In brief

In brief

  • As traditional media businesses face competition from digital natives and financial pressure, they’re taking a new, direct to consumer route.
  • Competing in the “app” economy requires them to develop a new set of skills and capabilities, as well as make some big investments.
  • This paper explains how media companies can leverage their considerable strengths to compete in the digital marketplace.

Competing in the app economy

As media businesses make the transition to the direct to consumer, “app” economy, they must evolve to differentiate themselves within an ever accelerating tech-centric consumer marketplace.

The central idea is that the media industry is moving into the “app economy” – where future battles for the attention of consumers, and all the related revenue, will be won or lost.

Critical to delivering the product vision, and developing the culture and innovation required for success, is an evaluating framework. A blueprint that guides the investment and transformation path as you seek to distinguish your product in the “app economy”. This framework centers around three basic components, powered by the right talent profile:

1. Operating Model

Change your way of working with blended multi-disciplinary teams, organized into agile pods. Build data-driven “test and learn” into decision making, to unlock value and move faster.

2. Architecture

Create the appropriate technical construct for executing the functional objectives of the operating business, while producing the data needed to inform the business.

3. Analytics

Build data into every step of the process. Perform analysis combining the output of the architecture with external data to create near real-time intelligence to power the operating model.

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No single prescription… but a template for success

Every media business is different. They have different histories and future trajectories. There is no one-size-fits-all prescription for success. But it is possible to thrive in the app economy with a tailored governance model, fit-for-purpose technical strategy, and a data-driven culture focused on the strategic business outcomes.

About the Authors

Bikash Mishra​

Senior Principal – Technology Consulting

Curtis Kendall

Principal Director – Technology Consulting

Elizabeth A. Keating

Senior Manager – Technology Consulting

Christopher Eich

Research Manager


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