Jeroen Verkroost. Leadership, Strategy, Innovation.

The end of news media?

News discovery and consumption happen more and more outside of news sites and apps. People find individual articles, seperate from their original context on social platforms like Facebook. Many publishers gladly provide their content to these platforms to reach a broader audience. But what remains of the news brand, when coverage is fragmented and the source is easy to miss? Should publishers just completely abandon their own sites and apps in the future, and just become producers for technology platforms?

Dutch advertising and media magazine Adformatie wrote an article about this and asked Gonnie Spijkstra, Product Strategist at Nine Connections, and Jeroen Verkroost, former Chief Digital Officer of the Persgroep, some questions. Will native publishing on external platforms mean the end of the news brand altogether? This article is a translated and  re-re-edited version of the original, Dutch interview.

In Adformatie’s ongoing series ‘the death of …’ this week: the news brand. It is a new chapter in the great publishing debate, where the returning question is: how to earn more money with news. After banners, the paywall, DVD sales and digital subscriptions, recently the content platform is added as a proper business model. On social sites like Facebook and Twitter, and new kiosks as Blendle, readers consume their news per article. They get exactly the topics that interest them, and the ones they would like to share with friends. This is convenient for publishers who are assured the optimum attention to their content. Facebook can be a huge showcase for the content of newspapers and magazines. And conveniently, also the platform that hold their visitors as long as possible.

A win-win situation, you would say. But there are many Continue reading “The end of news media?”

Interim management, strategy, innovation.

I have started my own company,

I am available for interim management and strategy consultancy. With my two decades of digital experience I hope to be able to contribute to your growth. This can be personal growth, organizational growth or bottom line revenue growth.

Technology will most likely play a role in this, but only as the means to an end. Innovation is the core, both as a process and a business driver.

Idea concept with row of light bulbs and glowing bulb

Innovative ways of working and changing consumer behaviour offer new opportunities for both people and companies to grow.

This requires change, but if your strategy is clear, change can be managed.

I’m here to help. If you think I can add value for you, let me know!

Your roof: prime media space in 2017!

To see the future of the media, just look at the future of technology. Indeed, technology and media strategy are becoming more and more connected. As technology becomes increasingly important in the life of the average consumer, consumer behaviour changes. And so, media usage changes.

It has only been 9 years since the launch of the first iPhone. And back then it did not even have an app store yet. Tablets have only been around for about 5 years. Yet today, they are the primary media devices for every consumer. And the smartphone and tablet were just the beginning…


Recently at a large technology fair in America, a Chinese company presented a personal drone that can lift you up from your back yard for a flying commute to work. No piloting experience needed. Step inside, point where you want to go on a Google Maps touchscreen and hit the “liftoff”button. The rest of the flight is executed by autopilot. Once you’ve arrived the drone’s arms fold inwards so it fits a normal parking spot. For about 300K USD you could be the proud owner by the end of this year. And in the next couple of years these things will get cheaper fast. Soon, drones will be huge.

This will change public space, and so this development will shape new possibilities for the media and communication. Lots of new take-off and landing spaces will be created. There might not be 4g connectivity at flying altitude, but the in-flight screens could offer new opportunities for relevant, interactive and creative communication with the captive audience inside drones.

If your house or office happens to be near a popular route you can start renting out your roof or maybe a blind wall as media space. Out of Home media companies should wake up right now. Thinking ahead a little further, larger drones could be equipped with large screens on the outside. Who knows, Blade Runner’s vision of the future could turn out to be more realistic than we’d ever thought…


Personal technology is often used as a status symbol. After the watch, the car and the smartphone, the drone could end up being the next purchase we use to show the neighbours and the colleagues how rich and successful we are. Or, how non-conformist and intellectual we are. Making a car takes a huge investment in resources and energy, but once sold they end up standing still and taking up space for an average of 23 hours a day. What a waste. Wouldn’t it be great if we wouldn’t make the same mistakes again with personal drones?

How about we try and do it differently this time around, make the world a better place? While drones are still too expensive for widespread personal ownership, we have the opportunity to skip the private posession phase entirely. Imagine (media) brands offering an Über type network of Drone transportation. Why would anyone invest in a personal drone that needs space and maintenance if one could have a drone drop out of the sky anytime, anywhere? Hop in, go and take in the video messages on the in-flight screen. Who knows, maybe even do some in-flight shopping. This could be made commecially viable and at the same time save raw materials, in-city space and energy.

Yes, it will take some time. The sky will probably not blacken with the silhouettes of drones by the end of this year. But I hope to have illustrated my point; to see the future of the media you need to look at the future of technology. Personal drones are just one of many of innovations announced for 2016. Consumer behaviour will change with each technological change that gains broad adoption.

This changing consumer behaviour offers new opportunities. To help companies reach their goals and targets, and to help make the world a more interesting and ultimately a better place.


Jeroen Verkroost has two decades of digital experience and held strategical and leadership roles at media and technology companies like SBS Broadcasting, KPN, Microsoft and De Persgroep.

(published previously at Nederlands Medianieuws in Dutch).

Free advice or free lance?

So I have some time on my hands that I am free to choose how to spend. A luxury. Many people ask me whether I’m considering to start my own company at this point. I usually just take this as a compliment, but had not really given it serious thought until now. I count several people that I consider “real”enterpreneurs among my friends, but never really thought of myself as one. Then again, never say never.

At the moment I am using my time to go out in the world. I am meeting with interesting people, both inside large and small companies. Yes, even some startups. I make connections between people, take some speaker opportunities and give advice where that is appreciated. Just for the price of a few cups of coffee, a lunch or a dinner.

I am getting energy out of it. Granted, this is not a day job, let alone a company yet. But I admit there is a risk that it could turn in to one eventually. The idea is not to start a full-time job until February 2016. Let’s see. For now, I’m just looking for a job and giving free advice :)

Leaving De Persgroep

The official press release was:

Chief Digital Officer Jeroen Verkroost verlaat De Persgroep.

Hij gaat op zoek naar een nieuwe uitdaging.
Jeroen kwam een kleine twee en een half jaar geleden van Microsoft naar De Persgroep als CDO voor zowel België als Nederland.  Hij creëerde een digitale eenheid en was verantwoordelijk voor tal van nieuwe digitale initiatieven, waarvan een aantal de komende tijd het licht zal zien. Daarmee is zijn opdracht volbracht.
Jeroen verlaat de onderneming met een goed gevoel. “Ik vind De Persgroep een fantastisch bedrijf, waar ik met veel plezier heb gewerkt. Nu de organisatie staat, is het tijd voor iemand anders.”
De Persgroep gaat op zoek naar een nieuwe CDO.

A decision that calls for some explanation, which I will give here below.

The past 2½ years have been a fantastic period for me, with many great experiences and beautiful moments between Rotterdam and Brussel, and from Antwerp to Amsterdam. However these distances also made me drive close to 90.000 kilometers in less than two years… I am immensely proud to have been given the opportunity to build de Persgroep’s talented Digital team, which has proven to be a valuable asset to de Persgroep. I will never forget their great farewell gift, this 12 meter long token of appreciation in a stadium with 50.000 people:


With this team and thanks to them I have been able to innovate, release, change and achieve a lot at de Persgroep. The fact that de Persgroep Digital and the new way of working that we have introduced will be continued in the same shape and form after I have left is sufficient proof that the company sees the value in this as well.

So, I was the right man to start the innovation engine, but I don’t think I am the right man for the next phase at de Persgroep. Personally I have had the great opportunity to learn a lot in this fast growing organisation in the past 2½ years, about digital transformation on board level, and about its impact on sales, marketing, IT and operations.

Soon the time will come to use my learnings to add value in a new environment. I will be looking for a company that I can help grow with my digital experience, leadership skills and insights in digital transformation, in an MD, CCO, CEO or board level role. Company culture and true willingness to re-evaluate the status quo are the most important criteria for me. Most companies want to innovate, but few are willing to change…

Patience has never been my strong suit, but at the moment I am taking it easy before beginning a new adventure in 2016. I am using my time now to go out in the world. I am planning encounters with interesting people inside large companies and startups alike. Apart from my side activities I am also discussing innovative and disruptive ideas and opportunities at companies that are currently  dealing with digital transformation, taking speaker opportunities and doing some consulting.

Speaking of/on conferences…

Conferences, summits, symposia… There is a lot going on in the space of digital transformation that needs to be discussed.

Here I will keep track of the events that I will be attending as a speaker. See if you can catch me in the wild at any one of these events.


Seminar Nederlands drama online
26 September, Stadsschouwburg Utrecht


Tegenwoordig hebben de bioscoop en de tv-zenders niet meer het rijk alleen als het gaat om goed kijk aanbod. De rol van internet als derde distributiekanaal wordt steeds prominenter. In dit seminar wordt de huidige temperatuur van het Nederlands online drama-aanbod genomen door regisseurs, producenten en deskundigen.

Best Internet – Verslo Zinius, Litouwen
22 September, Vilnius


Two days of digital marketing innovations, trends and best practices:

“Agency” in the company Vs. partnership with agencies.
Client interests of content marketing. The comfort zone damage of social media
Can brands become media channels? CX (customer experience) memory marketing. The ongoing digital marketing communications competition BEST INTERNET 2016 finalist presentations and awards!

Digital View – Unexpected summer
7 juli 2016, Amsterdam.Knipsel

Verrassende kennissessie van Marqeting en Adcombi. Digital View is geïnitieerd om kennis te delen en te inspireren over digitale marketing en media. We hebben vooraanstaande experts uit de branche geselecteerd, om hun kennis en visie over digital te delen. Marqeting en Adcombi verzorgen het programma ‘media, advertising en technologie’. Zo benaderen we trends en ontwikkelingen op het gebied van digital vanuit verschillende perspectieven.

Online Tuesday, Amsterdam
14 Juni 2016


Wat komt er na de tirannie van de klik? Kliks, views, screentime en engagement zijn voor veel merken nog steeds de belangrijkste eenheden om online succes te meten. Maar geen twee kliks zijn hetzelfde. Screentime betekent niet automatisch ook quality time. En hoe engaged zijn de mensen die met je engagen eigenlijk? Een panel van experts – waaronder Jeroen Verkroost, directeur a.i. van IAB Nederland – gaat de discussie aan met Bryan Melmed van Exponential  over “het leven na de klik”.

Adformatie: rapport en debat over digitale transformatie
19 April 2016, Amsterdam

CaptureDigitale transformatie. Wat is het precies en wat komt erbij kijken om het tot een succes te maken?

Om op deze vragen een antwoord te kunnen bieden, deed Social Embassy een uitgebreid onderzoek waarvan de resultaten zijn gepubliceerd op Slideshare en in de printuitgave van Adformatie.

Naar aanleiding van dit onderzoek organiseerde Adformatie een expert debat in Amsterdam over ‘de stand van digitale transformatie in Nederland’. Er werd een aantal stellingen voorgelegd aan een panel, bestaande uit:panel (1)

Hiske Hoogveld, digital transformation manager Unilever;
Arno Lubrun, directeur Facebook Benelux;
Sanne Drogtrop, executive interactive producer 72andSunny;
Jeroen Verkroost, directeur IAB Nederland en eigenaar;
Julius Minnaar, CEO van Dentsu Aegis Network Nederland.

Adformatie publiceerde onder de titel “Digitale transformatie kan niet zonder leiderschap” een verslag van het debat dat via deze link te lezen is.

Nationaal Management & IT symposiumMgmt&IT
December 10th, Bussum

‘Building Digital Trust’. Blind vertrouwen dat het wel goed komt in de huidige digitale wereld lijkt niet erg verstandig. Dit congres draait om co-creatie en samenwerking. De bestaande fundamenten, technolo­gie, sturingsmechanismes, competenties en de vraagkant van IT zijn immers niet meer als voorheen…

2015-12-10 16.21.38

CDO SummitCDO Mathison
November 4th, Amsterdam.

The conference for Chief Digital Officers,
Digital Leaders and Digital Practitioners.

Hosted by the CDO club and @bethemedia

CDO Conference – October 29th, Antwerp. CDO Duval

The C-level gathering on digital transformation and insights from Chief Digital Officers and Chief Data Officers by Duval Union.

The start of the CDO Community and the place for CEO, CMO, CIO and CTO.

everybody wants to innovate, but no-one wants to change