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Published on March 20th, 2017 | by Tom Goodwin

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10 Media Trends for 2017 and Beyond

Tom Goodwin

Tom Goodwin executive vice president of innovation, Zenith USA


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Things are never going to be as slow, simple and straightforward as they are today. But not everything is changing. If you go to a remote village, things remain much the same. If you go to a coffee house this afternoon, you don’t order a cappuccino through a chat app, it doesn’t arrive in a 3D printed cup; in amongst all of this talk of change we need to be mindful of what is and what isn’t changing.

I believe these 100 trends are important to understand.

1 – Abundance 

We need to be mindful of the incredible amount of content that’s available, but also the complete lack of attention most people pay to it; the amount of content in the world is paralysing us all. Our phones have created media moments, and increasingly phones can create them wherever we are.

This is not a particularly sustainable future. We’re always designing adverts with the assumption that people have spare capacity and time.

The current breakneck rate of media means that we’re saturated and our attention is limited. Grabbing meaningful attention is the greatest challenge.

2 – Digital disappears

The younger you are, the less the concept of “time spent online” makes any sense. For 14-year-olds, for there to be an ‘online’, there would have to be an ‘offline’. We talk about social media as if it’s an activity that people do rather than just the way things are.

This obsession with digital being an ‘activity’ is laughable. There are devices like Google Home which will bring these ideas forward and blur the lines further – as an internet connected device, it doesn’t look how we think it should – it has no screen!

Digital is like oxygen. It’s there all the time and surrounds us every moment of every day. We can’t base our businesses on the ‘digital’ concept, it has to be an integral part

3 – The horizontalisation of media

We still have media ‘channels’ which are vertical siloes, but it doesn’t really work like that any more. Phones can do everything in the world, TV’s are almost there…the industry isn’t segmented vertically but horizontally. There’s no reason why Facebook can’t control TV’s and the media, or why Spotify can’t launch a video channel.

We’re going to have screens everywhere. Probably the most important screen will continue to be our phone; many people talk about what comes next, but maybe we’ve reached the best thing for us already.

4 – Lines blur

What is TV? Is it a screen we watch? A context for consumption? A delivery mechanism? A show length? If it’s delivered through the internet is it still TV – is Netflix TV? Is watching a highlights reel on my phone TV?

We never spend time defining what we actually mean by TV any more. We need to get better at understanding that the notion of TV doesn’t matter anymore – it’s about video; making world-class content that’s right for the context.

If you work in video and content you have never had it so good. You can reach so many people now; anyone in the world, and it’s both personal and interactive.

5 – More intimate screens and data

Screens have gone from massive cinema screens, to family TV’s, to laptops, to phones. The phone is the singular most personal screen – you usually watch it alone. It knows what you’re planning on doing later that day. It has all of your browsing history, it knows what the weather is like where you are…it’s the richest, most personal, most immersive device we’ve ever known. And we’ve just taken what we had previously and sort of made it fit.

We really need to get to grips with the amazing opportunities phones present; less ‘Big Data’ and more intimate data.

6 – New realities

Virtual Reality (VR) is about taking you away from everything you’re around, to a more interesting place.

What these new realities represent is an entirely new way to think about advertising. We always assumed the screens were the canvas, and there’s a frame around what we’re doing. But Augmented Reality (AR) and VR transform all that.

The worst thing we could possibly do with them is take our current way of thinking about advertising and shoehorn it in. We need a whole new approach.

7 – The predictive web

We’ve only ever known an internet that we went to. We went to the search bar – it was always about us and what we wanted to find out.

We’re now able to predict what we want to do. The internet is less something that we go to and more this pervasive interface that tells us what we want to do and where we want to go. The new internet will give us the right message at the right time at the right place.

8 – The ecommerce separation

We tend to have actions and reactions, and we’re going to see the act of buying separating from the act of shopping, buying will be the world of the search bar, subscriptions, dash buttons, and the purchase funnel will be a simple swipe. Shopping will be created around themes, content marketing, experiences, and adding more joy into the purchase process.

Make things easy or beautiful – if it’s neither, it has no place in the future.

9 – Vanishing interfaces, new inputs

There has never been a better time to talk to people – the mobile interface how allows companies to have a one-to-one conversation with its customers. There are so many rich ways to interact – there are lots of exciting opportunities in voice recognition and conversation.

There’s also a movement away from screens,  such as, Alexa, wearables, and we could be navigating a world where information comes to you without a screen.

10 – Artificial Intelligence

Really profound technologies need to be applied to the center of our business – we’ve done a lot of things wrong by applying them at the edge. Uber exists because of the mobile phone, not because of the app, but because they knew once they knew your location, it could all work.

It’s possible that the next wave of big, innovative companies are ones who have built themselves around AI.

Find out much more and hear Goodwin discuss his future predictions for the OOH industry when he speaks at the 2017 OAAA\Geopath National Convention + Expo on May 17 in New Orleans. Learn more at www.lookout2017.com

Originally published in the Media Briefing.

 

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