to the wall of the Escape disco. The programming in the first months is coming from a series of cultural institutions in Amsterdam.; many of these instutitutions you will find back in the Cultureplayer foundation.:
- Amsterdam International Fashion Week
- Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst
- European Cultural Foundation
- International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam
- Fabchannel
- Filmbank
- Filmmuseum
- Gerrit Rietveld Academie
- Imagine Identity and Culture
- Stichting MediamaticNIM / Montevideo
- Nederlands Fonds voor de Film
- Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten
- Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam
- Stichting 160
- Stichting De Eenminuten
- Studio Micha Klein
- Submarine Channel

These vision culture presentations are for the time being. EVG is negotiating contracts with advertisers and sponsors, while the public broadcast companies are seen as content parties. The company expects that weekly 50.000 people will pass and/or halt to view the megascreen. Movie clips will be between the 30 and 120 seconds. There is no sound, but sound can be heard by Bluetooth.Fourty percent of the screen time will be used for content and maximally sixtety percent for advertisements. There will also be experiments with notices from the police. But people can add rembrandtscherm to their Flickr or YouTube entry and the photograph and video might be picked up for narrowcast; people can also send a SMS and thus solicit photographs or videos from Flickr and YouTube.

Blog Posting Number: 753


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