Number three:It seems that many once-fundamental truths related to on-screen advertising no longer hold true anymore. Examples? Nielsen is for TV ratings. Linear TV will always retain some relevance due to its live sports programming. Creating video content that reaches huge audiences costs millions, if not billions. Netflix will never accept ads.
Obviously, none of these are true anymore. And that fact leads to gross uncertainty as we enter 2023.
Will the (assumed) recession kill further content development across the various platforms? We know that cutbacks are already happening at Disney and Netflix. And linear TV ratings are falling off a cliff. We know that your daughter can create content on TikTok that reaches a greater audience than any of those platforms. But will there even be a TikTok in 2023? And how will we measure audiences across all platforms where you buy your ads -- assuming you still have budget to buy ads because of the recession?
Number two: The metaverse is – for now (?) – a joke. Recently, the EU organized a party in the metaverse to celebrate and inform “the youth” (pronounce like Joe Pesci did in “My Cousin Vinny”) about the importance of being politically aware and involved. It cost the EU about $425,000. A grand total of 41 people signed up to attend the virtual party. Five showed up on the day and time, of which four immediately signed off after signing in. The last remaining guest was a journalist.
This is only one example of a metaverse investment not quite working out. There are countless articles detailing various metaflops, and they all come down to not enough people interested or invested.
One could argue these flops are simply coming from organizations investing ahead of the curve, and that the metaverse’s future is exactly there: in the future. And that those investments are simply the very first steps. But I was reminded last week it was exactly nine years ago when I received my Google Glass. I have distinct deja vu with the metaverse.
And finally, as will be no surprise to anyone, number one: Running a social media platform is more complex than rocket science (or building self-driving cars). The Twitter “cluster” is continuing to provide an ongoing cacophony of ill-informed decisions, kneejerk reactions, management by random thought, and so on.
If we can have one hope, it's that The Chief Twit indeed finds someone “foolish enough” to want to run the business, and that the Chief Twit leaves that fool enough room to actually run it. I have a hard time believing this will happen.
The weird thing is that, among all the misinformed, harmful, and terrible Twitter content, there is also really good and useful content to be found. Twitter can still pride itself in shaping culture and being a source of instant information when important things happen. I do not see an immediate alternative for this, despite efforts from Instagram, Mastodon and the dumbness that is the echo-chamber from you-know-who.
I won’t be sad to leave 2022 behind. It had its highs and lows, also on a personal level. But I fear that 2023 will be more of the same. Here’s hoping I am wrong.
Very true Maarten.
I agree that "And linear TV ratings are falling off a cliff." I put that down to the broadcasters not investing enough in better content but instead are focussing on being competitve to the streamers number of viewing channel options. In essence they are fragmenting their audience across more access options and wondering why their ratings are dropping. Well, hello!
You also said that "We know that your daughter can create content on TikTok that reaches a greater audience than any of those platforms." I realise that was (partly?) in jest, but it still amazes me how many times that a global internet audience is compared to a domestic average minute audience. That is like comparing 1 USD to 10,000 Iranian Rial and opting for the Rial (P.S. that's around 25c)!
John, a 8-12% decline per year for "linear TV" ratings is hardly falling off a cliff. Sure, if you figure it on 18-34s or even 18-49s the decline is greater---but these are not the majority of the average minute "linear TV" audiences---not even close to it. The typical "linear TV" viewer---broadcast and cable----is an adult aged 55+---and these folks are not deserting "linear " in droves---its a measured decline.
As for sports, that's not the only reason for being for "linear TV" either. There are many other kinds of content that "linear" provides that its audience base wants--news, game shows, talk shows, reality,specials of all types, crises coverage, etc. etc. We must stop evaluating everything as if prime time dramas and sitcoms are all that matter. These are taking the biggest rating hits competing with streming but even if the networks demanded "better" sitcoms and dramas and were willing to pay double or triple the price, it's unlikely that they would stem the tide or gain more than a few percentage points in the ratings---and that's assuming that the producers could deliver the "better" shows demanded, which is a highly dubious assumption if projected to three hours per night seven days per week.
The problem that the TV folks are encountering as they wade into streaming is simply that paying huge sums for lots of sometimes "better" originals to woo subscribers is a money losing game as there isn't enough viewing to support such investments. What's needed is much more emphasis on their linear content---most already cost amortized by linear ad dollars----for cord cutting streamers who are really trying to select only those broadcst/cable/station bundles that they want instead of paying for all of them via cable systems and satellite distributors. OK, so add a few pricey "originals" to the mix once in a while, but don't overdo it and you may, eventually make a profit.
By the way, Merry Christmas,John---and Maarten, too.