“Without technology content is nothing”: What is a media company nowadays?

What's New in Publishing 24 Sep 2020 07:15

“It’s about helping people find their way in a life that’s become complicated.”

Marc Walder is living proof that fortune favours the brave. Over the last 13 years the CEO of Swiss media group Ringier has spearheaded a quite astonishing digital transformation at his company, branching out into marketplaces, ecommerce, ticketing and classifieds by buying up and successfully embedding a range of businesses.

With 72 per cent of Ringier’s EBITDA now coming from digital activity, it is fair to say the former tennis pro is playing a blinder. “Media companies in the 21st century need to be bold, courageous, ask questions, step into the learning curve and look beyond the business their in,” Walder advised during a wide-ranging discussion at FIPP’s World Media Congress 2020. “And they have to deliver good independent journalism.”

Ringier’s journey to becoming a broadly diversified business started when the company was at its peak. “I talked to the shareholders after we had one of our best years and said: ‘If we are all very honest it will never be as good again’,” Walder recalled. “We started the transformation and created new revenue streams into classified business and digital marketplaces.

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