2010s: Decade of Mobile, Streaming

For many in the industry, the “year of mobile” was pretty hard to pin down. We knew it was coming and forecast after forecast, starting in the aughts, predicted it was just around the corner. 

Finally, awhile back, it arrived. Just don’t ask which year. 

But as Brian Wieser, global president, business intelligence, GroupM, pointed out in a recent missive summing up major trends in the 2010s, arguably the iPhone made the period the “decade of mobile.” 

“Advertisers wanting to reach consumers in digital environments by now presume that most of their messages will reach consumers’ mobile devices,” Wieser notes. “Moreover, business strategies evolved to take advantage of the always-“handy” nature of these now-ubiquitous mobile devices and increasingly presumed that functions, ranging from customer service to sales and ongoing interactions, would occur with them.” 



Another highlight of the decade was the rise of streaming services, particularly, as Wieser notes, the massive amount of capital invested in original content, which many believe led to a new golden age of video.

Wieser points out that Netflix alone has deployed around $60 billion to develop and acquire streamed programming since 2012, much of it earmarked for originals. Amazon followed suit, as have a slew of others like Disney, Apple and AT&T “if only out of fear of the consequences of not doing so.” 

A third “standout surprise” in the decade, notes Wieser, was the dominance of Google and Facebook in the digital advertising realm. Neither firm was an early entrant, but “through clever strategies and acquisitions, the two companies solidified their commercial positions in almost every country on Earth.” 

Looking ahead, Wieser sees growing points of intersection between marketing, technology and media as consumer experiences with brands, data and media become more deeply intertwined. 

“Content will only get better for consumers and their expectations will rise,” he says. Media owners' profit margins may take a hit as companies invest to meet those expectations. 

And there may be fewer advertising opportunities — in some instances — given consumer expectations as well. That said, newer commercial environments should expand, such as branded and brand-owned entertainment and other content integrations.




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