Value in Media

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has changed the way content is produced, distributed and consumed for media companies, brands and individuals.

The media industry today is characterized by so-called "destination" and "ecosystem" media. The former are content destinations for consumers, while the latter use content as a strategic asset in a bigger portfolio of products and services. They offer relatively low-price media services as drivers to monetize other parts of their business, such as e-commerce, transactions, live experiences, affiliate sales or branded media.

Media production and distribution creates economic value along its sectoral production chains. It also does so through these ecosystems, increasingly owned and managed by "supercompetitors". How should society measure and value their impact?

This project, Value in Media, has spent a year looking at how individual consumers value destination media. It has analyzed business model strategies in the media industry, studied the extent to which these strategies align with people's preferences around payment and data management, and discussed areas for the industry to focus on in improving its value proposition to society.

Building on this research, the project is helping the World Economic Forum's media partners navigate the impact of COVID-19, by exploring the short- and long-term implications of the pandemic for content creation, distribution and consumption. This work will eventually contribute to a second phase that attempts to measure the value of ecosystem media in society. It will look specifically at:


  • A cost-benefit analysis of ecosystem economics in media

  • Developing a framework for new indicators of value such as quality, innovation and consumer welfare

  • Identifying metrics that better represent the value of media to society, including its contribution to related activities such as retail, e-commerce and consumer industries

Research on these topics will be published here on an ongoing basis.

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