Saturday, March 28, 2009

Top 10 media predictions for 2009: Deloitte

Deloitte recently came out with its TMT (telecom, media and technology) predictions for 2009. Here are some bits from the media predictions for 2009. May I also take this opportunity to thank V. Srikumar, partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells, for sharing this study.

1. Putting the print out of peril may require stopping the presses.
Obviously, the print media industry would be required to accelerate steps and re-establish profitable business models again in 2009. Also, those print titles that have gone online, but whose Internet revenues are not balancing falls from print, need to evaluate why this is happening. Are salespeople actively promoting online? The advertising support model, in its current form, does not appear to be working. M&As may not be a major source of liquidity or capital in 2009.

2. Television rediscovers its self belief.
The year 2009 could well prove to be a renaissance for the small screen. Viewing hours is likely to increase -- by as much as 30 minutes per week per viewer. The TV sector should also ensure its advertising impact is given due credit. An example could be a unique URL for those guided to the website via an advertising spot. UGC could get fundamentally challenged in 2009. Online sites specializing in UGC may look at offering viewers regular TV programming as it could attract more advertising.

3. 3D becomes an obligation, not an option, at the movies.
To convince movie goers on spending this year, 3D could well turn out to be a key differentiator. The industry may have to decide between 3D or higher resolution, and which one would have a higher impact on the consumer. Makers of 3D technology should also look at other areas, besides entertainment, such as peer-to-peer communications, medicine and teaching.

4. The growing cost of free online content.
We all know that the days of free lunches are over or will soon be over! Those sites hosting UGC would need to re-evaluate how best to increase the monetization of their offerings. One way could be to charge consumers for making their content available online. Online content companies also need to be realistic about charging consumers. Those who really wish to put up their content online, are very likely to pay, and could also pay more for premium services.

5. Rising stars take on the megastars.
This aspect is quite frightening! For example, blogs wielding more influence than say, news sites or even portals. It is already happening! However, this study from Deloitte, looks at the entertainment. Best bands may prefer reducing capacity, rather than reduce prices. Megastars may have to be part of a longer bill, playing longer sets, or offering additional acts -- to provide value for money. For record companies, creating a deep pool of indie bands may lead to riches. Live theater, emerging bands and folk music could all benefit.

6. "Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, listeners": the dawn of WiFi radio.
The Internet radio never really took off the way I thought it would. Adding Wi-Fi to the Internet radio may help. Nevertheless, this Deloitte study feels that Internet radio, particularly, in the form of WiFi based portable radio sets, may take off in 2009 -- in terms of audience and revenues. People at work also represent a growing audience for the Internet radio. A growing installed base of smartphones, with WiFi, that can act as Internet radio sets, could help. Internet radios definitely promise a powerful platform for advertisers, if tapped well!

7. Mobile advertising finds its meaning.
The potential of mobile advertising can be realized once the industry takes note of its strengths and accepts its limitations. I do find folks trying to push PC-type ads into mobile phones, but that's not the game! Deloitte advises advertisers to create campaigns targeted for mobile and work within its limitations. Campaigns based on text messaging can still be highly effective. The mantra: An advertising that can be sent to the entire mobile community with a single click, will be successful!

8. The markets get anti-social with social networks.
We are all aware of how social networks tend to get abused or misused. However, this is not the point Deloitte is making. A harsh 2009 and contracting online advertising could likely see this free ride come to an end. Profitable social networks should ensure that they differentiate themselves. Social networks should also evaluate how the elements of their technology can be applied in the enterprise context. Social networks and enterprises -- heard that line several times. Concrete action -- yet to be seen!

9. Re-inventing mobile television (mobile TV).
Every year, we hear that mobile TV will take off! It hasn't happened yet, has it? Deloitte calls on content companies to adopt a wider view of the mobile phone. The mobile phone could be used, for instance, to control DVRs remotely. Or, it could be used for order-and-pay programming. Or, for providing CRM. For instance, mini trailers could be sent to smartphone users. The mobile phone could be enable more to measure TV viewing.

10. The rise of malvertising and its threats to brands.
As Deloitte says: "Anything that makes large numbers of Internet users decide that clicking on online advertisements could be a bad or dangerous thing, threatens the current business model of almost every company that does business online." It calls upon website publishers to educate employees of the malware threat. Detecting malware and remedies are key! Similarly, website administrators also need to have better control over their third-party suppliers. The Internet advertising community should come together to combat this growing menace of malware.

For more information, do contact Deloitte.

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