NEWS published on 06 Dec 2017

New Digital Transformation report provides tools and insights to change PSM

The EBU has published a new report, ‘Learning from Public Service Media in Transformation’, as the first milestone on the roadmap of the EBU Digital Transformation Initiative (DTI).

The DTI aims to provide Members with the tools and insights that can help them understand and implement the process of restructuring and transforming PSM.

This new report is designed to understand the drivers, goals and enablers of digital transformation at public service media (PSM) and sketch out a definition and framework to start a dialogue with and among Members. It arose from the outcome of a digital transformation workshop which brought representatives of 12 EBU Members to Brussels on 21 September.

Primarily the report provides input for internal discussions by EBU Members on the need of digital transformation and it tries to make this tangible by providing preliminary self-assessment tools.

The report is part of an ongoing process and is designed to initiate a culture of peer learning about digital transformation by presenting some actions and practices at PSM in transformation as examples for further discussion and exploration.

Key findings

  • There are many definitions and frameworks to look at in digital transformation. However we have found that none of them are well adapted to the unique situation of PSM.
  • To enable a conversation among PSM we need a framework that meets our own unique needs and allows us to talk and think along a shared framework even if all Members are at different stages of transformation and have different perspectives on the process.
  • We can conclude that Members are doing a reasonable job of keeping track of the different technological and societal drivers that affect their business. However not all have translated these insights into a real urgency for transformation and a clearly defined transformation vision and strategy.
  • Different and complex competition, declining youth audiences, polarisation in society and political pressure were seen as the main drivers for the transformation process.
  • In terms of goals, it is clear that not all Members have already clearly defined transformation goals. However there was an agreement that change would be holistic addressing the whole organization.
  • Some of the goals put forward were: putting audiences first, becoming more flexible as organisations with a clear digital leadership and vision, offering impactful digital content & services and becoming an essential node in the new digital value chain.
  • Many factors serve as barriers for transformation but the one that stands out most is company culture and a lack of leadership, with executive teams still mainly focussing on legacy business.
  • Digital transformation requires a company-wide effort with clear leadership. Beyond that there is a wide range of tools and tactics that can be used to enable the transformation including: breaking down silos as a step to culture and organisational change, embracing technology and end to end digital processes, using data to generate value and investing in digital talent and training as well as looking for new dynamic partnerships.
  • As a conclusion the reports states that although transformation will be difficult and not without risks, it offers opportunities in terms of delivering more value to our audiences and increasing the contribution to society.

This status report is a first snapshot and will be followed up by a workshop on 5 February 2018, with a new set of Members to test and validate the proposed framework.

EBU Members are invited to send all feedback directly to Ezra Eeman, Head of Digital.