After graduating from the University of Nottingham with a degree in Finance, Accounting and Management, I took two gap years where I carried out voluntary work (Citizen’s Advice Bureau), an internship...

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Media & Entertainment Consulting

Making the right moves – quickly

In no other sector is digital disruption having more of an impact than in Media & Entertainment.

For our Media Agency Holding Company (HoCo) clients, some of the key industry themes we are helping them address include:

  • Their clients needing a more joined-up marketing solution offer – with connected creative, media, data and technology capabilities that span multiple agency brands. This is challenging traditional HoCo internal structures & operating models (requiring “de-siloing”, adopting one P&L, new CxO roles, etc).
  • Responding to new competition, particularly from technology services / management consulting companies, which is leading to increased competition for talent as well as work. There is also increased competition from in-house and JV models.
  • The traditional media revenue stream is still important but declining (and supply side income has potential client trust issues), so all companies are striving to work out how and when that will be replaced with other revenue streams.
  • Data & Technology is increasingly key (to Customer Relationship Management, Loyalty, Customer Experience / personalised experience, Commerce, etc) but Creative is also still hugely important – and the sweet spot is the combination of the two: data/tech-driven creative solutions.
  • Reducing cost base through consolidating back office services and technology (e.g. for HR, Finance, Tech Infrastructure) aligned with new operating models driven by the joined-up offer.
  • Inorganic growth (M&A) is still important – but HoCo’s need to improve the joining-up and optimisation of these assets, both pre- and post- earn out.

Our content producer and publisher clients share a similar set of challenges, but some specifics of their drivers for change include:

  • Advertising revenues through traditional channels are dwindling as fragmentation of media changes the landscape, and traditional media ownership models (both physical purchase and digital download) are replaced by subscription and streaming.
  • Challenging or collaborating with the ‘Walled Gardens’ of the big tech companies as Facebook, Google, Apple and others continue to transform both advertising revenue and content consumption models.
  • Quality over quantity. In a world of every increasing volumes of content, publishers need to focus increasingly on building their trusted brand, and investing more selectively in the highest quality, most engaging content that drives brand loyalty. This may take them into non-traditional areas that blur the historic lines between publishing, gaming and technology
  • Customer Experience. Where expectations are high and only growing as Consumers want the super-slick, intuitive and personalised experience of their favourite app or on-line commerce experience to be replicated in all their media and entertainment interaction.
  • Consolidating back office functions and services. As historically highly federated companies become more globalised through shared services, enterprise-wide systems, and group-level functions – to reduce cost and to drive a more integrated and holistic consumer offer despite the change management challenges this may bring.

All of this is causing a greater pace of change in the Media & Entertainment sector than ever before. Digital technology has largely moved from supporting the business to being the business, but the successful organisations are those that can combine this with great innovation, creativity and content expertise. To win in this environment requires a company footprint that keeps your finger on the global pulse and a business operations infrastructure flexible enough to change and adapt quickly to new opportunities and challenges.

Media and entertainment companies are challenged by whether to partner or acquire to gain access to the latest technology and expertise, both for their digital offerings and also for the infrastructure (such as cloud, security and data centres) to support their business operations. Extensive customer insight is the key to optimising content, delivery channels, and advertising revenues, but this requires a much greater focus - and more skills and expertise - in information, analytics and big data than companies have ever needed before.

The only certainty is that nothing is standing still. If you’re in this sector, transformational change is becoming a way of life rather than a oneoff. The challenge is to set direction and deliver more (and more quickly) than ever before; be constantly responsive to change and evolution; but all while maintaining enough consistency to avoid unconstructive churn.

Berkeley can help you succeed with all these challenges and opportunities through consulting services in the areas of:

Strategy – helping you set direction for the overall business, or for a specific function, or for a specific big decision. In this disrupted sector there are few advisors that can tell the agencies, producers and publishers what their strategy should be, so Berkeley can help you through a rigorous and data-driven approach that leverages the best of your own leaders and insights as well as injecting our expertise.

Operating Model – helping you understand the best target state for your capabilities, processes, people, organisation structure, governance, technology and data to all work together optimally in future to achieve your business strategy.

Transformation Leadership – managing complex programmes and portfolios of change in any of the areas above, be they primarily concerned with business change or technology change or both. We can help you define, mobilise, select the right suppliers and deliver as needed.

Digital Transformation – helping you harness technology to drive value in this much faster, tech-savvy and data-rich world, whether that is in innovative approaches to engage with your customers and consumers, or a fundamentally new mind-set and culture.

Data and Analytics – helping you with the data strategy, technology and operating model to really drive business value from information, and help you turn your organisation into a fundamentally data-led business.

Change Management – good change management is fundamental to any transformation, and involves a clear, well-articulated vision, a compelling business case, committed leadership, well-informed and involved stakeholders and an organisation ready and willing to make the change. Drawing on our experience and applying our distinctive approach to change management, we can help you realise the true business benefits of a transformation.

How we can help

We have helped our clients in all the areas of industry challenge and change discussed above. Our work spans top-level, front-office business operating model design working directly with the exec team to large scale back office transformation.

It’s about doing it fast and doing it right, which suits us down to the ground. With our ‘low volume, high value’ model, we won’t overwhelm with large teams or take months to produce results. Typically only using one or two highly experienced and high calibre people, we can setup, assess or turn around major programmes in weeks, or help you cut through to a core strategy in a matter of days. Above all, this is about sound judgement – doing enough analysis and drawing on our experience to help our clients make a confident call on what’s right for them.

We work as close knit part of your team, doing the work ‘with you, not to you’, and getting to results that have real ownership and buy-in.

Our Experience

We have worked on a number of key projects in the Media & Entertainment Sector. Here are just a few examples:

We helped a leading Media Agency Holding Company - which was making an acquisition on average once every 2 weeks develop a Global M&A Playbook for technology to bring a well-developed, repeatable process, approach and ways of working to each acquisition from first due diligence to final acquisition integration.

“Berkeley's expertise in creating the M&A playbook from scratch while collecting input from all areas of Technology was extremely helpful to my team. It was also extremely gracefully transitioned to BAU in a way that I haven't seen other consulting firms do”.
CIO Global Operations

We helped a leading global media conglomerate understand if - and how - they should bring together a finance shared service and a single finance IT platform across their 3 key publishing business units in the UK, USA and Australia. This Finance Platforms and Shared Services Assessment defined the future landscape and the business case for such a transformation allowing the CFO’s and CTO’s of each business, and at group level, make an informed decision about how to move forward.

We helped a major, global publishing and financial information firm (based in New York) define and mobilise their Finance Transformation. We worked with them to define a clear and aligned view of the Current State of their finance process and systems landscape (including all pain points and opportunities), a Target Future State, and a business case and roadmap to move between the two.  We then went on to help them mobilise the programme to deliver this change.

“Their professionalism was top notch … I've gone through a number of these types of projects in my career and this one superseded all. High calibre people with the experience and intelligence to get to the crux of the issue”.
VP Support Services (Finance & IT)

We were further engaged by the same company to help them work out their strategy for Customer Billing systems – made very complex by the fact they offer both physical and digital products and services; on both a purchase and subscription basis; with both Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer lines of business.

“Berkeley were able to effectively navigate complex subject matter and align varied and disparate stakeholders into a cohesive and clear plan. The calibre and capability of Berkeley staff remains consistently high. We need more thought leadership like this!”
Director of Finance Technology

We helped a marketing implementation services company, part of a major global media group, deliver a new Cloud-based media asset management, collaboration and workflow platform to one of the world’s largest financial services organisations.

“The main benefit for me was in getting control of a project that (initially) had no clear scope, governance, timing, budget or plan. A highly successful engagement and one that sets a clear model, and standard, for how we run projects in the future”.
Chief Technology Officer

When two major, global media and telecommunications companies (based in the US) merged together, they needed to form a global HR Operations function (enabled by a single, aligned HR IT platform), establish new payroll and benefits plans, set up new legal entities and transition 2500+ employees in 32 countries to these services. Berkeley took overall programme leadership, and also led the Change Management work-stream. The programme successfully transitioned all countries on time, and we delivered an additional $0.5m savings by renegotiating contract end dates with a number of 3rd parties.

We helped one of the world’s largest, multinational mass media companies when it acquired a 130-year old magazine publisher, and they needed to quickly bring the acquisition onto one, consistent, Cloud-based Finance and HR platform.

We helped one of world’s most successful Premiership Football Clubs select and implement a new, Cloud-based ticketing platform with a much improved digital consumer experience, and allowing much better integration with the rest of the Club’s systems and offerings. In the face of an immovable start-of-season implementation deadline, the new solution went live on time and on budget with strongly positive fan feedback. We also went on to help the same Club refresh their technology and service provider strategy specifically for retail merchandise sales.

“Berkeley set up a well structured, well run project that delivered on-time and on-budget in a challenging and stretching context, building bridges between the business and IT. In the retail strategy piece they brought strong domain expertise and produced fantastic quality output that met the brief perfectly. This was a clear case of 'as good you as you could hope it to be.”
Chief Technology Officer

We set up and then ran the overall Transformation Programme Office for the Operational Excellence programme of a top 5, global media agency holding company.  This programme consolidated and streamlined all of their back-office (i.e. Finance, HR, IT, Operations) transformation programmes into one portfolio with consistent a consistent programme operating model. This gave executive visibility and management of structure, governance, resourcing, change management, investment management and integrated planning.

At another top 5, global media agency holding company we led the global technology infrastructure consolidation programme which was driving a much greater level of information security, as well as cost efficiency through data centre consolidation and Cloud transformation.

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Media & Entertainment Consulting

The pace of change in Media and Entertainment is breath taking – which brings both challenge and opportunity. Fragmentation of media continues to change the landscape fundamentally: in the USA just 5 years ago the biggest TV shows would reach around 15% of households, but the top show of 2016 reached just 5%. Nowhere is the digital transformation having more impact – and it’s causing fundamental change not only to products and services, but also to payment models and back office functions. With our deep experience of transforming the Media and Entertainment sector, we can help you set the strategy and deliver the change you need to succeed.

Jon Bradbury

Jon Bradbury

Contact Jon Bradbury