Bertelsmann pursues four strategic priorities in transforming itself into a faster-growing, more digital, more international and more diversified company. In recent years, the company invested more than €4.6 billion in digital and high-growth businesses, and is pursuing their expansion with an increasing focus on organic growth. Along with this, Bertelsmann is increasingly opening new lines of business that benefit from digitization, the growing demand for education and growing consumption in countries such as Brazil, China and India. At the core of the value creation of all its businesses, Bertelsmann focuses especially on the innovative power of creativity.
A diverse range of creative content is at the heart of many Bertelsmann businesses. At the same time, the Group offers business clients all over the world solutions for a wide range of business processes. These core businesses are strengthened, among other things, by making targeted investments, leveraging competitive advantages, implementing profitability-boosting measures and taking advantage of opportunities for consolidation. The Group picks up on trends and new customer requirements, for example, with additional digital offerings to complement TV programming or topic-specific media platforms (verticals). At the same time, Bertelsmann works to ensure the protection of intellectual property in the digital domain as it does elsewhere.
Bertelsmann’s business models and lines of business are also changing because of digitization and shifts in media use. The company is shaping this transformation with a clear focus on customers’ needs and requirements. Bertelsmann is reinventing itself, attracting new customer groups and opening new distribution channels – TV content on every available device from TV sets to smartphones to tablets, e-books and author portals, apps and platforms tying in to established magazines, online education, and digital services. The transformation to digital is a long-term endeavor that is of great importance to the company’s future.
In recent years, Bertelsmann has systematically broadened its business activities and invested in fast-growing sectors. These include the education business, which is driven by the growing worldwide demand for continuing education and accredited academic degrees. Education is to become a strong, third mainstay of revenues alongside media content and services. Other promising lines of business are the production of video content, the digital activities of RTL Group and Gruner + Jahr, and e-commerce, financial and IT services. A primarily organic expansion of the newly established growth platforms is one of the key priorities in the years ahead.
Bertelsmann is pursuing a targeted expansion in regions where a middle class with ever-increasing purchasing power and affinity for media and education has emerged in recent years. In the Group’s view, these regions primarily include Brazil, China and India. Bertelsmann already has business operations, investment funds and local Corporate Centers in these places, and it intends to further expand this presence in the years ahead. Above all, Bertelsmann will expand its existing businesses and invest in the education and digital-media sectors in these three countries.