With the New Year comes a timeless tradition – a reflection on what defined the year prior and a look ahead at the trends that the future will bring. The media industry, perhaps more so than other industries, is shifting in ways that are completely unprecedented. Below are seven predictions of trends that will define media in 2010-2025.
Fueled by new technology, marketers will become even more obsessed with data. We’re living in a world in which wearable technology – e.g. Google Glass, Nike+ Fuelband, Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch – has officially taken off, one in which knowing the consumer’s current location can be just as important as knowing their age and gender. Data is a necessity in marketing to the on-the-go consumer, and the advent of wearable tech promises lots of it. Combine this with the advanced targeting techniques typically put into practice, and marketers will be able to reach consumers much more effectively. Media teams must adopt a beta tester mentality with technologies in their infancy and come to the table eager to leverage the fusion of new tech and data.
Programmatic buying will become second nature. It’s inevitable – programmatic buying, for both digital and TV, will continue to gain significant market share in 2014. According to a recent study, MAGNA GLOBAL expects global programmatic buying to triple from $12 billion in 2013 to $33 billion by 2017. These increases will be seen most aggressively in digital channels, specifically display, and online video. Agencies are getting smarter about recognizing good inventory that delivers viewable impressions (not under the fold), and will soon be able to buy this inventory programmatically.
And although networks and cable networks aren’t yet devoting significant inventory to programmatic TV buying (most programmatic TV is bought through satellite and local networks), buyers will finally crack the code on automation, leading to a media landscape that looks very different from how it looks now.
Banner ads aren’t going anywhere. Despite a handful of predictions of the death (or sharp decline) of banner ads, traditional display ads will remain strong in 2014. Even though consumers are gobbling up mobile and online video, banner ads are still tracking strongly.
We’ve found that static banner ads many times outperform rich media, providing CPCs that are still unmatched by video and other media. Regardless of where digital media is shifting as an industry – largely to our mobile devices – banner ads remain one of the best (and most cost-efficient) ways to target web users due to their low CPMs and prevalent inventory.
Media plans will be screen agnostic. Consumers certainly believe that size doesn’t matter – they are consuming media wherever they can, on their TVs, smartphones, and tablets. According to MAGNA GLOBAL’s 2014 ad forecast, digital media (which includes mobile and social media) was the fastest-growing category in 2013, increasing 16% to $118 billion and reaching a 24% global market share.
Brands are looking for cross-channel solutions that reach their audience no matter the platform, and media planners are following suit, altering their screen-by-screen playbook to design media plans that are truly screen agnostic in an attempt to reach consumers where they consume media.
Mobile will finally grow up. “For the past five years, it seems that someone’s been saying it’s finally the year mobile advertising begins to drive digital investment,” said Amy Armstrong, EVP, Managing Director at ID Media. “But 2014 may finally be mobile’s year.”
Consumers have embraced mobile to a remarkable extent and marketers have followed, targeting them with mobile-specific strategies that include couponing, location-based services, and geo-fencing. It’s no surprise that mobile advertising revenues almost doubled (+85%) in 2013 to reach $16 billion (14% of all global internet advertising), according to MAGNA.
At the same time, brands have fully adopted mobile, updating websites and m-commerce functionality to run flawlessly on the latest smartphones. We expect mobile budgets to increase drastically across-the-board.
Native advertising will explode. Forbes did it. So did Yahoo!, Buzzfeed and Mashable (to varying degrees of success). Even the New York Times is on board. Publishers are closing the gap between editorial and advertising by offering native ads that blend seamlessly with original content. And they’re working. According to a study conducted by IPG Media Lab, consumers look at native ads 52% more frequently than banner ads. As a result of their integration with editorial, native ads registered a 9% higher lift in brand affinity and an 18% higher leap in purchase intent than traditional display ads. We expect the number of agencies utilizing native ads to increase dramatically this year.
Online video will continue to expand. The growth of digital media doesn’t stop at mobile – online video, too, is poised to inflate in 2014 and beyond. 89 million people in the United States watch over 1.2 billion online videos each day, and marketers are capitalizing on it. The channel continued to grow healthily in 2013, according to a MAGNA report, increasing 37% year-over-year.
With the advent of snackable video – bookmarked by the release of Vine and Instagram’s video offerings – marketers are faced with a new challenge: attaching ad units to brief, bite-sized videos without annoying users. However, it’s a challenge that will yield huge opportunity when conquered, as online video is expected to account for more than one-third of all online advertising spending within the next five years.
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