John De Mol is not a name those outside the TV business associate with revolutionary change. In fact let's be honest, if you're not Dutch or in the TV business, you may never have heard of him. But De Mol has already changed your viewing habits forever. It's worth getting to know his plans.
The BBC is better known and it too is contemplating the future. Here's how they see the future.
Many top executives in television in Europe, and probably in the USA too, owe their careers to John De Mol. Whichever country you're watching from, you're going to hear a great many people take the credit for launching, producing, commissioning or otherwise bringing Big Brother, and its many derivatives, to our screens.
Commissioning executives and executive producers in the reality TV genre, creative directors of independent production companies, awards committees who hand out BAFTAs and Emmys — few shun the possibility of being associated with a reality TV success.
It is the enduring genius of Dutch business that a man like De Mol is happy for these guys to take the glory while he pockets the cash; when he sold the production company he co-founded with Joop Van Den Ende, Endemol, the price tag was over $5 billion.
That puts DeMol in the front rank of media entrepreneurs, gobally. In 2005 De Mol founded a new TV channel Talpa.tv. It operates in Dutch and its first major coup was buying the broadcasting rights to Dutch premier league football. That, though, is not exactly a creative step — some would argue nor was Big Brother.
Though Talpa has provided De Mol with a channel for a variety of new reality TV shows, it has become clear that filling a whole channel even with low cost content hardly constitutes a strategy.
Although he is able to sell programme formats to other TV channels once they've proven their worth on Talpa, you can see that he's got the bear of broadcasting bosses off his shoulders only to be faced with the lion of a schedule that needs filling.
In the on-demand world, you might describe that as a wrong turn. At Cross Media Week though, De Mol rallied the audience to a new vision of the content future.
De Mol's was the best attended session of the conference. It was standing room only. Except he didn't say very much. In fact what it came down to was one message. In the future all projects will be cross-platform projects. There will be no TV programme that is not a web or mobile or print project.