Media & Entertainment
3700 employees

SWR and Trensition co-create data-driven trend monitoring for media

Anticipating the future of media.

Media & Entertainment
3700 employees

SWR and Trensition co-created a 100% data-driven trend tracker platform that scouts, analyses and monitors trends aligned with foresight methodologies and tailored to the media sector.


SWR is the second largest public broadcasting corporation in Germany offering radio and television broadcasting services to the southwest of the country. They launched SWR X-LAB, an innovation hub that prepares projects today to be ready for what will come tomorrow. Trensition participates in STADIEM which is where the collaboration with SWR was forged. The project is ongoing as we speak.

Trensition is part of the STADIEM ecosystem. Something to be proud of, knowing that the selection procedure began with 400 promising start-ups and only 4 were selected to implement the pilot phase (following the match, develop and integrate phases).

Image by SWR

Strategic Question

In a fast-changing and complex world, how can new technologies help us unlock undiscovered potential in media?


  • What should you invest in as a media corporation?
  • How do you make smart decisions?
  • Taking into account the biased human cognitive capacities, how do you reduce the risk of making false assumptions?


The media industry as a whole is facing tremendous change. Business as usual is under pressure. Media players who want to retain their relevance in the future need to shift to a user-centric approach. Not an easy task in a sector that used to be in full control and is dominated by a traditional mindset. In order to anticipate user needs, we have to be aware of what is coming at an early stage. Only then are we prepared to act as soon as trends reach their tipping point.

The ambitious media corporation SWR wants to take the lead in defining the future of media. Long term-strategic thinking and innovation is no longer a side project but a priority for C-Level management.

The key challenge is to transition from a reactive approach to a proactive, action-driven strategic planning model to stay ahead of the competition.

To secure their future, SWR wants to ensure that they are looking at the right trends, those with the highest potential and future business impact. Not an easy task given the continuous stream of information and rapid change.

SWR is also aware of the limited and biased nature of human cognitive capacities. That is why they want to enrich human judgement with data-driven insights to back them up and reduce the risk of false assumptions.

This is why SWR is on the market for a trend radar, to spot trends long before they emerge at the surface. Data-driven insights lead to smarter decisions, enabling the media corporation to accelerate the process of adjusting and defining new strategies to meet future customer needs before others do. With more confidence. Both in the short and the long term.


SWR looks ahead at what the world will be like in 2030.

Various expert and stakeholder interviews led to several detailed scenarios based on 12 industry-specific trends:

  1. Polarisation: a culture war is increasingly shaping identity
  2. New bonfires: the nation no longer gathers in front of the TV, many new communities emerge
  3. Media exhaustion: a constant sense of being overwhelmed leads to withdrawal
  4. City vs. countryside: rural areas want to get back into the limelight
  5. Metaverse: current developments are combining to become the successor to today’s internet
  6. Complex identities: increasingly diverse identities and perceptions of society’s composition
  7. Streaming wars: the number of providers is stagnating, only the best will survive
  8. Diffusion of media use: due to the exploding range of content, formats and devices
  9. Synthetic media: AI technologies change media production processes and narrative formats
  10. Planet-centric media: the climate crisis fuels media focus on the planet and its survival
  11. Tech regulation: (Big) tech is about to be heavily regulated both in the US and the EU
  12. Decentralised infrastructure: Web3 has emerged, Fediverse is also getting more attention

Initially, this analysis relied on human expertise and judgement alone. But during the cross-border mediatech incubation and acceleration program STADIEM (Start-up Driven Innovation in European Media), Trensition proved the perfect partner for SWR to realise their ambition of improving their trend-tracking and scenario-planning process by infusing it with data-driven intelligence.

SWR serves a specific region, the southwest of Germany, and specialises in public broadcasting; important aspects that were taken into account in preparing a progressive, bespoke solution to help SWR set their strategic direction.

An intense co-creation project within the STADIEM ecosystem allowed SWR to tailor and scope Trensition’s innovative Trendtracker platform from the start. This resulted in a media-specific trend radar completely tailored to their needs.


Trendtracker, Trensition’s unique AI-driven strategic intelligence platform, allows SWR to augment human skills with AI-driven technology to ensure focus on relevant topics impacting their business. SWR uses the platform to track the evolution of trends identified at an earlier stage as decisive in their scenario planning.

With Trendtracker, SWR is shifting from scenario planning to a scenario-tracking approach, serving C-Level management with metrics to define SWR’s long-term strategy.

The user-friendly Trendtracker features offer quick and tailored insights and suggest strategic actions to anticipate change efficiently and accurately both in the short and the long term. The result? Innovation projects are now initiated with more confidence. SWR leads the way with a completely new way of business modelling and product development.

Other media players in Germany have expressed interest in knowledge sharing and the added value of Trendtracker. A broader collaboration can be established at the European level between various media players seeking synergies to put the valuable trend insights to good use.

“The valuable insights we get from Trensition’s Trendtracker are taking our strategic decision-making to a whole new level. It gives us a much richer, multifaceted and objective view of our future role as a public broadcaster in Germany over the next 8 to 10 years.” Frederik Peters, Strategy @ SWR