From print to digital: the media’s changing face

Consumers and corporations are becoming more comfortable with digital. Social media, apps and digital devices are becoming part of business as usual. Today’s challenge is in the implementation of new organizational models that allow companies to integrate traditional and digital businesses and structures.

Once-traditional readers are also now trying their hands as writers, with social journalism and crowdsourcing significantly reshaping the way information is being generated and absorbed.

We initially thought that digital was a new platform competing with our traditional activities. Today, we consider the web as a complementary activity; we want our editorial teams to work together in order to reinforce brand consistency and create synergies.

CEO of a multimedia group

Over the past five years in Italy alone, turnover in newspapers has decreased by 15%, advertising revenue has fallen by 50% and circulation has dropped by 20%. In France, newspapers have also had to play catch-up online, with circulation down by nearly a third in four years and direct government subsidies to the press projected to slide 29%, by 2015, from their 2010 peak. Le Monde only began merging its online and offline newsrooms in 2012, after a group of investors bought control of the paper in a bid to save it from bankruptcy. In Germany, revenue is down just 10% since 2008, according to the Association of German Newspaper Publishers.*

The dilemma that publishers face is the need to digitize, but also to maintain traditional operations during the transfer. Publishing and news houses need to put in place dual structures to maintain their traditional business model, while implementing a second structure for digital.

This creates a challenge for balancing resources. Companies’ organizational models must encourage the process of monitoring the behavior of consumers by creating a two-way link between the product offered in the time and the needs of the consumers themselves. Media organizations also need to balance attractiveness and availability of content on different platforms.

The full article examines some of the steps companies can take to help them innovate and gain an advantage in this difficult environment. Areas discussed include barriers to innovation, organizational models for newsrooms, enterprise content strategy and how to get buy-in from the top.

* According to figures in The Wall Street Journal article, “European newspapers wake up to new reality,” 15 September 2013.

The complete article was written by:

  • Andrea Bassanino
    Partner Advisory Services Strategic Direction EY, Italy
  • Antonio Maresca
    Senior Manager Advisory Services Strategic Direction EY, Italy

Read the full articlepdf424.02 kB

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