The Five Capitals of Media*

Intellectual • Technical • Connective • Creative • Temporal

The Value of Media Brands as Assets

The value of all Media goods and services – whether they be TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, or online and digital – can be calculated according to the five-fold metrics of Media Capital: Intellectual; Technical; Connective; Creative; and Temporal.

For any particular asset case, each of the Capitals is weighted in the equation to a greater or lesser degree, with total Media Capital being a function of all five. The balance sheet is different for different Media: A local newspaper might primarily be a product of Connective and Temporal Capital; a scientific journal may bank on Intellectual and Technical; whereas a cult youth fashion mag invests in Creative.

As the means of delivery and consumption change (say from print to digital, or desktop to mobile) and the audience demographic shifts, the challenge for Media is to add and retain value in an evolving marketplace. Mapping the mix of the Five Media Capitals is fundamental to any strategic assessment and underpins the business plan for a brand.

• Intellectual Capital:
Stock Attributes: Original, conceptual, ideative, discursive, influential;
Sample Goods & Services: White papers, investigative journalism, documentary filmmaking, think pieces, op-ed columns.

• Technical Capital:
Stock Attributes: Robust, detailed, comprehensive, clear, factual;
Sample Goods & Services: Scientific journals, product reviews, cookery programmes, DIY video magazines, ask-the-expert phone-ins.

• Connective Capital:
Stock Attributes: Engaging, interactive, personalised, accessible, social;
Sample Goods & Services: Local papers, content aggregators, blog networks, fanzines, community channels.

• Creative Capital:
Stock Attributes: Innovative, sensory, stylistic, subjective, aesthetic;
Sample Goods & Services: High-fashion magazines, wildlife photojournalism, artisan booklets, custom mobile apps, infographics.

• Temporal Capital:
Stock Attributes: Current, fast, responsive, direct, literal;
Sample Goods & Services: News programmes, political interviews, sports reports, best-practice case studies, celebrity photoshoots.

The same five-way metrics might also readily be applied to the evaluation of such as Events and Awards, especially where they are associated with Media brands. To discuss application in a commercial context, please contact the author.

* The title of these Media metrics references The Five Capitals Model of Sustainable Development originally created by Forum for the Future.

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