“We need to stay relevant in the daily lives of our readers, viewers and listeners”

“Is there a


 for success?”

Just when we thought we could start enjoying our freedom again as the pandemic began to taper off, the world was faced with a horrific war. A war with far-reaching economic consequences, demanding skilful navigation and financial discipline from our company. Still, we will continue to chart our own course: our main strategic priority is a digital transformation with lasting success.

Christian Van Thillo (61)

Executive chairman dpg media

So how do we achieve that? First and foremost, we want to develop best-in-class digital journalism and entertainment, available on the most user-friendly platforms. But finding a futureproof business model is just as essential.

And the search can be challenging. Not long ago, everyone thought that living in a digital world meant that content had to be free for end users. Business models relied solely on ad revenue. Now that these models have proved inadequate, the new consensus seems to be that paid content is the way of the future, either with or without ads. DPG Media has always been fully committed to developing a business model based on subscriptions as well as advertising, and this will not change.

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster, but we’ve learned that media companies like ours need to search for a business model that best fi ts their portfolio and the market. That search is far from over, and perhaps it never will be. Because the way we consume media is constantly changing.


This once again shows just how young the digital revolution still is. There’s no magic formula for success. Moving from a traditional model to the model of the future requires a complex mix of many different elements. And each of these elements needs to be optimised.

That’s why DPG Media is investing in all kinds of new skills, from excellent data analysis to the art of writing an attention-grabbing push notification. Our editorial, marketing, product and IT departments, which previously operated independently, must come together to deliver the best user experience within the confines of a smartphone screen. This will be a process of trial and error in which we consistently focus on user needs, while also relying on our creativity to be truly innovative.

The model of the future is a complex mix of many different elements


What really matters – content-wise and businesswise – is the value of our digital products, our digital journalism and our entertainment. If we manage to raise that value, digital subscriptions will become a solid new base for our media brands.

And fortunately, we see plenty of opportunities to do just that, with journalism and programming that truly captivate readers and viewers, new narrative forms combining text and visual elements, more appealing design s and a more pleasant user experience. Perhaps we can make journalism and entertainment better than they’ve ever been before. As a publisher, I’ve always found it a privilege to brainstorm with our chief editors and programme directors on how to become even more successful with our audiences. In the digital era we live in, I believe this is more important than ever before.


Continuous improvement isn’t a luxury, but rather a necessity, as we need to stay relevant in the daily lives of our readers, viewers and listeners. To do so, we need to become a digital companion – the same companion we’ve always been in print, linear television and radio. A North Star you can look for when you need it, which makes you feel informed and supported. A safe haven that evokes a sense of belonging. How do we create stronger brand identities in the digital space? This is something that’s very much on our minds at the moment.

We want to off er all our customers the highest possible quality. That’s not just our readers, viewers and listeners, but also our advertisers and all the people who use our digital service platforms. We are investing in continuous improvement of all of our activities, based on the realisation that there’s still so much to be gained.

Media makers

This requires creativity, the drive to innovate, expertise and teamwork. DPG Media employs 6,000 people who, in a way, are all media makers. We all help shape the media of the future, day by day. We do so with a long-term vision, passion and an unwavering belief that people with talent and ambition can achieve wonderful things together. For all those people, DPG Media aims to be a warm and inspiring home.

In this annual report, we want to introduce you to our company, our media brands and the employees who run and inspire them. Hopefully, it will help you understand what we do, why we do it and the spirit we do it in.