Ten predictions for digital media in 2018

1. There can be blood within the escalating battle amongst premium OTT video giants, because the market turns into over-saturated, early winners and losers are declared, and Netflix finds itself more and more in everybody’s strains of sight — together with Disney’s and Apple’s.

Originals proceed to be the first weapon used on the OTT video battlefront, extending digital media’s “New Golden Age” for creators.  We already know that conventional pay TV suppliers like Comcast will enter the fray in 2018, as will Disney when it launches its personal pair of “Netflix Killers.”

However, Apple virtually actually will even be part of the premium SVOD fray in 2018.  It’s all-out conflict within the premium OTT video world, as cord-cutting accelerates and conventional cable and satellite tv for pc suppliers shed extra paying subs.

2. Most different new premium OTT video market entrants on this beyond-crowded premium OTT video area – together with so-called niche-focused OTT video companies — can be swallowed up or just languish, squeezed out by market leaders and the sheer scale of Google and Fb, with which they merely can’t compete for advert .

Google and Facebook already personal about two-thirds of that international digital promoting market.  That implies that most OTT video gamers merely can not succeed on advert alone — and different technique of monetization can be past their attain as a result of they fail to ship a sufficiently compelling, differentiated and emotionally linked media expertise.  Winners will swallow up losers in an setting of accelerating M&A.


three. The Hollywood group will start to more and more perceive the facility of latest cost-effective technology-driven methods to check and measure new characters, tales and engagement so as to extra well and effectively place their massive costly bets. 

Modern new companies like comics-driven movement ebook firm, Madefire; mobile-first horror-focused firm Crypt TV; and mobile-focused textual content storytelling firm Yarn level the way in which.  In the meantime, Netflix, Amazon and Fb will proceed to mine their deep knowledge about all of our hopes and goals to maximise “hits” and decrease “misses” as in comparison with traditionalists.  And, they may more and more do an excellent job at it, as they turn out to be extra assured of their inventive pursuits.  

four. Spotify will go public at a lofty valuation, however these numbers and total investor confidence will decline all year long, along with Pandora’s, as these two pure-play international streaming music leaders discover it more and more troublesome to compete in opposition to “massive field” behemoths Apple, Amazon and Google/YouTube. 

Sure, Spotify and Pandora boast large scale.  But, scale alone doesn’t monetary success make.  Actually, pure-play distribution success results in larger and better losses because of sobering economics these pure-plays can’t abdomen, however the behemoths can because of their multi-pronged enterprise fashions.  These harsh realities imply that buyers of many pure-play streaming companies will take a tough have a look at themselves in 2018 as they ponder their strategic subsequent steps.  Many will notice that they will’t go it alone.  And that results in M&A, which brings me to …

5. One firm’s struggles are one other firm’s alternative, and profitable “greater fish” will step up their M&A efforts to amass these firms that see no long-term path to creating it on their very own.

M&A is a trademark of right this moment’s total digital, multi-platform tech-infused transformation of the media and leisure enterprise.  Similar to AT&T made its transfer to amass storied conventional Time Warner in 2016 and Verizon closed its acquisition of Yahoo! in 2017, anticipate some extra large offers in 2018.  Proper now, Fox is reported to be chased by Disney, Comcast and Verizon for OTT video-driven causes.  And don’t simply look inside U.S. borders.  There is no such thing as a digital wall in our borderless digital media world.


6. Knowledge lastly turns into a excessive profile, excessive precedence “lacking hyperlink” within the methods of most media and leisure firms that can attempt to right course.

Nearly all conventional media and leisure firms now brazenly covet Netflix’s, Amazon’s and Fb’s consumer knowledge, in addition to how these companies leverage that knowledge to their seemingly-untouchable benefit.  The hunt for knowledge – and the companies that present, analyze and inform – tackle new urgency amongst the normal media and leisure ranks.

7. Courageous new applied sciences like AI (through digital assistants Alexa, Siri and Google) flood the mainstream and more and more impression the worlds of media, leisure and promoting, whereas blockchain expertise captures mind-share and begins to infiltrate mainstream conversations.

The soothing voices of Alexa and Siri information us by this AI revolution.  “Digital assistants,” “sensible audio system” (or no matter you wish to name them) will more and more populate our properties – enhance considerably over time – and serve up our favourite content material (in addition to more and more focused and hoped-to-be “welcomed” incentives, promotions and adverts).

On the identical time, the voice of blockchain expertise – barely acknowledged in media and leisure circles in 2017 – will more and more be heard and revered on the water cooler.  Blockchain expertise conceptually holds revolutionary and industry-transforming new offensive and defensive energy.  On the offensive entrance, blockchain will allow utterly new methods to monetize content material and direct creator-to-consumer distribution.  And, on the defensive entrance, blockchain guarantees to eradicate piracy.


eight. Behemoths Apple, Google and Fb will improve their already-massive investments in immersive applied sciences, and 2018 can be AR’s break-out yr when it comes to mass adoption through ARKit and ARCore which  give our cellphones actual “spatial sense” as true AR methods.

VCs and strategic buyers will even proceed to throw boatloads of money into the general immersive area.  AR’s gold rush additionally means continued progress within the associated “wearables” market and early, very early, client adoption of AR-driven eyewear.  And, when a market collectively invests so closely, a market turns into our client actuality.

9. Primary rudimentary text-based companies and audio podcasts will proceed to astound when it comes to each scale and counter-programming success. 

These types of media face no important licensing or royalty headwinds, not like video and music streaming companies.  That implies that all cash that flows from them, flows instantly into the pockets of service suppliers.  And, essentially the most profitable of those companies can scale massively, which means that monetization will be important.  Very.  That’s why text-centric storytelling apps like Yarn are on hearth proper now.

10. The too often-overlooked, but probably game-changing, reside occasion and venue plank of actually 360-degree multi-platform methods more and more turns into observed and offline experiments construct.

Name this the “Amazon Impact,” as gamers throughout the digital media ecosystem cease scratching their heads about, and somewhat start finding out, Amazon’s direct-to-theater movement image releases, brick and mortar retail shops, and Complete Meals super-stores.  Amazon understands what most nonetheless haven’t even thought of – that direct, non-virtual offline client engagement could be the most impactful plank of all of them, bringing on-line engagement into the actual world (after which again once more to create a digital cycle of name engagement and client monetization each step of the way in which).

RELATED BONUS PREDICTION — In response to 2017’s sobering and continuously surprising adverse societal forces, many digital media firms will take issues even additional by infusing their offline efforts with social impression, an inspirational and motivational aspect that’s already confirmed to be commercially sensible.

Such fully-realized efforts maintain the tantalizing energy to rework digital media’s digital cycle right into a fully-realized multi-platform virtuous circle.  Double bottom-line – worthwhile each commercially, and socially.  Hey, digital media firms.  Don’t underestimate the facility of humanizing your efforts with a wholesome dose of offline “soul.”

Featured Picture: Atlas social media/Flickr UNDER A CC BY 2.0 LICENSE

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Author: Elis Paul

Elis Paul is a Blogger from Germany. He is a Software Engineer and currently doing M.Phil in Computer Science from the Technical University of Munich

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