First, my forecast: that more collaboration between companies will result in a more-standardized system for buying, selling and tracking media. I also see AI playing a greater role in establishing behavioral patterns that can be used to craft content and target advertising.
Jane Clarke, CEO, managing director, CIMM: In 2018, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers will launch an open standard audio watermark that can embed content and ad identifiers from EIDR and Ad-ID, along with time stamps and station identifiers. This will hopefully bring innovation to automating TV workflows, with the ability to track playout and measure audiences in real time!
Sheryl Feldinger, media consultant: I'm fortunate to work with some tech-forward companies, so I see a lot of early adopter behavior at large organizations. In 2018, I think more companies will take a page from the social media playbook and embrace video chat in the workplace. It works great, and does not require expensive equipment. The more traditional media companies are still a bit camera-shy, but I hope that changes because video chat is as close as you can get to face-to-face meetings without leaving your time zone.
Dave Morgan, CEO and founder, Simulmedia: The biggest technological advancement in 2018 won't be a new technology per se, but better utilization of technology that we already have. Every day, more and more people working in the media industry are learning how to better exploit technology, whether it is the cloud or machine learning or predictive analytics. The biggest technological impacts this year will be driven by people, not some new code.
Mitch Oscar, advanced tv strategist, USIM: I predict that we will still be grappling with technology and its functionality. We can now fast-forward, but what if the technology was able to extract commercials, so if I watch in the recorded mode I did not even have to fast-forward? Some services are offering that capability now with a new setting. I see that as a real concern going forward. I also believe that addressability was introduced in 1996, and it is going to happen any day now.
Arlene Manos, president emeritus, AMC Networks: Greater expansion of OTT, and increased social media application.
Brad Adgate, independent media researcher: I think the use of AI to help manage the amount of data being used to make media recommendations will gain traction in 2018 and in the years ahead.
Caroline Horner, co-founder, Spicy Tequila: In 2018 it will be 1) Addressable hits scale, with advancement from Spectrum, comCast, OTT/Smart TVs, and 5G and ATSC 3.0 — and other intermediaries. 2) Blockchain technologies prove capable of resolving ID across distribution points. 3) Multi-touch attribution and AI optimize performance in tighter and more responsive cycles.
And in 2019, I believe [the biggest trend] will be the re-emergence of the creative role in ad effectiveness.