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 behaviour, 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, resulting in increased regulatory scrutiny in many countries. Entities face reputational risks from providing access to user data to governments, which may raise concerns that governments may use the data to limit citizens’ freedoms. Entities may also face increased costs of compliance associated with the varying local laws or government demands related to censorship of culturally or politically sensitive material on websites. This issue may affect entity profitability through the loss of users and may influence entity decisions to enter, operate in, or exit specific markets.
Data Security
  • Data Security

    Internet Media & Services entities are targets of growing data security threats from cyber-attacks, which may put customer information and an entity’s own data at risk. Inadequate data security threat prevention, detection and remediation may influence customer acquisition and retention and result in decreased market share or lower demand for the entity’s products or services. By identifying and addressing data security threats in a timely manner, entities may protect brand value and improve customer acquisition and retention. Furthermore, effective management may avoid significant expenses associated with data breaches, which are most commonly directed at recapturing users following a breach.
Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Employee Recruitment, Inclusion & Performance

    Employees are important contributors to value creation in the Internet Media & Services industry. Recruiting qualified employees to fill these positions may be difficult. A shortage of technically skilled employees can create intense competition to acquire highly skilled employees globally, contributing to high employee turnover rates. Entities offer significant monetary and non-monetary benefits to improve employee engagement, retention and productivity. Initiatives to improve employee engagement and work-life balance might influence the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce. Efforts to recruit and develop globally diverse talent pools may mitigate the talent shortage and improve the value of entity offerings. Greater workforce diversity is important for innovation, and it helps entities understand the needs of a diverse and global customer base.
Competitive Behaviour
  • Intellectual Property Protection & Competitive Behaviour

    Despite the openness of the Internet, entities in the Internet Media & Services industry spend a significant proportion of revenue on intellectual property (IP) protection, including acquiring patents and copyrights. Although IP protection is inherent to some entity business models and an important driver of innovation, entity IP practices may be a contentious social issue. Entities sometimes may acquire patents and other IP protection to restrict competition and innovation, particularly if they are dominant market players. Because of software complexity, its abstract nature, and increasing IP rights protection related to software, Internet Media & Services entities must navigate overlapping patent claims. As a result, entities in the industry with alleged patent violations may be subject to frequent litigation or increased regulatory scrutiny. Adverse legal or regulatory rulings related to antitrust and IP may expose Internet Media & Services entities to costly and lengthy litigations and potential monetary losses as a result. Such rulings also may affect an entity’s market share and pricing power if its patents or dominant position in important markets are challenged legally, with significant financial consequences. Therefore, entities that balance IP protection and its use to spur innovation while ensuring their IP management and other business practices do not unfairly restrict competition may reduce regulatory scrutiny and legal actions while protecting market value.

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Current Industry:
Internet Media & Services
Technology & Communications
Consumer Goods
Extractives & Minerals Processing
Food & Beverage
Health Care
Renewable Resources & Alternative Energy
Resource Transformation

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