Media Top Stories
3 mins read

Strategic perspective: AI and the next wave of transformation in media

“You could be a startup by yourself. You don’t even need to have an office. You can start building your own media company using these very advanced technologies.”

Attended by more than 400 delegates from 43 countries, the FIPP World Media Congress in the Portuguese town of Cascais took a close look at the innovation happening in the face of severe disruption. The event, earlier this summer, brought together executives from a cross-section of media and technology sectors, who explored key industry topics with global experts.

Steffen Damborg is a digital transformation specialist with 10-plus years of experience in all aspects of running an online business in the media industry. He is a former Digital Director and Chief Development Officer at the leading Danish publisher, JP/Politikens Hus, and is currently focusing on digital transformation for global media organisations. Here he shares a strategic perspective on AI and the next wave of transformation in the media industry.

Here are a few key insights from his presentation:

1. The commodification of high-tech

“Talking about generative AI, there’s been a lot of hype around this new type of AI, and we are probably at the peak of the hype cycle of generative AI. 

“The Guardian presented a news article made by generative AI. But the interesting thing here is not that you can now publish these kinds of articles. The interesting thing here is that it was published in 2020. That was two years ago.

So my point here is that we are maybe at the peak of this hype – it’s been around for at least five or six years in the publishing industry. So there’s nothing new to that. The new thing is, how easy it is to work with these technologies. I call it the commodification of high-tech.

2. Disruptive forces are considerable

“All you need today is go into the Amazon Web services portal. All you need is a credit card, right? And then you can buy your AI algorithm. You can buy your cloud hosting, your cloud computing. It’s very, very simple. And you don’t need any PhDs in math or, or whatever, to work with these technologies today.

“You could be a startup by yourself. You don’t even need to have an office. You could sit at Starbucks because they have Wi-Fi access at Starbucks, and then you can start building your own media company using these very advanced technologies. 

The real scary thing seen from my perspective is that the disruptive forces in the media market are so big at the moment because everybody can work with these technologies. And what we see is that the legacy publishers are lagging behind. We are not the first movers when it comes to adopting new technologies. And there are smart people out there, and they can do it today, and they can use these technologies, just by entering the numbers from the credit card.

3. Embrace or reject change

“So we need to go home and do our homework. We are at the strategic, inflection point. We do not want to miss out this time. 

“So what you need to do, you need to consider, are we doing things the way we are always doing it? Are we maintaining our strategy? Are we rejecting change? Or do we want to embrace change this time? 

Do we want to be part of a new paradigm? This is the question you need to pose to yourself.

You can watch the entire session here: