Call it a quagmire, if you must, but our recent economic malaise and the fast pace of technological development has left all interested parties -- agencies, CMOs, publishers, regulators, consumers and investors alike - searching for true north.
Media deals in 2010 will reposition companies for the digital playing field, eliminate the weak by consolidating the strong, redefine values and lead to the formation of new business models. Quintessential dealmaker John Malone, chairman of Liberty Media, predicts "massive restructuring and consolidation in old media."
The end of handset exclusivity? An expected ruling by the Federal Communications Commission on the exclusive handset deals between manufacturers and wireless carriers in the coming months could have a major impact on the industry. Think Verizon iPhone.
Madison Avenue will increasingly aim to shape policies regarding privacy. The American Association of Advertising Agencies recently joined with the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Association of National Advertisers and Direct Marketing Association to develop a set of industry self-regulatory standards. Also in 2009, WPP/Kantar named its first chief privacy officer and an Omnicom unit recruited a privacy counsel. Look for others to follow suit.
Offline publishers need to not become too fixated on the question of pay walls. The No. 1 priority in the year ahead, says Ken Doctor, affiliate analyst Outsell, is to regenerate advertising. No. 2: Come to a better reckoning with the aggregators. No. 3: paid content. "I think there may be be something to the metered model - basically the Financial Times model - although I want to see how that's going to work out in the u.s. with general circulation," says Doctor. "If you get this right, you can charge for some stuff and you can offer lots of …
Burned by the Congressional-fueled demise of NebuAd, which folded after receiving more than $30 million in venture funds, investors are keeping a sharp eye on privacy developments. Expect investors to increasingly scrutinize start-ups' privacy policies along with their business plans.
Mobile advertising and commerce, growing upwards of 30 percent annually, are the new growth arenas where marketers must play.
An uneven, bifurcated economic recovery could last as long as the recession and stretch into 2011. With every media business model being revamped for a digital marketplace, prolonged economic instability will further complicate the ramping of revenue growth.
There can be such a thing as too much sense of direction
It is no secret that Apple's expected tablet computer will be the make-or-break gadget of the year. Though only the masochistic attempt to guess what Steve Jobs is up to, it will be logical for Cupertino to ship a keyboardless screen-like device that is lighter and smaller than the average laptop that is touch-enabled a la the iPhone. Expect it to be fed by various media outlets via iTunes. The iTablet, or whatever it will be called, will also attempt to enable rich print-oriented content that gives suffering publishers a toehold in the digital age and marketers a higher CPM …