Forecast: Customized Media, Amazon Major Players In 2013

by , Dec 31, 2012, 1:20 PM
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amazon.comMedia “that gets to know you,” the increasing dominance of Amazon in the retail landscape and “appcessories” are on JWT’s “Things to Watch” list for 2013.

Custom-tailored media is one manifestation of the broader marketing trend toward “hyper-personalization,” the JWT report states. It notes that the BBC is exploring possible applications of “perceptive media” -- video or audio content that is customized based on real-time data, such as location, weather and news events.

JWT envisions the potential of TV sets that would automatically identify a viewer and deliver programs and other content based on individual experiences and tastes. Another manifestation of the trend: eBooks that change their endings based on reader preferences.

Amazon started out as a threat to brick-and-mortar booksellers back in the 1990s, “but it’s fast becoming enemy No. 1 to retailers of all stripes, now that it sells everything from high-end apparel to wine and has shrunk its delivery times.” Its prices are generally hard to beat, the JWT report states, and it has an app that enables shoppers to quickly determine that on their own.

JWT cites predictions that Amazon could surpass Walmart as the world’s largest retailer by 2017.

High-tech accessories (“appcessories”) are gaining traction, such as smart glasses from video eyewear maker Vuzix that include miniature screens, speakers and microphones to provide users with quick access to data and information, not unlike smartphones. Wrist bands like the Nike + FuelBand and the upcoming Amigo monitor physical activity and provide stats via mobile apps.

Also on the list: the growing sophistication of human-centered technology. Voice-activated and gesture-recognition systems will become more intuitive. “Instead of learning how to interact with machines, it’s the reverse -- machines will learn to interact with us,” the report concludes.

“Our list spotlights developments that are bubbling up across sectors, including travel, technology, food, retail and sustainability,” states Ann Mack, director of trendspotting at JWT. “It also reflects broader shifts that we’re forecasting for the year ahead, including the rise in peer power, predictive personalization and intelligent objects.”


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