A SWOT Analysis for M&E given Covid-19: EY

12 Jun,2020


Excerpted from an EY (Ernst & Young) report:

The Media & Entertainment sector is facing unprecedented challenges from the spread of Covid-19. Rapid changes in consumer behaviour and consumption, stoppages in content production, cancellation of live events and sports, and cuts in advertising spend, are impacting companies across the ecosystem. Media agencies, many of which were grappling with operational volatility, are struggling to maintain media spend as marketers manage risks and reduce spend rapidly. Publishers and media companies are benefitting from some marketers seeing the opportunity but face advertising revenue losses. Film and TV producers are under pressure to mitigate impact from delayed release schedules, theatre closures, and production stoppages.


Companies are currently focused on enterprise resiliency and triaging revenue, but will likely need to turn to rapid cost reduction as business models settle into new norms as business models are not on solid foundation. Bright spots across the industry include digital pure-plays (such as video gaming) and other virtualised production capabilities.


Accelerated consumer shift to digital journeys

:: Enhance technology and infrastructure to support digital journeys including streaming and commerce

:: Ensure digital sales and service models are as effective as traditional journeys

:: Consider moving


Marketers cut ad spend and demand agile response times

:: Accelerate efforts around ad ops and creative production support to enhance responsiveness to marketer needs

:: Proactively conduct brand sentiment analysis and consumer research to offer stronger insights

:: Consider incentives or package bundles to maintain or motivate ad spend, including entertainment or escapism content


Rapid transition to virtualized working environments

:: Leverage collaborative software to maintain productivity and connection with vendors and clients (e.g. Microsoft Teams)

:: Accelerate efforts around self service and inside/virtualized sales • Develop models for virtualized customer service rapidly, including potential for augmented reality


Disruption or cancellation of content production and launch

:: Revisit programming schedules to extract value out of back catalogue

:: Accelerate releases to enhance consumer engagement

:: Identify partners with virtualized content production capabilities


And here’s a SWOT analysis as presented in the EY report:



:: M&E is categorised as “essential services” and permitted to continue operation (except theatres and events)

:: Need for escapism, news and knowledge increases in times of trouble – demand for content expected to remain high



:: Inability to produce content (physical presence critical)

:: High dependence on advertising for revenues

:: Inability to connect with and sell to large number of advertisers and SMEs (traditional media)



:: Consolidation – Financially stronger brands consolidating weaker brands

:: Sharing resources between competitors (co-ompetition)

:: Back-office to the world

:: Re-invention of sales through platforms to reach SMEs

:: Direct to consumer and digital community creation

:: UGC and Create-from-Home services

:: WFH and manpower optimisation

:: Better monetisation of library content



  • Stressed balance sheets for smaller players, increasing credit days due to liquidity squeeze
  • Supply chain disruptions – Print distribution
  • Continuity risk – one positive case in a studio can derail content production
  • Increased piracy of content
  • Ad revenue from sectors like travel, hospitality, services will contract in the medium / long term
  • Reduced willingness to spend more on subscription products can impact price increases




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