Home Analysis Media, marketing and tech predictions for 2019 from around the industry

Media, marketing and tech predictions for 2019 from around the industry

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Predictions for 2019 from leading analyst/research firms include: People who gamble on sports will watch more of it on television; Smart speakers will be the fastest growing connected device category; Amazon will turn the digital duopoly into the ‘triopoly’; We will see the creation of ‘Consulgencies’ (consulting agencies); AI will cause sales people to falsify data; and trust will be the most important source of competition among cloud service providers. Scroll down to see predictions (in this order) on these topics:

  • Viewing trends and video technology
  • Advertising & marketing
  • Devices
  • Networks & infrastructure
  • Artificial intelligence & machine learning



People who gamble on sports will watch more of it on television
Predicted by Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) group

Canada-based Duncan Stewart, Director of Research, TMT at Deloitte, is predicting that in 2019, 60% of North American men aged 18-34 who watch sports on TV will also bet on sports – and the more often they bet, the more TV sports they will watch. At a time when young people worldwide are watching less traditional TV (defined as live or time-shifted on any device) the sports category is an island of relative strength, he observes. One reason for this is that young people, and especially young men, are betting on sports matches and so “have skin in the game”. Betting on sports makes up around 40% of the global market for gambling. Deloitte has found that more than half of all TV sports watchers in the U.S. who bet on sports say they are much more likely to watch a particular game if they have bet on it.

The North American market for esport will expand by 35%, partly driven by broadcast licensing
Predicted by Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) group

Deloitte Global predicts that in 2019 the North American market for esport will expand by 35%, driven by advertising, broadcast licensing and franchise sales. The global market for esports will grow a little more slowly due to the maturity of Asian leagues and uncertainty about China’s regulatory response. Chris Arkenberg at Deloitte predicts that in 2019 existing leagues will expand and new leagues could launch under other top game titles, all generating significant revenue for leading game companies. The analyst firm reckons that in 2019 the new North American franchise leagues for ‘Overwatch’, ‘NBA2K’ and ‘League of Legends’ will expand into major U.S. cities, following the model for professional sports. “This will help draw more fans and players, making them even more attractive to broadcasters.”

Disney’s direct-to-consumer offer will shock Netflix and Amazon
Predicted by Chris Wood, CTO, Spicy Mango

The new Disney OTT service is set for launch in 2019 and with a colossal back catalogue of Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Disney and eventually 21st Century Fox, there is a battle on the horizon that will send shockwaves through Amazon and Netflix, declares Wood. “With the two most prominent streaming services losing a significant selection of films to Disney, every comic book geek and parent is inevitably going to cancel those subscriptions and make the move to Disney. Further pressure will come from Time Warner as they also plan to launch their service in late 2019.”

Amazon will challenge Netflix and Roku for connected TV content creation and distribution, respectively
Predicted by Chris LaHaise, Director, TV Solutions at dataxu

“Amazon will become an even bigger player in CTV (connected TV) as its positions in content creation and distribution both continue to grow. They have the power to challenge both Netflix and Roku as CTV viewership continues to become more commonplace in U.S. homes.”

Video latency will be a priority, driven by expectations for live sports
Predicted by Stefan Lederer, CEO and Co-Founder Bitmovin

“The industry has always been super-focused on video quality. In 2019, tackling latency will be a bigger priority, driven by expectations for live sports experiences. The truth is that tackling delays can actually create issues for online video robustness and the resulting quality of experience. To avoid this, we are going to see service providers putting much more emphasis on having effective video analytics in place, so they can adjust settings in real-time as they dial latency down.”

Esports will need sub-second latency to thrive – leading to new technologies like WebRTC
Predicted by Andrew Gray, Marketing Director, EMEA at Limelight Networks

“As esports matures and becomes a serious contender for eyeballs, it will be critical that tournament organisers get their global content delivery strategy in order. Esports’ younger tech-savvy audience is the most impatient when it comes to online video streams rebuffering. For live events, traditional streaming technologies over some CDNs is not enough, and streams need to be delivered using new formats such as WebRTC that offer sub-second latency. The adoption of these new technologies is critical if esports is to break into the entertainment mainstream.”


Artificial intelligence will drive media targeting
– Predicted by Chris Borchert, Kantar North America

“In 2019, the application of AI within the media and marketing industry will increase beyond a 50% adoption rate and significantly affect the following areas: predictive analytics, advanced marketing automation and ad targeting. These three areas will accelerate the media decision-making process for marketers and agencies.

“AI will allow us to design highly tailored marketing campaigns that will be driven by the probability of an individual to convert, at a specific price point, through determined channels. AI will further help improve the modelling process by identifying errors within the datasets that feed predictive models. All of this will lead to further marketing automation, which will establish the most effective time and place for delivering a specific type of message to the right consumer.

“We will see major developments within the ad targeting space, due to the application of AI. Programmatic systems (DMPs) will be able to quickly run through historical attitudinal and behavioural data to determine which ads perform best for different types of people throughout the consumer journey.

“Today we bucket individuals into predefined segments, but with the future use of AI we will be able to continually optimise targeting. This will enable the real-time reassignment of individuals into new segments, based upon both their thoughts and feelings about a brand or product, as well as the behaviours they exhibit both online and offline.

“We have seen this type of positive AI impact help clients to deliver marketing messages to the most receptive audiences. However, with the implementation of GDPR protecting personal data in Europe, advertisers need to be careful that they are not compromising themselves to achieve the most effective targeting.”

AI and machine learning will make hyper-personalisation a reality
Predicted by IBM Watson Marketing

“The proliferation of data and compartmentalised marketing stacks has squarely put AI and machine learning-based marketing tools at the centre of deep personalisation. This will change how marketers make decisions and deploy campaigns as AI analyses and delivers personalised content with massive scale.”

Amazon will turn the digital duopoly into the ‘triopoly’
Predicted by Andy Gallagher, Kantar Germany

“While the Amazon brand is embedded in many different pieces of everyday life, they have recently expanded their presence into the advertising platform space. And, like every other market they enter, they have their eye on being a big, dominant player. Google and Facebook: the duopoly of digital ad revenue is now over and you now have a third member knocking on the door – the much heralded ‘triopoly’. Amazon’s advantage over Google and Facebook is the ability to link on-platform behaviours (like purchases, search, and content consumption) back to the advertising campaign.

We will see the creation of ‘Consulgencies’
Predicted by IBM Watson Marketing

IBM Watson Marketing says ‘Consultancy’ and ‘agency’ capabilities will converge, driven by a need to build out deep expertise in AI, data integration, customer experience analytics, mobile apps and custom solution development. This will result in a new kind of entity – the ‘consulgency’.

Advertising creative will be dedicated to digital
Predicted by Nicole Jones, Kantar North America

“Video ads will start to develop their own personality, rather than being an edit of the TV ad. Brands can no longer get away with a 30 second TV ad, or a six second cutdown to convey their message. Consumers expect an authenticity in video, rather than simple versioning for each platform. The proliferation of Snap and Instagram story ads allows brands to entertain consumers in a more personal way.

Marketers will start to explore voice technologies in creative ways
Predicted by Jane Ostler, Kantar

“We predict a veritable outburst in voice/audio activity undertaken by brands in 2019. Far removed from the traditional 30 second broadcast radio spot, the growth in connected audio devices (smart speakers, connected in-car entertainment) and formats (podcasts, voice search, voice assistants), gives rise to new creative opportunities for brands to use audio in their communications.

“This raises some interesting questions for marketers: how to integrate voice activity with the rest of the campaign and how they find their own voice. This will include decisions about what voice (or voices) to choose, and means they need to develop an approach for sonic logos/taglines/mnemonics.

“With around 24% of US households owning a smart speaker, voice retail gives rise to new branded search opportunities, the equivalent of being at the top of a paid search, or on an eye level shelf instore. It means a whole new landscape for branded content too. How about sponsored audio recipes from manufacturers which link to a basket of ingredients?

“Alexa and others will start to be integrated into in-car entertainment, overcoming the horrendous in-car UX experience. Voice capability will expand to other currently dumb objects – ask your microwave how long to defrost that fish! And we’ll see voice used more as a market research tool; you’ll be in your kitchen, answering questions, reviewing experiences, or submitting product reviews.”

AI will cause sales people to falsify data
Predicted by Tom Kaneshige, Senior Analyst at Forrester and Daniel Hong, Vice President, Research Director at Forrester

“The brouhaha between humans and machines is about to heat up. In 2019 sales managers will use AI to micro-manage sales people. In turn, sales people will regularly falsify data to hide their tracks or game the system, thus undermining the data that machine learning depends on.”

Humans will revolt against chatbots, which are often ineffective, anyway
Predicted by Tom Kaneshige, Senior Analyst at Forrester and Daniel Hong, Vice President, Research Director at Forrester

“Customers will lead a community-based revolt against corporate chatbots. Human resistance against ineffective chatbots is on the way, and a groundswell of jaded customers will crowdsource tips for end runs around chatty chatbots. A movement similar to the GetHuman movement from 2005 will start.

“The majority of chatbot deployments will provide poor escalation paths to agents. Chatbots are not contact-centre saviours with life-like responses that help customers avoid the dreaded phone tree — many are just as bad.

“For all the hype about chatbots handling customer service, they are little more than the interactive voice-response systems that make customers scream into their phones. A whopping 60% of chatbot deployments in 2019 will not have effective live-agent safety-nets attached to web chat sessions.



Smart speakers will be the fastest growing connected device category
Predicted by Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) group

Deloitte is predicting a 63% growth rate for take-up of smart speakers – Internet connected speakers with integrated digital voice assistants – in 2019, compared to 2018. “That would make smart speakers the fastest growing connected device category worldwide in 2019, and lead to an installed base of more than 250 million units by year-end,” the company says.

Much of the market expansion will be in the non-English speaking market. Build cost will decline. Speakers have been heavily price promoted – so future growth could be limited if discounting proves unsustainable in the long-term. Deloitte views smart speakers as something of a luxury item – with evidence from the UK, where ownership of smart speakers is twice as high among individuals earning more than £50,000 a year.

Phones with folding screens will arrive
Predicted by CCS Insight

“Phones with folding screens will arrive in 2019 but will be a niche category until 2022, with inevitable high cost and trade-offs in usability limiting shipments. Problems include poor readability in sunlight, a bulky design to protect the screen’s fold and the need for an external screen. Despite some early mis-steps, folding-screen technology continues to develop, partly thanks to users’ never-ending quest for larger and larger displays.”



Trust will be the most important source of competition among cloud service providers
Predicted by CCS Insight

Trust will be the most important source of competition among cloud service providers in 2019. The industry is adapting to a new era in the wake of data-sharing scandals, extensive security breaches and concerns that service providers may not be acting in the best interests of their customers. The likes of Alibaba, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft recognise the importance of winning customer trust to set them apart from rivals, prompting a focus on greater transparency, compliance efforts and, above all, investment in security.

The edge will transform the way networks are deployed and devices are built
Predicted by IHS Markit

“The edge is already transforming the way networks are deployed and devices are built. It enables new revenue streams, as compute resources are made available closer to the end consumer. Service providers, cloud providers and IoT companies are particularly central to the edge discussion, as it affects the entire value chain – from semiconductor providers, through manufacturers, to media, security, gaming and other segments.

“The main obstacle to effective edge deployment is the large bandwidth required, while the most significant issue is the need to reduce upstream traffic via analytics, in order to manipulate and refine data at the edge. In a recent survey of 14 edge thought leaders and market movers, the top edge application was video content delivery, which 92% of respondents identified as an area of impact and concern.”



There will be more use of AI in the content chain
Predicted by Chris Wood, CTO, Spicy Mango

“Amazon has already started to develop an AI tool in the form of Amazon Rekognition that identifies people, places and objects to enrich metadata. Algorithms that provide better, more targeted recommendations will become more refined and therefore offer a better user experience. BBC Four attempted to create a programme using AI, as an experiment. It was not a huge success in terms of providing a watchable TV show, but it does highlight how AI can start to develop in broadcast beyond recommendation features. Machine learning now forms the backbone of many semi-automated subtitling systems and as these algorithms get better, they will also get faster, allowing for near real-time subtitling with even less human intervention.”

Use of cloud will drive more full-scale AI implementations
Predicted by Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications group

Jeff Loucks, Executive Director at Deloitte’s Center for TMT, predicts an acceleration in the use of cloud-based AI software and services, with the cloud driving more full-scale AI implementations, better return on investment from AI and higher AI spending. “We’ll see the democratisation of AI capabilities – and benefits – that had previously been the preserve only of early adopters,” Loucks says.

Enterprises beyond the technology sector will set up machine learning labs
– Predicted by CCS Insight

“In 2019, enterprises beyond the technology sector will set up machine learning labs. Large companies will begin to realise that having their own research facilities in artificial intelligence is a strong mechanism to enable collaboration with developers and universities, and a way to access and retain talent. JP Morgan, Pearson and BP, which have all hired heads of artificial intelligence recently, are good candidates.

Despite well-publicised goals by major service providers to democratise artificial intelligence, most usage of the technology is confined to big firms, and by 2020, 90% of large enterprises will be running custom machine learning applications, compared with just 5% of small and medium businesses.

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