Digital transformation through data


Digital innovation has reshaped the news and media industry. The transition from print to digital started more than two decades ago, and the changes to news and media companies during this time have been dramatic. Few publications still exist as print-only editions anymore. Almost all major print and broadcast news outlets now maintain digital versions. To capitalize on this evolution, news and media companies are harnessing the power of their digital platforms to generate insights on reader behavior in ways that were never before possible. By applying these insights with increasing sophistication, companies are improving both reader engagement and online revenue performance.

A guide on how news and media companies can deliver more value with insights

Digital transformation is not a new agenda item for most news and media companies, but it is increasingly important. Deloitte conducted a digital transformation study to understand how news and media companies use audience data to better engage readers online and drive revenue. As part of this study, Deloitte held interviews with more than 80 individuals across more than 50 news and media companies from 16 countries across the globe. Study participants spanned:

  • Formats - Digital, print / digital hybrid, and broadcast media outlets
  • Sizes - From $60 million in annual revenue to over $2 billion in annual revenue
  • Genres - News and entertainment 
  • Revenue Models - Advertising-based revenue and subscription-based revenue

In order to compare news and media companies’ data capabilities across regions and highlight how organizations can become more advanced, Deloitte created a Data Maturity Scale with four distinct levels of maturity - Level 1 (Nascent), Level 2 (Developing), Level 3 (Mature), and Level 4 (Leading). In addition to representing the news and media company perspective, interviews were conducted with more than 20 technology providers, advertisers, and advertising agencies to understand the data trends affecting the overall news and media ecosystem.

So where are news and media companies on the digital transformation journey? Not surprisingly, news and media companies around the world are at different stages of maturity. Some use audience data to drive meaningful value through innovative data-supported efforts, while others are still trying to get the foundations established and struggle to prioritize data over competing capital investments. 

Among other things, limited visibility into what peers are doing can distort a company’s view of its own data and analytics capabilities. To provide a common view, Deloitte developed a Data Maturity Scale to help plot study participants on a defined spectrum. The outputs of this analysis were then used to construct the Diagnostic tool to help companies self-assess their data maturity and plan the best path forward for their own transformations. 

A challenge for news and media companies is how to improve data maturity. The Data Maturity Scale provides helpful context for a news and media company’s current position relative to best-in-class organizations, but this knowledge alone fails to show companies how to improve their current position. The intent of this guide is to help companies understand and articulate the key activities needed to improve the use of audience data within their organizations.

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