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Understanding value in media: perspectives from consumers and industry

Advertising Mass media Digital media Streaming services

This paper presents conclusions from the World Economic Forum’s Value in Media project. The goal of the project is to consider how different stakeholders in media – content creators, advertisers, marketing agencies and individual consumers – each value media content. We hope to provide useful analysis of this dynamic that will help the industry make informed decisions about its future.

The paper has three objectives: first, to analyse research conducted in six key markets – Germany, South Korea, the UK, and the US, China and India, the last two of which we believe are covered in depth for the first time; second, to highlight the implications for media business models; third, to raise awareness of concepts of interest and concern to our Shaping the Future of Media, Entertainment and Culture platform.

The results are based on a survey, conducted by Nielsen for the Forum, of more than 9,100 consumers. To complement the data, our project team organised six workshops, convening around 100 executives from across the media industry. From the synthesis of these inputs we have concluded:

  • Engagement with media is high, but less than half pay
  • However, willingness to pay is rising even while entertainment services are being reduced
  • Young people are more likely to pay for content, but low-income groups are not
  • Questions persist about how to fund the production of valuable content
  • The so-called “streaming war” between providers may be masking a developing stratification between “destination” and “ecosystem” media. The implications of this stratification are so far unknown, but worthy of further scrutiny


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