The datafication of Public Service Media

Dreams, Dilemmas and Practical Problems A Case Study of the Implementation of Personalized Recommendations at the Danish Public Service Media ‘DR’

  • Jannick Kirk Sørensen center for Communication, Media and Information technologies (CMI), Inst. f. Elektroniske Systemer, Aalborg Universitet, København
Keywords: public service media, personalization, algorithmic recommendation, Video on Demand, public service broadcasting


Historically, public service broadcasting had no quantifiable knowledge about audiences, nor a great interest in knowing them. Today, the competitive logic of the media markets encourage public service media (PSM) organizations to increase datafication. In this paper we examine how a PSM organization interprets the classic public service obligations of creating societal cohesion and diversity in the new world of key performance indicators, business rules and algorithmic parameters.
The paper presents a case study of the implementation of a personalization system for the video on demand service of the Danish PSM ‘DR’. Our empirical findings, based on longitudinal in-depth interviewing, indicate a long and difficult process of datafication of PSM, shaped by both the organizational path dependencies of broadcasting production and the expectations of public service broadcasting.

Author Biography

Jannick Kirk Sørensen, center for Communication, Media and Information technologies (CMI), Inst. f. Elektroniske Systemer, Aalborg Universitet, København
Assistant Professor, PhD M.A.


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How to Cite
Sørensen, J. K. (2020). The datafication of Public Service Media. MedieKultur: Journal of Media and Communication Research, 36(69), 090-115.