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COVID-19 crisis makes compelling case for digital transformation

03 June 2020
COVID-19 crisis makes compelling case for digital transformation

Everything has changed in the shortest of time-spans. COVID-19 has had a seismic impact worldwide, including for the EBU and our Members. We cannot underestimate these changes.

But if COVID-19 has proved anything, it’s that audiences are turning to public service media (PSM) in increasing numbers for trusted, reliable and high-quality content – and they are doing so via video-on-demand and streaming, as well as linear. 

This shift online is also reflected in meet-ups with friends and family; for remote working; and for the consumption of news, education and entertainment, as our recent MIS report shows.

In this climate, we have published a major new report, as part of our Digital Transformation Initiative (DTI), that looks at how PSM are tackling digital transformation, in order to inform and inspire Members who are undertaking similar journeys.

Digital brings people together – now more than ever – and audience needs are evolving quickly to keep up with world events. They’re expecting technologies to deliver. Of course, this situation also puts pressure on PSM to change and pivot towards this world as quickly as possible. 

But PSM ARE uniquely well-placed to adapt to this situation. Why? Because we have a great tradition of collaboration and a culture of sharing experiences and learnings across our community – we’ve seen this so much already in the current crisis.

The DTI Casebook encapsulates this spirit, sharing knowledge, guidance and practical tools to inspire our Members in their own transformation projects. 

Of course, digital means different things to different organizations – it might be developing data and AI capabilities; expanding multimedia production or overhauling the online offer itself. 

But this is not just a question of technology; the bigger picture is about how we operate and deliver this and, as the crisis has proved, we must ensure our organizations are more agile, risk tolerant and experimental. This is corporate transformation for a digital world.

This is the idea behind the Casebook. It takes account of the fact that each organization is different – size, budget, audience all matter. So, issues such as having the right legal frameworks in place; gaining support and buy-in across the organization; developing strategic partnerships and alliances are all critical aspects of transformation. The report isn’t about laying down the law in a prescriptive sense, but equipping Members to ask the right questions, saving time and budget in the process.

I’m proud that the EBU’s DTI team has listened to so many of you and produced such a detailed and accessible framework. COVID-19 will leave many legacies and one will be how PSM work together and interact with audiences in the future – this report comes at the right time to help with that. 

Relevant links and documents

Written by

Noel Curran

Director General

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