Media conglomerate digital transformation

The situation

A large media conglomerate in South East Asia encompassing traditional and digital media assets (print, television, radio, out-of-home advertising, digital, and events) was undergoing severe commercial disruption. As with most markets globally, audiences were migrating from traditional to digital media, and advertisers were looking for integrated omni-channel solutions. The client requested assistance from Strategy& to construct its long-term corporate strategy to combat the digital disruption.


How we helped

Our first engagement was to develop an integrated media strategy to determine the optimal way to repurpose existing traditional media assets and to restructure the performance of digital assets.

For the core business, we recommended the overall priorities and advised restructuring of assets to deliver superior portfolio plays. For the digital assets, we conducted an in-depth digital diagnostic to reveal performance enhancement AREAS and advised required investments and capabilities.

Based on global best practice of similar conglomerates and keeping the unique market dynamics of SEA in mind, we identified opportunities that were adjacent to the current capabilities and could help drive income beyond traditional subscriptions and advertising revenue streams. For instance, we found that digital media in particular presented an ideal avenue to integrate non-core opportunities, such as an affiliate marketing strategy where a digital magazine embeds e-commerce links in its content to drive purchases, thereby making a margin. Each initiative was meticulously detailed including overall costs, time-frames, and required resources for completion.

Post the successful acceptance of the strategy recommendations, Strategy& was asked for support in two projects: 1) establishing an integrated newsroom, and 2) developing the future commercial model/strategy.

For the integrated newsroom, our analysis revealed that the client was telling the same stories across its different platforms, without synergy or cross-referencing. The various organizational silos needed to be broken so news could be reported more efficiently, while keeping in mind the unique characteristics of each platform’s consumption and editorial style.

We established a baseline of current operations regarding editorial, organization, talent, and the related technology. Guidance from global best practices in integrated newsroom design highlighted the advantages of a robust social media presence. We advised the client to integrate a social media news-gathering elements in their news operations and developed a conceptual model that included verification solutions and a plan to hire and upskill appropriate talent. Our target model encompassed an integrated workflow (CMS) solution and storage across platforms, employing meta-tagging and data redundancy for seamless and efficient news reporting, as well as the future-state newsroom layout.

For the future commercial model, we looked at how separate business units had been performing, assessed stakeholders’ aspirations, and established a baseline for the client’s capabilities. We also assessed the client’s audience and adex share of the overall market for different interest groups to identify where its capabilities could be best deployed.

In parallel, we studied the industry structure and revenue streams such as advertising sector performance, trends, and market demand. We analyzed global and regional publishers’ commercial strategies of similar entities to identify the key drivers of commercial success and repurposed the learnings to fit the market’s unique structure. Finally, we created a commercial model to provide leadership an understanding of the potential value that could be generated.


At the conclusion of the initial engagement, the client accepted all of our recommendations, and enlisted our help in not only designing and developing the proposed integrated newsroom — a first for media companies in the region, but also defining its future commercial strategy.

For the integrated newsroom, the client acted on all our recommendations. A technology partner was identified via the RFP we designed, and Strategy& and PwC teams supported the establishment of the future-state newsroom.

For the future commercial strategy, our commercial model was deployed, including the role of partnerships, acquisitions, and the required capability building.

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