Entrepreneur Ruud Hendriks, one of the founders of commercial radio and television in the Netherlands, makes a devastating assessment of the current state of the Dutch media sector. In the program MediaMatters on New Business Radio, Hendriks said: "I think the innovation within Dutch media companies very limited. It is not very heartfelt. There is an enormous resistance to really doing something else."
MediaMatters spoke with Ruud about the launch of the new company of his former business partner John de Mol, Talpa Network. That new company wants to compete with Google and Facebook. Ruud Hendriks is not impressed. It is al 'too little, too late', he says. According to Ruud, there have been plenty of opportunities in the past to prevent the major American online players from playing the dominant role they have now. "There were many chances, but the Dutch media companies let them all pass. When I hear the complaining now of John de Mol and the public broadcasters, I think to myself, you could see it all coming. It was written with giga-letters on the wall."
Game in the shadow
Hendriks has not been active in the Dutch media world for many years, but he is saddened to see the decline. "It is perhaps wise for Dutch media companies to work together more, but it will always be a game in the shadow. It's the American players who have the big impact: Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook. A Dutch company will never overtake that. It is a courageous endeavour to make a purely Dutch company, but I would say: who cares! For me it is not important that Talpa is purely Dutch. I would rather say: make sure you go international. Pure Dutch doesn't mean anything to me at all."
MediaMatters continues radio program
MediaMatters will continue its program on New Business Radio in 2018. On Thursday January 11 there is another new episode. Guests include Hilversum alderman Wimar Jaeger. MediaMatters can be listened to every second Thursday of the month between 15:00 and 16:00 and then via the podcast on Soundcloud.