SOP Manual for Media Representatives


The Media Representatives industry comprises establishments of independent representatives primarily engaged in selling media time or space for media owners.

Services provided by this industry are

  • Advertising media representatives (i.e., independent of media owners)
  • Magazine advertising representatives (i.e., independent of media owners)
  • Media advertising representatives (i.e., independent of media owners)
  • Media representatives (i.e., independent of media owners)
  • Newspaper advertising representatives (i.e., independent of media owners)
  • Publishers' advertising representatives (i.e., independent of media owners)
  • Radio advertising representatives (i.e., independent of media owners)
  • Television advertising representatives (i.e., independent of media 

Over the past 3 years, the Media Representatives industry in the U.S. has averaged annual growth of -3.4% to reach $4 billion in revenue.

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Major companies in this industry are

  • Daniel J Edelman Holdings
  • New England Sports Entps LLC
  • Katz Media Group Inc
  • Edmundscom Inc
  • Live Ventures Incorporated
  • Demand One Media LLC
  • Beachbody LLC
  • 1105 Media Inc
  • Travelzoo
  • Marchex Inc

Challenges faced by this industry are

  • Evolving the business model mix

Building a strategy for revenue growth requires challenging current constructs and bolstering creativity. Revenue from advertising is threatened by shifts in consumer behavior to subscription and one-off content purchases. Suddenly we find ourselves needing to build entirely new muscles to drive direct-to-consumer approaches for growth. Simultaneous with the challenges to revenue, operational excellence is no longer a luxury – we must drive efficiency and minimize costs. Incremental approaches to business model transformation are unlikely to keep pace with the rate of change, so bold and confident leadership becomes even more critical.

  • Adapting the enterprise to new realities

How we think, work, and operate in core domains like HR, finance, and IT present dramatic new opportunities to transform the enterprise. As we think about the people that drive our business, we must rethink how we attract, retain, develop, and deploy talent in a dynamic, customer-centric business. As we look at the financial backbone of our companies, we are emboldened by the opportunity to bring more intelligent automation into the back office to improve accuracy and efficiency. And, as technology plays far more integral strategic and operating roles, IT can more effectively power everything from better procurement to more meaningful and actionable business intelligence.

  • Enabling new advertising currencies

For all our conversations around digital advertising growth, the industry has come to the realization that most of that growth is accruing to the dominant digital advertising duopoly. And yet, there is also broad recognition that television still absolutely matters. While the lines blur between strictly linear, VOD, and OTT video platforms, there is no question that there is an opportunity to make linear television smarter and more effective – for it to take on more of the attributes of digital. For the television industry to move beyond planning and buying based on conventional demographics, it will require bold industry-wide collaboration on both the buy- and sell-side of the equation. It will also require a willingness to contemplate more dramatic technology enablement, such as blockchain, for an industry still often operating in columns and rows.

  • Engaging consumers in new experiences

The fact is we have now trained humans to expect dramatically different levels of technology in how they enjoy the content of all types – from scripted dramas to theme parks, to music playlists. We all now have heightened expectations of how media companies can help us discover, experience, transact, and share. But at the core of these new expectations around consumer experiences sits a fundamental belief that the experience should be connected – that whatever platform I am on, wherever I am, you know me. To engage consumers in new experiences, we must not only focus on the highest levels of creativity but the deepest commitment to connecting the dots for the consumer through data and technology.

  • Mitigating against cyber risks

While issues of cybersecurity were previously relegated to a CTO, CIO, or CSO, they have now been elevated the full C-Suite and board in no small part due to widespread public attention around companies’ risk on this front. In media companies, protecting both content and consumers is now a powerful imperative – it is no longer a question of “if” but a question of “when” and “how.” Regulators are amplifying their focus on cyber issues as well, including the impending May 2018 deadline in the European Union for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Media companies must look to prioritize and plan cybersecurity, protect their customers and assets, and develop ongoing efforts to maintain that focus consistently.

  • Battling for the best content

While the media business model, in particular for premium video content, undergoes massive challenges around advertising and distribution fees, there is no question that content remains king (or perhaps “queen” given the popularity of “The Crown”). Consumers are the beneficiaries of a remarkable revolution of creativity and content creation. However, here too, the business model for some of the landscape is challenged given that new competitors now participate in the marketplace for both premium content and consumer attention. With social media and commerce players increasingly investing in original content or licensing (at remarkable levels of investment), more traditional media players find the economics of content creation and acquisition increasingly challenging. 

  • Building scale – both horizontal and vertical

The media industry was historically characterized by fierce decentralization of brand ownership – a focus on brand and franchise development correlated with creativity and consumer understanding. However, the dynamics of digital broke down the silos of traditional companies, encouraging them to challenge how they went to market – with both consumers and advertisers. As a result, building scale – either horizontally or vertically – has become a dominant trend across the industry. The pending mergers of several dominant media companies bring the thesis to life – as they hope to capitalize on the scale to benefit both revenue and costs. For all players hoping to capitalize on either form of scale requires a deep commitment to transforming the full operating model during the merger, not only for cost reduction but also for growth. 

  • Accelerating the marketplace

As new technologies accelerate how supply and demand intersect in all industries, the dynamics of media marketplaces – for both consumers and advertisers – are becoming “superfluid,” placing new pressures on all parts of the ecosystem to move more quickly. The dynamics of programmatic transactions, first pioneered in financial markets and later in digital media, are now expanding to other aspects of the business, which increasingly embrace data and automation. As digital dynamics are infused into all media (even traditional), the opportunities to accelerate media marketplaces will continue to grow.

  • Reinventing the tax model

US tax reform represents the biggest change in taxation in decades, creating a powerful impetus to challenge most companies’ global operating model and their tax strategies. For multinational media companies, there is an opportunity to repatriate accumulated foreign earnings and assets with a one-off “toll charge” (depending on whether the assets are cash or not). And other changes effectively establish a global minimum tax on foreign earnings. For most companies, recent and pending tax reform necessitates an immediate focus on overseas licensing, supply chain management, cost-sharing, or offshore models.

  • Making multi-national matter

Finding the optimal business model, strategy, and ownership structure to achieve success in international markets requires both nuance and flexibility. Globalization builds scale for media companies, opening new markets, and monetization opportunities. While economic nationalism and the prospect of higher trade barriers may slow global strategies, digital technologies continue to obscure the importance of geographic borders. To build the right business model, operating structure and go-to-market strategy for international growth require nuance, particularly across key market priorities in media and entertainment which typically include China, the US, and the UK. Each market illustrates the need for a distinctive approach.

Governing bodies

For further references

The Media Representative Firms industry comprises companies that sell media time for media owners. These owners hire industry operators to maximize their advertising revenue. Operators do not purchase the time but take a commission from media owners on the time that they sell. Over the five years to 2020, rising corporate profit and per capita disposable income boosted advertising budgets for the majority of the period, benefiting the industry. However, a dramatic shift away from traditional media has led corporations to spend larger portions of their advertising budgets on digital media sources, limiting these potential gains.

SOP Manual for Media Representatives

Research By : Mohammed Ijas


Written by SOP Team

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