IFRS Foundation

Internet Media & Services

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Current language: English
The Internet Media & Services industry consists of two main segments. Entities in the Internet Media segment provide search engines and internet advertising channels, online gaming, and online communities such as social networks, as well as content, which is usually easily searchable, such as educational, medical, health, sports or news content. Entities in the internet-based Services segment sell services mainly through the internet. The industry generates revenue primarily from online advertising, usually on free content, with other revenue sources being subscription fees, content sales or the sale of user information to third parties.

Relevant Issues (5 of 26)

Why are some issues greyed out? The SASB Standards vary by industry based on the different sustainability-related risks and opportunities within an industry. The issues in grey were not identified during the standard-setting process as the most likely to be useful to investors, so they are not included in the Standard. Over time, as the ISSB continues to receive market feedback, some issues may be added or removed from the Standard. Each company determines which sustainability-related risks and opportunities are relevant to its business. The Standard is designed for the typical company in an industry, but individual companies may choose to report on different sustainability-related risks and opportunities based on their unique business model.

Disclosure Topics

What is the relationship between General Issue Category and Disclosure Topics? The General Issue Category is an industry-agnostic version of the Disclosure Topics that appear in each SASB Standard. Disclosure topics represent the industry-specific impacts of General Issue Categories. The industry-specific Disclosure Topics ensure each SASB Standard is tailored to the industry, while the General Issue Categories enable comparability across industries. For example, Health & Nutrition is a disclosure topic in the Non-Alcoholic Beverages industry, representing an industry-specific measure of the general issue of Customer Welfare. The issue of Customer Welfare, however, manifests as the Counterfeit Drugs disclosure topic in the Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals industry.
General Issue Category
(Industry agnostic)

Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for: Internet Media & Services

Energy Management
  • Environmental Footprint of Hardware Infrastructure

    With the Internet & Media Services industry providing a growing amount of content and service offerings, entities in this industry increasingly own, operate or rent more data centres and other hardware. Thus, managing the energy and water use associated with IT hardware infrastructure is relevant to value creation. Data centres must be powered continuously. Energy supply disruptions may have a material impact on operations depending on the disruption magnitude and timing. Entities face a trade-off between energy and water consumption because of data centre cooling needs. Cooling data centres with water instead of chillers improves energy efficiency, but this method may create dependence on significant local water resources. Data centre specification decisions are important for managing costs, obtaining a reliable energy and water supply, and reducing reputational risks, particularly with the increasing global regulatory focus on climate change and the opportunities arising from energy efficiency and renewable energy innovations.
Customer Privacy
  • Data Privacy, Advertising Standards & Freedom of Expression

    Entities in the Internet & Media Services industry rely on customer data to innovate new tools and services, generate revenues through advertising sales, and track and prevent criminal activities, such as hacking and online predators targeting children. However, the use and storage of a wide range of customer data, such as personal, demographic, content, and behavioural data, raises privacy concerns, leading to increased regulatory scrutiny in many countries around the world. Entities face reputational risks from providing access to user data to governments, which raises concerns that the data may be used to limit the freedoms of citizens. This issue has impacts on entity profitability through the loss of users and can influence decisions to enter or operate in certain markets.
Data Security
  • Data Security

    Entities in the Internet Media & Services industry are subject to a large and growing number of cyber attacks and social engineering threats, which puts customer information and an entity's own data at risk. Inadequate prevention, detection, and remediation of data security threats can influence customer acquisition and retention and result in decreased market share and lower demand for the entity’s products and/or services. By identifying and addressing data security threats in a timely manner entities can protect brand value and will be better positioned for customer acquisition and retention. Furthermore, effective management can avoid significant expenses associated with data breaches—most commonly directed at recapturing users following a breach.
Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Employee Recruitment, Inclusion & Performance

    Employees are key contributors to value creation in the Internet Media & Services industry. While the number of job openings in the industry continues to grow, entities are finding it difficult to recruit qualified employees to fill these positions. The shortage in technically skilled domestic employees has created intense competition to acquire highly skilled employees, contributing to high employee turnover rates. In response to talent shortages, entities are hiring foreign nationals, which creates risks related to perceived social implications in the host and home countries of workers. Entities offer significant monetary and non-monetary benefits in order to improve employee engagement and, therefore, retention and productivity increase. Initiatives to improve employee engagement and work-life balance might influence the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce. As the industry is characterised by relatively low representation from women and minority groups, efforts to recruit from and develop diverse talent pools can serve to address the talent shortage and generally to improve the value of entity offerings. Greater workforce diversity is important for innovation, and it helps entities understand the needs of their diverse and global customer base.
Competitive Behavior
  • Intellectual Property Protection & Competitive Behaviour

    Despite the openness of the Internet, entities in the Internet Media & Services industry spend a significant proportion of their revenues on intellectual property (IP) protection, including acquiring patents and copyrights. While IP protection is inherent to the business model of some entities in the industry and is an important driver of innovation, the IP practices of entities can be a contentious societal issue. Entities could sometimes acquire patents and other IP protection to restrict competition and access to benefits from innovation, particularly if they are dominant market players. Due to the complexity of software, its abstract nature, and increasing IP rights protection related to software, Internet Media & Services entities have to navigate overlapping patent claims to be able to operate. As a result, entities in the industry may find themselves constantly in litigation or subject to regulatory scrutiny either due to allegations of patent violations if they engage in unethical business practices, or are perceived as doing so, or because they are suing others for IP infringement. Adverse legal or regulatory rulings related to antitrust and IP can expose internet media and services entities to costly and lengthy litigations and potential monetary losses as a result. Such rulings may also affect an entity’s market share and pricing power if its patents or dominant position in key markets are legally challenged, with significant impact on revenue. Therefore, entities that can balance the protection of their IP and its use to spur innovation with ensuring their IP management and other business practices do not unfairly restrict competition, have the potential to lower regulatory scrutiny and legal actions while protecting their market value.

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Current Industry: Internet Media & Services

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Consumer Goods
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Renewable Resources & Alternative Energy
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