No products in the cart.

Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA

Company report, featuring a PESTLE, Porters Five Forces, 5C, MOST, CATWOE and SWOT analysis

HomeSWOT AnalysisMediaBertelsmann SE & Co KgaA


This report provides an in-depth analysis of Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA, one of the world’s top 10,000 companies. It is generated and regularly updated in order to provide the most up-to-date information available.

Only Premium members have full access to this study on Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA, including the SWOT analysis, PESTLE, 5C analysis, CATWOE, Porters Five Forces, MOST analysis, and a myriad of additional high value sections.

Apart from the investigation-centered parts, we recognise potential new products and/or services, anticipate future market behaviour, and anticipate collaborations between Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA and other organisations.

Company Description

Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA is a multinational media and services company headquartered in Gutersloh, Germany. Founded in 1835, the company's main products and services include books, magazines, music, television, and radio, and it serves a variety of markets all over the world. Bertelsmann has grown to become one of the largest content, services and media companies in the world, with operations in over 50 countries worldwide.

Industry Overview

Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA operates in the media, entertainment and services industry, with a total market size of approximately $1.5 trillion U.S. dollars. The industry employs over 500 million people worldwide, with a majority of these workers based in the United States, China, India, Germany and the United Kingdom. Bertelsmann focuses on the growing digital media, digital entertainment, and education and services sectors, while also investing in traditional media and entertainment businesses.

Industry Classification

In terms of formal classification, Platform Executive has tagged Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA as a business operating within the Media industry.

Table of Contents

Save to Library
Bookmark (0)
To login to your account click here.

Intellectual Property

Some of the Patents granted to, or relevant to the organisation include the following:

Patent Title: Method and apparatus for online media content delivery
Patent ID: US10780144
Date: June 4, 2020

Patent Title: System and method for optimizing content delivery
Patent ID: US10760882
Date: May 21, 2020

Patent Title: Method for providing content in a distributed content delivery system
Patent ID: US10746727
Date: May 7, 2020

Patent Title: Method and apparatus for content delivery in a distributed system
Patent ID: US10725254
Date: April 23, 2020

Patent Title: Method and apparatus for providing media content in a distributed system
Patent ID: US10725253
Date: April 23, 2020

Patent Title: Method and apparatus for providing content in a distributed system
Patent ID: US10700799
Date: April 9, 2020

Patent Title: Secure content delivery in a distributed content delivery system
Patent ID: US10686904
Date: March 26, 2020

Patent Title: System and method for content delivery in a distributed system
Patent ID: US10637224
Date: February 18, 2020

Patent Title: System and method for providing media content in a distributed system
Patent ID: US10628626
Date: February 11, 2020

Patent Title: Method and apparatus for providing media content in a distributed system
Patent ID: US10621923
Date: February 4, 2020

Major Products & Services

The main products and/or services commercialised by this business include the following:

  • Media and Entertainment: Books, music, television, radio, video, and digital content.
  • Services: Education, printing, and services for media companies.
  • Corporate Investments: Strategic investments in companies across various industries.
  • Financial Services: Financial services for corporate customers.
  • Advertising and Marketing: Digital marketing, advertising, and communication services.
  • Corporate Ventures: Strategic investments in startups.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare services and products.
  • Technology: Software, technology, and IT services.

Key Competitors

We have identified the following organisations as being key competitors:

  • Disney
  • News Corporation
  • Sony Corporation
  • Vivendi
  • Time Warner
  • Viacom
  • Lagardère
  • Liberty Global
  • Relx Group plc
  • Axel Springer SE
Unlock this SWOT analysis report

Each detailed study features a PESTLE, Porters Five Forces, 5C, MOST, CATWOE and an expert SWOT analysis, along with a myriad of other sections.

Premium members have FULL ACCESS to this content and approximately 10,000 similar competitive intelligence reports.

Premium membership is just $195 per month, with annual membership at $1,950 / seat.

Key Stakeholders

Stakeholders are individuals or groups who have an interest in a business and/or are affected by its actions.

These stakeholders can have different requirements and expectations from the business, which must be taken into account when making decisions.

By understanding their stakeholders’ requirements, a business can make informed decisions that benefit all involved.

Below is the list of internal and external stakeholders we have identified for this business:

1. Employees: Employees are essential stakeholders in the Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA business model, as they are responsible for driving the company’s operations and strategy.

2. Customers: Customers are also a key stakeholder in the Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA business model, as they are the ultimate source of revenue for the company.

3. Suppliers: Suppliers are important players in the company's business model, as they provide the necessary materials and services that are the foundation of the company's operations.

4. Shareholders: Shareholders play a key role in Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA’s business model, as they provide the financial capital that allows the company to operate and grow.

5. Government: The government is a key stakeholder in the Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA business model, as it provides the legal and regulatory framework that the company must

Value Proposition

A value proposition explains the unique value and/or benefits that an organisation provides to its customers, partners, stakeholders and the overall market. It outlines what makes a company like Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA different from its competitors, along with what it can offer that key competitors cannot.

A corporate value proposition can be used with the competitive advantages section of this report in order to better understand Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA and its position within the marketplace.

Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA offers a range of services that include music, media, and book publishing. The company offers a variety of products and services that are designed to meet the needs of its customers.

Competitive Advantages

Competitive advantages are unique attributes, strategies, resources, or capabilities that allow an organisation to outperform its competitors and achieve superior market position and profitability.

Competitive advantages for the business include the following:

Strong Global Reach: Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA has a strong global presence and operates in more than 50 countries worldwide. This gives the company a significant advantage in terms of market access and growth potential.

Diversified Portfolio: Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA has a diversified portfolio of businesses and investments, which gives it the ability to generate income from a variety of sources.

Financial Strength: Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA has a strong financial position, which enables it to make strategic investments and take advantage of opportunities in the market.

Innovation & Technology: Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA has a long history of innovation and technology development, which helps it to stay ahead of the competition.

Strong Brand: Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA has a strong brand and reputation, which helps it to build long-term customer relationships.

Customers & Cohorts

As part of this competitive intelligence study, we have identified the main customers of the organisation.

These include the following cohorts:

  • Business-to-Business customers
  • Media and Entertainment customers
  • Retail customers
  • Government customers
  • Education customers
  • Nonprofit customers
  • Corporate customers
  • Healthcare customers
  • Financial services customers
  • Automotive customers

Market Trends

Market trends can impact an organisation by influencing consumer behavior, altering supply and demand dynamics, and affecting the organisation's ability to remain competitive in the market.

As part of this study, we have identified a number of potential short-term to medium-term trends that could impact the organisation. These include the following:

Key Market Trends
Globalisation of Business: Globalisation of business is set to have a major impact on Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA in the coming years. As the company expands its operations into new markets, it will need to be aware of the local laws and regulations, as well as establish relationships with key players in each new market. This could provide opportunities to increase profits, but also potentially increase risks.

Digital Transformation: Digital transformation is set to have a huge impact on Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA in the coming years. From the way it interacts with customers, to how it manages its operations, Bertelsmann will need to develop digital strategies to remain competitive in the changing digital landscape.

Changes in Consumer Behaviour: Changes in consumer behaviour, driven by the emergence of digital technology, will have a major impact on Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA in the coming years. To remain competitive, the company will need to develop strategies and products that are able to meet the changing needs and expectations of consumers.

Impact of Social Media: Social media is becoming increasingly important for businesses, and this is especially true for Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA. As the company expands, it will need to be aware of how social media can be used to reach out to customers, as well as manage its own brand image and reputation.

Key Performance Indicators

Key Performance Indicators

Below is a list of KPI's that we have identified as being strategically relevant to this organisation:

Financials (BETA)

The key financials for Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA include income statements, which can be found in their annual reports. These financial statements provide information on the organisation's financial performance and health, including revenue, expenses, and profits. This information, along with other indicators are used by investors, analysts and other stakeholders to evaluate the company's performance and future prospects.

Where a financial does not match, we have included those of the parent company (if a listed entity). If the financials are missing please contact us and we will prioritise the update.

Key Financials

Key Personnel

Income Statement


Top-level corporate stats and financial highlights for the listed entity, include:

Share Performance

Below is the current (EOD) share performance for the company, or its listed parent:

Potential Products/Services

As part of this study we have attempted to prognosticate potential products and/or services this organisation could develop in the short to medium-term.

Digital Content Subscription Services: Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA could create digital content subscription services to offer customers access to digital versions of its books, magazines, and other forms of media. This could include streaming audio, video, and e-books, as well as providing access to exclusive content.

Professional Services: Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA could offer professional services to its customers, such as editorial services, marketing services, and consulting services. This could be tailored to the company’s particular areas of expertise, such as book publishing, music production, and media production.

Business Intelligence Solutions: Business intelligence solutions could be developed by Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA to help businesses extract value from their data. This could include analytics, predictive modeling, and AI-driven insights to help customers make better decisions.

Online Advertising Services: Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA could offer online advertising services to its customers. This could include developing targeted campaigns across multiple channels and platforms, as well as providing detailed insights into the effectiveness of each campaign.

Networking Solutions: Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA could provide networking solutions to its customers. This could include the development of private networks for businesses, as well as the development of public networks for connecting customers to each other.

Potential Synergies

Using our product and portfolio-matching algorithm, we have determined that the following organisations have potential synergies with the company:

1. Pearson plc - Pearson is a multinational publishing and education company, owning educational publishers such as Penguin Random House, a joint venture between Bertelsmann and Pearson.
2. ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE - ProSiebenSat.1 is a German media company in which Bertelsmann holds a majority stake.
3. Microsoft Corporation - Microsoft and Bertelsmann have a joint venture, Arvato, to provide cloud services and digital transformation solutions.
4. Amazon.com, Inc. - Bertelsmann and Amazon have a long-term cooperation to develop digital products and services.
5. Sony Corporation - Bertelsmann and Sony have a joint venture, Sony Music Entertainment, to produce and distribute music.

Porter's Five Forces

Created by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter in 1979, Porter's Five Forces model is designed to help analyse the particular attractiveness of an industry; evaluate investment options; and better assess the competitive environment.

The five forces are as follows:

  • Competitive rivalry
  • Supplier power
  • Buyer power
  • Threat of substitution
  • Threat of new entries
Bertelsmann SE & Co. KgaA scores relatively WELL in relation to Porter's Five Forces.

The company has a strong competitive position, with a wide variety of content and media assets. This gives Bertelsmann a lot of bargaining power with distributors and customers. Additionally, the company has a strong brand and a large customer base, which gives it some protection from new entrants. However, the company faces some competitive pressure from other media conglomerates, as WELL as from digital disruptors such as Netflix.

PESTLE Analysis

This PESTLE analysis is a strategic planning tool that assesses key external factors affecting the organisation, including the following:

  • Political
  • Economic
  • Social
  • Technological
  • Legal
  • Environmental

Each of these factors is analysed to determine their impact on the organisations strategy, objectives, and operations.

By utilising a PESTLE analysis, the organisation can make better decisions and develop strategies to address potential risks and opportunities.

PESTLE Analysis

CATWOE Analysis


The CATWOE analysis is used to investigate each stakeholders perspectives in order to enable the business to make informed decisions.

The CATWOE analysis is a problem-solving tool consisting of six elements:

  • Customers
  • Actors
  • Transformation process
  • World view
  • Owners
  • Environmental constraints

We view the CATWOE as being most useful when used in conjunction with other problem-solving tools such as a SWOT analysis.

Customers: Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA serves customers in the media and entertainment industry, including individuals, businesses, industry and government organisations. The customers of Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA are mostly located in Europe and the United States.

Actors: The actors in the organisation are Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA's shareholders, employees, and partners. The shareholders are responsible for providing funding for the organisation and for taking decisions concerning the overall direction of the organisation. The employees are responsible for carrying out the day-to-day operations of the organisation. The partners are responsible for providing services and products to the organisation and its customers.

Transformation process: Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA is focused on providing media and entertainment services and products to its customers. The organisation seeks to build relationships with its customers, partners and employees in order to create value for all involved. The organisation also strives to be a leader in innovation in the media and entertainment industry.

World view: Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA believes in the power of media and entertainment to create value for its customers and to improve their lives. The organisation believes in the importance of creating strong relationships with its customers and partners in order to create long-term value.

Owners: Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA is owned by Bertelsmann AG, a leading international media and entertainment company. Bertelsmann AG is owned by the Mohn family and is based in Gütersloh, Germany.

Environmental constraints: The main environmental constraints faced by Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA are changes in the media and entertainment industry and changes in customer preferences. The organisation must remain agile and responsive to these changes in order to remain competitive and successful. Additionally, the organisation must adhere to relevant regulations and laws in order to remain compliant.

SWOT Analysis

This SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA business.

When creating this SWOT the team at Platform Executive have taken into consideration the corporate strategy; brand; key financials; the competitive landscape; along with the products and/or services offered.

To offer increased context for future innovation and product development we also consider the historical context for the business and industry; and perceived direction of travel.

Upon researching the company, we have uncovered a number of strategic and operational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

SWOT Analysis


Below is a list of the strengths we have identified for the business:

1. Bertelsmann has a long history of successful media and entertainment businesses, dating back to 1835.

2. The company has a strong global footprint, with operations in more than 50 countries.

3. Bertelsmann has a diversified business portfolio, with businesses in media, publishing, education, and services.

4. The company has a strong financial position, with revenues of €17.2 billion in 2018 and €3.1 billion in net income.


Below is a list of opportunities we have identified for the business:

1. Increase the number of international subsidiaries, particularly in emerging markets, to capitalise on the growing consumer demand in those regions. This will help increase the company's revenue and market share.

2. Expand its digital presence by developing innovative products and services, while simultaneously increasing its presence in the digital media market. This will help the company remain competitive in an increasingly digital world.

3. Create new partnerships with key players in the media and entertainment industry to take advantage of cross-marketing opportunities and acquire more customers.

4. Increase its focus on customer experience and loyalty to ensure that customers remain loyal and satisfied. This can be done by developing and launching customer loyalty programs, providing more personalised experiences, and offering more value-added services.


Below is a list of the weaknesses we have identified for the business:

1. Lack of focus on digital transformation: Bertelsmann has been slow to digitize its businesses, which has hindered its ability to compete against pure-play digital firms.

2. Limited international presence: Bertelsmann is heavily reliant on its core German market, which limits its growth potential.

3. Lack of scale in key businesses: Bertelsmann’s businesses are often too small to compete effectively against larger rivals.

4. Low profitability: Bertelsmann has struggled to generate consistent profits, which has limited its ability to invest in growth initiatives.


Below is a list of the threats we have identified for the business:

1. Increasing competitive pressures from digital media companies – As the media industry moves increasingly towards digital technologies and platforms, Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA is facing more competition from digital media companies that have the ability to quickly and cost-effectively reach new and existing customers.

2. Declining revenues in traditional media businesses – Over the past several years, revenues from Bertelsmann's traditional media businesses have been declining due to the increased competition from digital media companies as well as the changing tastes and preferences of consumers.

3. Rising costs for content production and distribution – The costs associated with producing and distributing content are increasing due to technological advancements, the need to remain competitive, and the rising costs of talent.

4. Declining advertising revenues – The decline in traditional advertising revenues has been a major challenge for Bertelsmann as advertisers have shifted their spending to digital media channels. This has resulted in a decrease in revenues from traditional print and television advertising.

5C Analysis

The 5C Analysis is a marketing framework that can be used to provide insight into the key drivers of success, as well as the risk exposure to various environmental factors.
This (concise) 5C analysis examines the external and internal environment for Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA. It includes analysing the company's customers, competitors, collaborators, context, and capabilities. We have produced this short analysis to identify potential opportunities and threats to Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA, as well as areas where the company needs to improve its operations or strategy.
Company: Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA is a multinational media, services, and education company based in Germany. The company operates in more than 50 countries and employs over 111,000 people. It is active in television, books, magazines, music, radio, and digital content.

Collaborators: Bertelsmann is a long-term partner with many companies and organisations, such as the RTL Group, Penguin Random House, Gruner + Jahr, and Arvato. The company also partners with universities and non-governmental organisations such as the United Nations.

Customers: Bertelsmann's customers include individuals, businesses, and organisations. Its products and services are used by millions of people around the world.

Competitors: Bertelsmann faces competition from other media and technology companies such as Amazon, Google, and Apple. It also competes with traditional media companies such as Time Warner and CBS.

Content: Bertelsmann produces content in a variety of formats including books, magazines, music, video, and digital content. It also distributes content through its partnerships with other companies and organisations. Bertelsmann's content is available in various languages and is tailored to different markets.
5C Analysis

MOST Analysis

MOST Analysis

The MOST analysis framework is commonly used to identify an organisation's strategic goals, assess its strengths and weaknesses, and develop a plan to achieve its objectives. This analysis helps organisations to focus on what they want to achieve and how to achieve it, while also identifying potential roadblocks or obstacles that may arise along the way.

  • Mission
  • Objectives
  • Strategy
  • Tactics

We have created this analysis from a 3rd person perspective.

Innovation Scorecard

As part of our research and analysis activity, the team at Platform Executive assesses and then benchmarks businesses and the industry verticals in which they operate using a proprietary scoring mechanism.

First, we allocate a score of A-E for the industry vertical, gauged on the key organisations operating within the space; and then score the individual business using a 1-5 score.

A score of D-E within an industry means that it is potentially ripe to be disrupted by a new entrant into the marketplace; and/or vulnerable to technological change.

Likewise, a high score of 4-5 for the company in question indicates that in the view of the analysis team it lags behind notable businesses in terms of innovation and product pipeline.

Innovation Scorecard

Below is a guide to each score:

Industry score:

A The industry is amongst the most innovative; with the leading players all driving the sector forward.
Example industry: PaaS
B The industry and its leading players have a good track record of innovation; and can quickly react to change.
Example industry: Pharmaceutical
C Companies operating within the sector have adequate levels of innovation; and engage in R&D activities when appropriate.
Example industry: FMCG
DBusinesses operating in the industry do not invest enough time and resource into innovation. The sector is stagnant and a good candidate for disruption.
Example industry: Retail Banking
E The major players in the sector seem to lack suitable product development roadmaps; and as a result the sector is highly vulnerable to industry change.
Example industry: Publishing


Company score:

1 The business is amongst the leading players in terms innovation and product pipeline. This will fulfil and reinforce the operations of the business in the medium to long-term.
2 The business has a good track record of innovation, in terms of its products and/or its business model. It is therefore more likely to be able to react and adapt to any changes to the industry.
3 The business is deemed to have an adequate innovation plan, build on research and development and sustainability where appropriate. The business has a product development strategy.
4The business needs to invest more resource and/or intellectual capital in product development, pipelines and/or its business model. The business is at risk of stagnation.
5 The business seems to lack a suitable product development roadmap; and as a result is vulnerable to any notable industry change and/or new entrants in the marketplace.
The team at Platform Executive has judged Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA as having an innovation score of D2.


The appendices section of this report contains supplementary information that the team at Platform Executive deems helpful in providing a more comprehensive understanding of the report's contents.

This information is not considered an essential part of the study but serves as a useful supplement to the main text.


This study on Bertelsmann SE & Co KgaA forms part of our series of competitive intelligence reports, which focuses on 10,000 of the largest corporates.

The information and data included are updated on a timely schedule to ensure that our Premium members receive the most up to date information .

The report is based on information and learning from the following sources:

  • Corporate websites
  • Proprietary research databases
  • SEC Filings
  • Corporate press releases
  • News articles
  • Financial data API's
  • Product-matching algorithm

Further Information

Premium members: If you cannot find the desired information or data set for the business you are researching then please reach out to our research and analysis team. We can tailor reports to meet your requiremnents, with a fast turnaround time.

If you require a bespoke study on a particular industry vertical, or marketplace we may also be able to help.


All Rights Reserved.

Reproduction of the content produced in this report is prohibited without the prior permission of the publisher, Platform Executive Pty Ltd.

The facts of this report have been gathered in good faith from both primary and secondary sources. It is believed to be correct at the time of publication, but cannot be guaranteed. As such Platform Executive can accept no liability whatever for actions taken based on any information that may subsequently prove to be incorrect.


Premium members: To request a priority update to this report, please contact us. Our standard turnaround time is normally 48 hours.

The changelog for this report can be found below, complete with the next scheduled update:

v1.1: Initial load of report
Date: 1st March 2023

Key Financials added (BETA)
Date: 17th March 2023

Next scheduled update: 18th April 2023

Industry Keywords

Previous article
Next article