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Media Highlights from SAPPHIRENOW 2015

SAPPHIRENOW is over but the good news is that many of the thought-provoking interactions with our customers have left an imprint for us to draw on.  Three key topics resonated for me at SAPPHIRENOW this year for the Media space :


  • Audience analysis and engagement with the brand
  • Impact of Digital Transformation on media companies
  • Media companies are becoming retailers


I attended a fascinating Microforum discussion, See How Big Data Consumer Insights Are Changing the Media Industry, led by Nick Nyhan of the Data Alliance (a WPP company).  Nick leads the Data Alliance which helps coordinate data strategy and acquisition in support of WPP operating companies such as Kantar, GroupM, and Wunderman.  Nick described how the Data Alliance helps their (customer) brands to analyze huge volumes of consumer data in order to understand the customer journey online and how to engage with consumers more effectively without appearing too invasive.


The biggest challenge for the Media industry today is embracing Digital Transformation. Organizations are responding to the challenge at different rates depending on many factors, not least of all human factors. The New York Times is an example of a media company that has faced huge disruption from digitization and competitors such as Google and Amazon and which has successfully transformed its business model to protect its subscriptions and advertising revenue.  Professor Vineet Kumaar of Yale University presented highlights of his case study on the Times in his session Fine-Tune Your Strategy for Digital Transformation in the Digital Economy which you can view here.

Some key data points from the New York Times Digital Transformation:

  • The digital subscriber number is expected to rise to 1 million in 2015 (currently at 957,000 paid digital subscribers as of March 31)
  • International Expansion: Rebranded as “The International New York Times” with an eye on overseas expansion
  • Introduced interactive features for the digital edition for increased subscriber engagement
  • Introduced “native advertising” a type of ad where marketers create stories that run alongside news articles.

Finally our perspective on how SAP can help Media companies simplify their business and grow revenue is captured in a short video interview with Richard Whittington, SVP for Media. His tagline is “Attention is the new oxygen”.

Key takeaways are:

  • Media companies are becoming retail companies
  • Understanding the consumer audience of 1 is vital
  • Personalized experiences and in-context offers to create adjacent revenue streams are becoming the norm




To learn more about SAP solutions for the media industry, check out our Solution Explorer and visit on SAP.COM and on SlideShare.

Follow us on @SAPIndustries #Media

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