Commentary

My Belated Predictions For 2009

  • by , Featured Contributor, January 22, 2009
While I'm generally not a big fan of making predictions, I do think that they can be fun and can spark valuable thought and controversy. With that in mind, I belatedly offer up some of my predictions for the advertising and media industry this year. Here they are:

1) The economy will get much, much worse before it gets better. It pains me to write this, but I truly believe it.

2) While we will lose a number of ad and media companies before the year is out, the survivors will be much better positioned and structured to survive the tough economy by virtue of consolidation and restructuring.

3) At least two new digital companies will launch this year that will eventually have an impact on the market at the scale of eBay, Amazon and perhaps even Google. (Yes, even a Google -- maybe.) Tough times are great times to start revolutionary companies.

4) We will see massive consolidation among traditional media companies. This is an easy one.

5) We will see some significant legislative actions against the advertising and marketing industry. While that won't be the direct objective of the policymakers -- they will be trying to protect consumer privacy or helping people lead healthier lives -- the industry will suffer significant collateral damage from these efforts.

6) TV will prosper. Not only will better and cheaper TVs, and more video gaming, help drive more viewing, but users playing Internet content on TV, with more people staying home in the evening, will give a big, big boost to television usage.

7) Optimism will rule. Times will be tough, but a new president, continued adoption of powerful and exciting new technologies, and a willingness to push forward for new solutions will win in the end. We will emerge better and won't give up.

What do you think?

7 comments about "My Belated Predictions For 2009".
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  1. Walter Graff from Bluesky Media, January 22, 2009 at 6:20 p.m.

    The bottom will be even worse than you think. In six months most of your readers will be out of work, many will no longer be able to afford to have extras in their lives (even an internet account), banks will become nationalized, the government will have little real money to show for it's debt, and the only way out will be up. Hold on folks, it's n to going to be bumpy, it's going to be terrible.

  2. William Mcgarry from BuzzMedia, January 22, 2009 at 6:23 p.m.

    I always like to read new year predictions but liken them to reading about your favorite sports team before the season starts - there's usually a lot of optimism, there's a lot of general statements, and lastly and most importantly, they usually don't mean a thing.

    That being said, I like the honesty of your first point and the spirit of your last. I hope spirit wins out in this case.

  3. Robert Laplante from Media-Corps, Inc., January 22, 2009 at 6:41 p.m.

    Any hints on what those two new digital companies will be? My portfolio can use a couple of up and comers.

  4. Dennis O'neill from Studio4Networks, January 22, 2009 at 7:07 p.m.

    Good predictions Dave - I would include that in addition to media consolidation, there be more smaller spinoffs from large media companies as well, similar to the recent sale of 2 small daily newspapers from The Journal Register Company in CT.

  5. David Everitt-carlson from Infinite Wisdom Consulting, January 23, 2009 at 6:05 a.m.

    From the epicenter of all things advertising and all things online - Vietnam - I offer the following predictions: http://wildwildeastdailies.blogspot.com/2008/12/marketing-predictions-2009.html

  6. Thorsten Rhode from marqueteer, January 23, 2009 at 3:12 p.m.

    7 directly contradicts 1 -- and the rest reads more like my horoscope than a 'prediction.' Oh, and an important man (or woman) will surprise us with something unexpected before 2009 is over (or not). If not: It will happen in 2010. For everyone else: In 2009 you will prefer eating your favorite food and hang out with your friends to have some fun time (unless, of course, the economy gets much worse, before it gets better...).
    Also, doing away with confusing "it's" and "its" will become a priority on the new President's agenda.

  7. Richard Monihan, January 29, 2009 at 10:33 p.m.

    If you believe (as I do) that optimism will reign, then things may get a little worse, but the concept of them getting much, much worse is difficult to swallow.

    In my own small circle of friends, the ones who were hit first, and earliest (last summer) fell into despair quickly, but when presented with my vision of optimism and re-inventing themselves, quickly found new jobs and new opportunities.

    Will things get much, much worse? Possibly. But definitely ONLY if we keep repeating this mantra.
    Why don't I think they will get much, much worse? Several reasons - already earnings results are coming in for 4th quarter and they are considerably better than most (admittedly lower) expectations - but in some cases they are MUCH better.
    Contrast this with the layoffs most companies (including mine) have engaged. Most of these layoffs, unlike previous recessions, were preemptive and in anticipation of coming bad times. However, there is increasing evidence that these layoffs came too fast, too early, and were too deep. How many of us are now doing 3 jobs as opposed to the one or two we were previously doing?

    The "honesty" of your first point is based on one thing - the overwhelming pessimism that frames virtually EVERY article we read. Consistently, we are hearing how this recession is as bad as the Depression, when it is NOWHERE NEAR those levels. In fact, they barely rival the middle of the worst recession of the last 40 years - the ones we suffered through in the 1970's.

    Context is important when looking at issues like this. When the context is the Depression, we increase the fear and spread the panic. Fear and panic make things worse, not better.

    But in making your first point, you follow up with several that are excellent and basically indicate that things WON'T get worse, because these are mostly predictions that discuss how things will improve. So why start out with such a glum prediction?

    I, for one, have never really felt things are as bad as we keep hearing. Unemployment is up, of course. But it's only high if we consider it within context of the good times we've gone through in the last 28 years. Even then, it's still not at the levels we peaked at in 1992, the last "real" recession (which was hardly real at all).
    Unemployment, we are told, will hit 8, 9 or 10% in one year. Will it? In 1992, we were told the same thing. It peaked at 7.8%.

    This time, it could go higher - but it may not. One way that it won't is if we get smart about how we do things, and that means being optimistic and active. Let's not spread fear and panic - let's seek out opportunities and spread good news.
    I have helped several people find jobs in this environment, and I will continue to do so. There are jobs out there...let's get them filled!

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