Digital Media Trends We’ll See in 2016
2016 is here, and this year, we’re predicting some significant changes and growth within the digital media landscape. We spoke to Verto customers, partners and polled our executive team, and here are the 5 major trends that we expect to see unfold this year.
1. Digital media budgets will overtake spending on other media channels.
We have seen rapid growth in digital media, and it will only continue to accelerate in 2016 relative to other media formats. As McKinsey reported in December 2015, digital media spending is set to grow 12-13% per year until 2019, while TV advertising will grow only 5%. Traditional formats, such as newspapers, will actually see revenues contracting.
More importantly, digital advertising will become increasingly diversified with display, search, video, social, mobile and other formats being included in top advertisers’ media mix.
2. Virtual reality becomes a real mass medium.
We tend to be cautious about endorsing or touting new terms or platforms so early in their lifespans, but augmented reality on smartphones and new virtual reality kits, such as Oculus Rift, will not only provide radically new ways to consume media but also present opportunities for advertisers to interact with consumers in novel ways.
Perhaps more so than wearables, virtual reality devices and content, and related innovations, will be the next significant mass medium platform to emerge. We expect that a number of new devices, apps, content will be rolled out in 2016. While it will likely take several years for virtual reality to secure mass market adoption, much like mobile did, this year we will get a real idea of how this medium will be adopted and used by consumers.
3. The digital world goes global.
For the last year, most digital platforms and apps have been largely “local” phenomena. For example, Facebook and Twitter have been strongest in the Americas and Europe, while Baidu and Alibaba have their biggest user bases in China. But in 2016, we will see key learnings being taken across borders. For example, Facebook is learning from the best features of Asian messaging apps, and Uber and Airbnb are spending considerable amounts of capital on Asian expansion. China Mobile, Baidu and Alibaba are developing significant operations in the US, and Softbank has already done a number of deals in the Western markets, ranging from acquisitions of Supercell (Finland) to Sprint (USA).
As consumers adopt more apps and solutions from other geographies, content and app distribution will also move across borders. More mobile publishers will be “born global.” As a result, we anticipate consolidation and cross-border dealmaking as well as collaboration, copy-catting, M&A, and rivalries.
4. Digital video will continue to shine.
We agree with McKinsey that digital video – which is growing a rapid clip — will overtake spending on physical media over the next few years. Further, digital video advertising campaigns are becoming a significant real advertising spend. According to McKinsey, digital spend “will account for more than 50 percent of the overall total for media.”
We expect more short-form and long-form video content, better user experience, and more innovative digital video ad solutions to emerge this year, and big players, like Facebook and Google, will only up their game in this area.
What we saw in 2015 was just the beginning of a bigger shift towards digital video advertising and media. Five years ago, many of the leading broadcasters were against mobile or online video measurement, mainly because they feared that audience data from Youtube and Netflix would overshadow their traditional audience demographics. Today, their mentality has shifted.
As Verto’s data has proven, even traditional broadcasters and cable companies are now seeing digital as the primary vehicle by which to maintain and grow their audiences and improve monetization. Digital video will continue to be the focus in 2016, from major Internet giants to traditional advertisers, and from ad-tech companies to broadcasters.
5. Cross-device advertising will drive engagement.
Mobile has already proven that emerging media devices and platforms can drive performance for advertisers. In 2016, we expect (like many others), to see a greater focus on cross-device targeting with an emphasis on seeking the best digital media mix to optimize net reach and frequency for target groups. In addition, advertisers will make better use of each channel’s attributes through, for example, intelligent time-of-day targeting – including in the targeting parameters the preferred focus of day as different types of campaigns appeal to people at different times of the day).
Moreover, while the early days of mobile advertising were about driving downloads, we expect that 2016 campaigns will be about driving engagement and end results, like increasing time spent per user, retention, or monetization.
Why single-source media measurement will become an industry necessity.
Verto has built its 2016 product portfolio with these trends in mind. To effectively provide objective and comparable data across the board, covering mobile, digital video and all emerging platforms, measuring not only downloads but also engagement, the requires a single-source media measurement service. This is why we built Verto Watch measurement services to help our customers measure consumers’ second-by-second media behavior, use of mobile, online, TV, radio, and print via a single-source solution, and get a holistic view of their users’ media consumption habits.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you are interested in learning more about us and what we’re building this year. With these predictions, all the best for 2016 from the Verto team!