IT in the new reality for Media Industry

As a sector best described by its sub-sectors of broadcast, digital, games, movies and music, the media industry overall continues to experience high-growth. With the COVID-19 pandemic prompting lockdowns around the world, and with many people still spending much more time at home than before, demand for digital media and gaming soared with nearly a third of the sector (30 percent) is in ‘surge’ mode. Industry leaders, such as Comcast, Disney, and AT&T, who have a diversified portfolio including studios, content creation platforms, and internet under their umbrellas, have seen a surge in their services. Even as consumers have continued to cut the cord for cable in favor of internet-based OTT media channels such as Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+, they still rely on broadband services for their at-home internet — which has higher margins than cable tv.

But there have been issues too — how to fill content gaps caused by event cancellations in music and professional sports, closures of movie theaters, and production hiatuses of movie and television studios — representing another third of the sector (35 percent) in ‘transform to re-emerge’ mode. In an age where content is king, this has posed a challenge. It hasn’t only been a content dilemma though: with so much advertising revenue created around live events such as sports, there has been a rapid decline in income as well. Digital viewership has increased but advertising spending has not caught up. For entertainment businesses, prolonged closures of cinemas, production sets, live entertainment venues, and theme parks is proving to be a massive challenge. Making venues safe for employees and consumers is crucial to recovery in the industry. The disruption from delays in production will have consequences that could last for years. For newspaper groups and publishers, the pandemic hasn’t created such issues: there has been no shortage of news in the world in recent months after all. For them, it has been more a question of continuing to manage the reader shift to digital formats and monetizing that through subscription models.

From a technology perspective, media organizations have embraced digital transformation for some years. The new content streaming platforms and OTT channels are cloud native and rely on modern architecture and software development methods. Hybrid multi-cloud is in place to support demand across any platform — the priority being be able to scale that up and down and flex as needed. In an age where it is all about engaging users and the consumer’s rising expectations of media on demand, the imperative is to keep finding new ways to deliver relevant, fresh content and personalized customer experience based on data insights and speed to react to shifting interests and trends.

Board priorities & investment

A focus on the customer experience and engagement stands out strongly as the over-riding priority of media & entertainment companies: ranked by 62 percent of respondents as the most important area for technology investment, far ahead of technology development at number two (38 percent). Leaders in this sector have focused on rich advanced analytics and insights from their customer data — driving content creation, positioning tailored content to customers and customizing highly targeted advertising. To feed this customer engagement, media businesses also need a compelling pipeline of new products and omni-channel services — and this sits at the top of the list of areas executives are looking for their technology teams to address. It’s a recognition, perhaps, that in difficult times their customers are looking to them to surprise, delight and innovate more. A positive for technology professionals in media is that their influence with the Board is high — 65 percent believe this influence has grown in the last year, a little ahead of the cross-sector average (61 percent).

CIO Report pages Media

How KPMG can help

While KPMG firms are some of the largest providers of services to media organizations globally, we take a boutique approach to client issues with a focus on flexibility, adaptability, and innovation. We recognize that there are many on-ramps to supporting IT transformation and we’ve tailored our services accordingly:

Transform the business

  • Strategy and operating model
  • Organizational design
  • Enterprise architecture
  • Portfolio planning
  • Merger and acquisition
  • Integration and separation

Run the business

  • Scaling agile
  • Product management
  • DevOps tooling
  • IT financial management
  • IT service management
  • IT asset management

Modernize and protect

  • Cloud strategy
  • Data center strategy
  • Continuity and resiliency
  • Workplace transformation
  • Network modernization
  • Cyber, risk, and compliance