1. Tech and the intellectual trap in 2018
Apparently, the backlash against large tech companies will intensify in 2018. A lot of those people who have led the charge against, as an instance, Google and Facebook, are publishers with a compelling business incentive to do so since those two businesses are carrying their advertising bucks. That isn’t to invalidate the tales, naturally.
However, if they continue then so, too, will the entrapment of the whole discussion in a speech and intellectual prism that’s out of date. Each of the requirements for regulation and social management of those businesses is happening within a frame for networking – if legal, social, or ethical – that is just not acceptable for all these businesses.
For example, the tired debate about if they’re publishers or platforms need to proceed to some sober endorsement they’re new sorts of businesses, with enormous variations between them, which have attributes of both publishers and platforms.
I will attempt to do my bit about this. However, I guess technician will stay trapped in a dialogue that has not kept pace with the times.
2. Advertising will continue to fold into just two companies
Estimates for the percentage of electronic advertising dollars consumed by Facebook and Google vary, but it’s growing sharply isn’t in any doubt. On current trends, it is entirely possible that by the end of 2018, 90 percent of new digital advertising spend in the US belongs to those two giants.
Can you imagine what that means for your marketing business, which employs millions of people, many hugely inventive? In many cases, it means a P45. Apparently, there has, historically, been a demand for agencies to inform customers (i.e., wealthy brands) in which to spend their cash, and the best way to convey that message by crafting a more savvy effort.
More importantly, however, the first half of the equation is becoming more comfortable, as you just spend your promotion cash with Google and Facebook. This can drive innovation: you might have noticed the commercials on your Facebook news feed are eerily educated on your correspondence with family and friends, your general interests, and even recent holidays.
And yet, for all this, these organizations are often far from transparent about just who is consuming where and content.
2018, such as 2017, will be a very tricky year for several chief marketing officers at large companies, and for many advertisers complete stop.
3. TV will bifurcate
Television is dividing into 2, between luxury entertainment with significant production values, which range from glamorous dramas to documentaries and boxset comedies, on the one hand, and dwell, event-based news and game on the opposite.
I have been told by someone older on Planet Murdoch that why Rupert decided to sell the majority of his entertainment interests to Disney is since he could observe this bifurcation happening, and he realized that to compete at the amusement game you need massive scale and as direct a route to customers as you can.
Even he, the supreme media mogul, can’t compete with the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Disney as it comes to entertainment. Therefore he’s focusing on what he knows, which is news and sport.
This is precisely what he meant when he said the deal with Disney means he is “pivoting in a pivotal time.”
This bifurcation does rather beg the question of what role all the stuff in the middle – this reduced production worth shows, broadcast on TV stations which are a middleman between viewer and programme – will play. If demand from audiences for such shows begins to dry up, the whole business will face upheaval.
4. Streaming will continue to make the internet, not television sets, the home of broadcast
The bifurcation of TV and the push toward scale are driven by tech. Not, that is, only from the arrival of enormous new tech players into the broadcast match; more from the capability of streaming services to broadcast direct to customers through the internet and, particularly, their smartphones. This cuts out those middle guys called TV stations.
In the US, a massive library of streaming services – Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, HBO, Showtime, Starz and many others, long before you get to Netflix – are on offer to consumers, and in 2018 many more UK customers will pay for the liberty and choice they attract.
Two consequences follow: first, a generational divide in ingestion, where mature viewers continue to watch television sets and permit schedulers to ascertain their viewing habits; and instant, a dawning realisation among British TV executives, faithfully late to the match, that the idea of stations and programs is becoming obsolete for millions of the most addicted audiences.
It takes several years, possibly even decades, but the current trends in media suggest that TV channels will end up concentrated on people live events – sport and news – that Rupert Murdoch says he wants to concentrate on.
5. Some hard evidence on fake news at last
I’ve often explained on this blog why I’m cautious and sceptical about the fake news happening, and won’t repeat these arguments. In 2018, however, we should get a much more tangible sense of exactly how large a threat fake news is.
In the US, Robert Mueller’s research into connections between Trump and Russia may cast fresh light on the usage of bots by those around Vladimir Putin. And in Britain, it’d be reasonable to anticipate – not least after a tense meeting between Boris Johnson and his Russian counterpart last week – to the Prime Minister to put some flesh to the bones of her assertion that Russia is interfering with democratic politics in the UK.
Nevertheless, every single time you hear a journalist at what some call the mainstream media bewailing fake news, recall they have an incentive to do so.