The Media Crystal Ball

It is difficult enough to predict how the media landscape will look next year but it is arguably even more difficult projecting how things will look five years hence. A recent Mediapost event gathered some of the best industry minds together to share their thoughts about the state of the media state in 2023. Here is what they predicted:

TV Will Always Be Here
There was optimism regarding the robustness of the TV and the advertising business. According to Tom Goodwin, EVP, Head of Innovation, Zenith, “We tend to think that TV or advertising is dead but it is here to stay.” Further, there was a feeling that even old media has the ability to adapt and reinvent for the new digitized media environment. “The money keeps shifting to online and digital,” stated Brian Hughes, SVP, Audience Intelligence and Strategy, MAGNA. However, he believes that this momentum will slow that down and flatten as “old school media reinvents themselves.”

Delight the Consumer … or Else
Since consumers will have greater power to choose the ads they want to see, those companies that engage people in a negative way may experience blowback. Barry Lowenthal, President, The Media Kitchen, said that, “Facebook will be the big loser’” in the next five years because they fail at the “fundamental human truth” regarding shame about envy. “Facebook peddles in envy. Most feel bad about themselves after seeing Facebook,” he explained, “and you can't sustain a business on envy.”  He predicted that unless Facebook reinvents itself, they will lose money. “It is better to drive to gratitude,” he concluded.

There is also the thought that unless companies respect the consumer by providing them with relevant messaging (without getting creepily intrusive), consumers may decide to opt out and withhold their data and their attention. “Consumers will be in control of their data. GDPR will precipitate that,” noted Natalie Monboit, SVP, Futures for Samsung, Starcom USA, who added, “There will be a shift to drop data when in doubt. Consumers will have more self-sovereignty.”

Streamlined Processes Through Technology
Whether it’s the continuing increase in the amount and type of available data, the introduction of blockchain protocol into the media business, the use of artificial intelligence or the boundaries of privacy, all these issues will impact how we conduct our business five years from now. Monboit noted that, “Blockchain could be the one thing that disrupts today,” and has the potential to change the business.

Finally, it is important for media companies to continue to take risks. Sam Olstein, Global Director Innovation, GE Corporation, concluded that the biggest challenge today is the mindset to avoid more risks. Spending money on things that don’t pan out is “never wasted because it laid the bedrock for the next entrepreneur to benefit from previous mistakes.”

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