Skip to Content

The new era of media: how moving from push to pull changes the game

March 5, 2020

Technology has dramatically transformed the media industry over the past decade. Streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have turned the traditional media model on its head, and exciting new virtual and augmented-reality capabilities enable audiences to interact with their favorite content like never before.

As impressive and swift as this streaming revolution has been, with millions of viewers every year cutting the cord on traditional cable, its success comes down to one thing: the viewer experience.

Push vs pull media

People want to dictate life on their own terms: there is something liberating in doing what you want, when you want. This is fueling the mass-media migration we see today. Sitting down, bringing up a vast library of content, and finding the perfect show is an empowering experience.

Instead of pushing content out in predetermined blocks and forcing its audiences to make time to watch, these new media titans have flipped the script, pulling viewers in with comprehensive libraries they can access whenever they want. This concept may seem basic, but it is the true differentiator in today’s new media age.

Data-fueled engagement

The transition from push to pull represents a profound shift in the media industry, but the real value for media companies lies in something much simpler: data.

When you sign up for, say, Netflix, you gain access to a massive catalog of content. At the same time, Netflix gains the ability to gather data on you. As you watch programs, Netflix takes that data and, in conjunction with demographic information you provided when signing up, builds a complex profile of you. This profile then fuels personalized recommendations, offers, and communications.

These personalization-enabling rich data sets are the holy grail for today’s media industry. In sports, for example, our award-winning Capgemini Research Institute found that more than 60% of fans will increase their engagement with a team after having a positive, personalized game-watching experience. With more touchpoints than ever, media organizations need to rely on personalized audience data – not just programming – if they want to find success in this new era.


Building a platform for success

While the streaming giants may have gotten a head start, there is still profound opportunity in today’s evolving media landscape for players to transform into personalized, data-centric organizations. Instead of hedging on paywalls and experience-ruining revenue strategies, companies need to invest in understanding their audiences at an individual level.

This is not an easy recommendation to follow, and no media company out there really executes this personalization model perfectly – but by looking to the future and identifying key challenges and initiatives, organizations can begin to realize their transformational objectives and interact with their audience like never before.

Madan Sundararaju is a Vice president and Media Market Segment Leader at Capgemini. For the last 10+ years, he has specialized in digital and emerging trends in broadcast media and implementing core M&E for a number of Fortune 500 companies. For more information, reach out to him at