Peter Schrøder of Egmont Publishing on Innovating Media
Peter Schrøder has worked in New Media for the past 15 years, in both small and large corporations all focusing on global roll-out. He also has experience in VC and in co-investing himself with Business Angels. Peter has a strong background working in industries where technology is the enabler and digital disruptor – Digital Davids influencing the industry ecosystem and organising the Ecosystem Economics™ of the sector to transform and innovate.
Peter's current posting is as Digital Director of Egmont, a leading media group in the Nordic region with over 6600 employees in 30 countries, who aim to innovate and keep up with the dramatic flow of change in the media industry. As Peter's interview demonstrates, Egmont's core business model is shifting and digital media is necessitated by changes in technology. Companies like MadeTV and Orson, Ariadne Capital portfolio companies, are innovating in this space. Made TV for example offer localised content on geographically specific television channels. They innovate the traditional media source by bringing content that is relevant to specific and targeted groups of customers, and by providing a platform for local companies and services to be seen. By catering for each of the stakeholders in the ecosystem, Made TV successfully disrupt traditional media, as Egmont seek to keep pace with in the printing press sector especially.
How are Egmont innovating right now?
'Egmont is innovating on many fronts. Our core business is being challenged (print magazines and books), so we need to adapt to new digital business models. We are experimenting with new digital reading experiences, interactive solutions and driving a tech focus in to our organisation, which is not by nature and culture tech savvy.'
As the world becomes more digital, and with the rise of e-readers, how can print publishing keep up?
'We believe Print publishing will last for many years but print needs to adapt to the new media landscape. Print needs to be clear on the role it plays to consumers, now everything is so accessible. I am not a big believer in pure PDF reading versions of our magazines, as content is accessed and consumed in a very different way on digital devices. So we need to look to create new consumer propositions, where our content can play a key role – but consumed in a very different way.'
How is Egmont embracing technology?
'We are getting more and more focused on embracing technology and we have made major steps forward the past few years. But we still need to go much further, as our new competitors are born out of technology and we are not. So we need to acquire new skills and create room for technology becoming the key driver in new solutions.'
Is it easy for new companies to break in to the publishing market?
'Many can create a new magazine or a book and publish it. But it is not easy to get critical mass. However technology is making it easier and easier to become a publisher. You can argue bloggers are the new publishers and there the barrier to entry is very low.'
Is Egmont working with any digital startups right now?
'A few and we are going to have more in the future. But in general Egmont prefers companies that have a proven business model and has some traction.'
Social responsibility is core to Egmonts ethos, can you tell me a little bit about that?
'We are owned by a fund, who's main purpose is to run Egmont as a company and to give support to children in need. It is a vital part of our culture and we are proud to say, that our products make a difference to consumers and to the children in need.'
How does Denmark compare to the rest of Europe in terms of innovation and entrepreneurialism?
'Denmark is doing ok when it comes to innovation (we have a very high educated population) but we could give much better conditions for entrepreneurs and investors in taking risks. There is still much that can be done to support the risk taking mind-set of the Danes but fortunately, it is on the political agenda.'
You can contact Peter, Digital Director at Egmont at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchr