We thought we’d put together a list events and trends we think are likely to come to pass and impact your media businesses next year.
Content Recommendation Ads
Will news publishers en masse, most of whom are acutely aware that their reputations are built on increasingly shaky ground, begin to move away from content ads? Unfortunately, we predict not. The advertising pressures facing digital publishers are too great for any to walk away from a reliable source of revenue. Instead, we think it’s likely we’ll see a big song and dance from those recommendation engines like Outbrain, Revcontent and Taboola about how they’re improved the relevance of the content ads they serve – whether or not that will actually be true is another matter – and publishers will quietly let the matter drop.
Video spend fractures as it grows
When we conducted our State of the Media report last year, we were expecting that publishers would be gung-ho for video. We were surprised by just how enthusiastically publishers would be investing, however, with it consistently in the top third in terms of areas for investment across almost all the business sectors on which we focused. Notably it was also considered one of the hardest areas for publishers to actually deliver upon – and we expect that won’t be any easier next year.
Quite apart from the fact that video requires quite a lot of resource to do well, there are considerations about distribution and monetisation of that video content. 2016 was the year that YouTube began to look not quite so unassailable, with increased competition from other video platforms and rumblings of discontent from some of its hot commodities – its stars.