Editorial as profit centre

October 2, 2012 9:45 pm

Editorial, while the necessary foundation for how many media businesses work, has long been considered by some as a cost centre.

Last week at an event I made an analogy between IT departments and editorial departments. The former grew up over the 1960s and 1970s to a point where, while they were enabling many businesses, they cost a lot of money.

Some companies had an answer.

In this slide you can see the example of WNS. In the mid-1990s BA set up a back office operation in Mumbai, then expanded it in Pune a few years later. By 2002 it was spinning off this ‘captive’ business process outsourcing operation as WNS.

From just a few hundred staff back in the days of Britpop, WNS now employs 25,000 people around the world at a revenue run rate of about $600m annually and one can only assume BA did quite well.
Similarly, gedas was previously VW’s IT department. Through acquisition it became part of Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems, an IT services division that hauled in €9.2bn in its financial 2011.

Last time out I spoke about Collective Content’s view that publishers can embrace content services the way these IT departments – and larger companies – saw the opportunity in IT services.

That move in IT happened just as everyone came to need technology. Now it’s the case that just about every organisation is going to need its own content, certainly any company that is serious about leadgen, SEO, social media, to name just three fashionable areas.

What do you think?

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