In the ever-evolving media industry, an unparalleled convergence of extrinsic and intrinsic developments has emerged, disrupting the status quo and compelling companies to reassess their strategies. As technology and consumer behavior undergo rapid transformations, publishers and broadcasters alike find themselves confronting an array of challenges that necessitate prompt and strategic responses.

The ascendancy of social media and digital platforms has transcended mere trends; they have become the primary modes of communication and avenues and the engines of discovery for new brands, products and services for the majority of consumers. The exponential growth of the digital landscape has defied expectations, with online ad spend reaching a staggering $440 billion, constituting 62% of total ad spend in 2021 — $100 billion more than initially predicted, as calculated by ARK Invest, the renowned fund manager led by Cathie Wood. Moreover, digital ad spend is projected to grow at an 11% compound annual rate until 2029, surpassing $1 trillion for the first time — a striking 82% of total ad spend, 20 percentage points higher than in 2021.

As a result, local advertisers will be reallocating budgets towards digital at a quicker rate, perhaps than the industry expects, meaning media companies need to adapt — faster than they want to. Those that do will be poised to reap the rewards of dominating their local markets as leaders in digital services.

But shifting to digital isn’t easy. Resistance to change is a widespread industry issue that’s hindering the adoption of new approaches and technologies. Fostering a culture that embraces innovation and welcomes transformation will be vital for successful digital adaptation. Those are the topics for this report, with insights intended to help media companies build a solid foundation for successful digital transformation and acceleration.

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